Who doesn’t love a long-lasting manicure?! Painting my nails based on the season or my mood is one of my favorite pastimes. With that being said, I’ve tested my fair share of nail polish brands and have weeded through the good and the bad. I’ve found that the type of nail polish you use is crucial for long-lasting, high-quality nails. I’m such a fan of gel polish as it’s easy-to-apply, long-lasting, and appears professionally done. That’s why I’m excited to bring you my favorite gel polish brands that you need on your radar!
Below you’ll find 7 of my favorite gel polish brands and what makes them each unique so you can find the best one for you. You’ll see the best overall gel polish, the best UV gel polish, the best luxury gel polish, and more. Keep reading to find your perfect gel polish brand!
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1. Best Overall
2. Best Color Range
3. Best Value For The Price
4. Best Top Coat & Base Coat Duo
5. Best Splurge-Worthy Polish
6. Best Shiny Polish
7. Best UV Gel Polish Kit
8. What You Need To Know About Gel Polish
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my site! Read more about my disclosure policies here. All prices are accurate at the time of the article and are subject to change.
No UV Light Needed
Essie Gel Couture Polish is hands down the best overall gel polish brand. The formula is incredibly smooth and opaque, giving your nails a salon manicured look. Plus, they have an amazing shade range.
To use this polish, you’ll first want to apply your favorite Essie Gel Couture Polish Color and top it off with Essie’s Gel Top Coat. The combination of the two will allow for your gel manicure to last up to 14 days with no chips. You can buy them separately, or you can buy a kit ($18.50) with both polish and top coat to test it out yourself.
Best Color Range
No UV Light Needed
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel has the best color range on this list. This gel polish brand has a vast variety of shades across all colors allowing you to choose whichever fits your desired look. My personal favorite is the gel polish seen above called Hyp-Nautical.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is easy to remove like regular nail polish and will not chip during wear time. This gel polish will last up to 8 days (I’ve found it sometimes lasts even longer than that). Don’t forget to pair it with the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat for extended longevity and shine.
Best Value For The Price
Requires UV Light
Beetles is one of the best gel polish brands on Amazon due to its budget-friendly price, high-quality formula, and color selection. This brand’s kits contain stunning shade options, with my personal favorite being the Nude & Green Kit seen below. This gel polish is as close as it gets to a salon-quality manicure.
Beetles offer kits of 6 gel polishes for $14-$16, depending on your shade selection. You cannot beat that price for the number of polishes, making it the “best value for the price” gel polish brand. Plus, this gel polish lasts over 2 weeks with proper application, curing it with UV light for 1-2 minutes.
Best Top Coat & Base Coat Duo
Requires UV Light
If you’re looking for a salon-quality finish, OPI Gel Color Top Coat & Base Coat is a must-have. This duo applies like traditional nail polish but lasts up to 2 weeks with the proper preparation. Plus, the shiny finish is stunning and will trick your friends into thinking you went to the salon!
This product can be used with any UV light gel polish, but it will perform the best with OPI GelColor Polish, which is coming up next as my favorite shiny finish gel polish.
Best Shiny Finish
Requires UV Light
Nothing beats a shiny gel polish. OPI GelColor Polish gives a gorgeous, salon-quality shine to your nails. This gel polish has a smooth, buttery formula allowing for easy application. You can easily get 2 weeks of wear with the proper application of this gel polish. You can read all about the proper application in the product description section here.
If you want even shinier, long-lasting nails then I highly recommend using this OPI GelColor Polish with the Top Coat & Base Coat mentioned above.
Best Splurge-Worthy Polish
No UV Light Needed
If you’re looking to treat yourself, Dior Vernis Gel Nail Lacquer is the best luxury gel polish out there. For $28, this luxury gel polish will give you an ultra-shiny manicure that lasts for weeks. It’s also infused with peony and pistachio extracts, so you can feel extra fancy when wearing it.
I’m also a huge fan of Dior’s color selection. Their signature red shade, seen above, along with their nudes and pinks make for the perfect feminine look.
Best UV Gel Polish Kit
If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly UV gel kit, the Sally Hansen Salon Polish Gel Kit is perfect for you. This kit comes with a UV light, nail cleanser pads, acetone remover, and gel polish to complete your look.
Instead of spending a ton of money at the salon for a manicure, you can buy this kit and get up to 10 manicures lasting up to 2 weeks each! That’s 5 months of manicures for $60, it doesn’t get much better than that. This kit comes with the color “Shell We Dance” which is a soft pink. You can check out their other colors below!
What You Need To Know About Gel Polish
Is Gel Polish Bad For Your Nails?
Generally, gel polish is not bad for your nails. What will ruin your nails is improper preparation before you apply gel polish, as well as improper removal.
Before you apply gel polish to your nails (or any nail polish for that matter), I highly recommend using OPI Nail Envy ($19), which helps strengthen your nail by adding calcium and protein to make your nails stronger. OPI Nail Envy is a great nail polish base alternative that has saved my nails, I can’t recommend it enough.
What’s The Difference Between Gel Polish and Nail Polish?
Gel nail polish is thicker than regular nail polish, giving it a more realistic “salon” finish (even though you did them at home!)
Gel nail polish also dries faster and lasts longer, meaning you don’t need to do your nails nearly as often. Most gel nail polishes will last 1-2 weeks with proper preparations.
What Brand Of Gel Nail Polish Is The Best?
All of the brands I mentioned above are my favorite, or else they wouldn’t be on this list. However, if I had to choose, I would choose Essie for the best gel polish brand that requires no UV light and then Beetles for the best gel polish brand with a UV light.
Both of these brands have exceeded my expectations in terms of durability and longevity, which is why they are two of the best gel polish brands.
Can I Use Gel Polish Without A UV Light?
If a gel polish requires UV light, it definitely won’t last as long without curing. Therefore, if a polish requires UV light I definitely recommend purchasing one. Personally, this SUNUV LED Nail Lamp is my favorite affordable UV light.
Can I Use Gel Polish On Natural Nails?
Yes! You definitely can use gel polish on natural nails. This is actually better than applying them to a fake nail, which could cause damage to your nail bed.
As I mentioned above, I highly recommend using a base coat, such as OPI Nail Envy, to protect your nail.
And there you have it! The best gel polish brands and some of your burning questions about gel polish. As a huge nail fanatic, it’s clear that gel polish is an elite polish choice and I cannot recommend it enough.
As always, thank you for reading. If you’re looking for some more nail content, check out this article all about the best Essie nail colors, or this article about the best top coat nail polishes for long-lasting manicures.
With love or whatever,