The Best Gel Nail Polishes for Long-Lasting, Chip-Free Manicures At Home
We assembled the best gel nail polishes for salon-like manicures at home.
Sometimes painting your nails can feel like an uphill battle: You get your manicure just right, then as soon as you type an e-mail or wash the dishes, all your hard work is ruined. Avoid the woes of chipped, peeling paint with gel nail polish. Gel-based polishes are more long-lasting and durable compared to regular nail polishes. They can last up to a month, resisting the perennial problems of breaking, chipping, and peeling. Plus, gel-based formulas tend to be fast-drying, sparing you the hassle of waiting for what can feel like hours for your nails to dry.
Getting a gel manicure at a nail salon can set you back as much as $100, so if you take up a regular gel manicure habit, all those salon treatments can really add up. That’s why we’re proponents of at-home gel manicures. Not only do you end up saving lots of Benjamins, but you also gain a fun new hobby to dive into.
Before becoming a DIY gel manicurist, you’ll need plenty of top-notch polishes at your disposal, along with a top coat and base coat to extend the life of your manicure. Depending on the type of polish, you may also need a nail lamp to cure your nails after painting them. Our top pick for this is the SUNUV Gel UV Nail Lamp, which has a smart sensor, four time settings, and a high power to efficiently cure gel manicures, and is available for $40 on Amazon.
Ahead, we gathered the best gel nail polishes for beautiful, shiny manicures that’ll actually last. Our selections include a variety of color options including hot pink, dark red, and pastel purple, so you’re almost certain to find one you love. Most of these gel nail polishes don’t even need to be cured under a nail lamp, saving you a step in your pursuit of the perfect nails. Who knows? You may end up liking one of these gel polishes so much, you’ll never step into a nail salon again.
Dior Vernis Gel Shine & Long Wear Nail Lacquer
This gel-effect nail polish provides a glass-like shine and plenty of color pay-off. It’s no wonder reviewers are obsessed, calling the polish the “perfect, everyday color” that’s “consistently good and simple to apply.”
Red Carpet Manicure Red LED Gel Nail Polish Collection
Red nails never go out of style—and this high-shine model is perfect for nailing the look (no pun intended). The award-winning formula lasts up to three weeks, and it’s available in a range of gorgeous red hues. Note that you’ll need to cure your nails with a nail lamp afterwards.
Ulta Gel Shine Nail Lacquer Caribbean Collection
Vacation mode: activated. This fun polish comes in the shades purple, terracotta, and light green for channeling tropical vibes without having to hop on a plane. The nutrient-rich formula is long-wearing, with strengthening benefits for your nails.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish
This hot pink nail polish looks like something Barbie or Elle Woods would be all over. The adorable polish is chip-resistant, and it also comes in the colors pale pink, taupe, blue, and black.
Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish Bubbles Only
Fun fact: I wore this nail polish every day for a whole summer; that’s how good it is. What stands out about this gel-effect polish is how easy it is to apply, with a wide brush for even, precise coverage.
OPI Infinite Shine Nail Polish
This bright pink nail polish is so cheery and colorful. It’s easy to apply and remove, so it’s a great option if you like frequently donning different nail colors.
Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Polish
This teal polish boasts a 7-free formula that’s a healthier alternative to traditional gel nail polish formulas. Its ingredients include green tea extract, biotin, and keratin for nourishing and strengthening your nails.
Beetles Gel Nail Polish Kit
For a more minimalist look, grab this black and white gel nail polish kit. The shades last at least three weeks with proper application, which includes being cured under a nail lamp. As one Amazon shopper wrote, “the quality, durability, and consistency of the polishes are so good. You’ll save so much money and you’ll never want to go to another salon again.”
Modelones Gel Nail Polish Set
This gel nail polish set features six pale pink, gray, and neutral shades. Each polish is non-toxic with natural ingredients and a low smell.
Red Carpet Manicure French Kiss LED Gel Nail Polish Collection
Chipped nails are no fun, which is why we recommend adding this chip-resistant polish to your cart asap. Its Vitamin A and Biotin ingredients help protect your nails from damage, and the easy-to-use brush prevents streaking. You can order the polish in mauve cream, deep purple, dark purple, and other striking, Paris-inspired shades.