Gel polish includes stronger ingredients that hold the nail tighter than traditional lacquers and are durable enough to stand up to daily wear and tear. Gel polish is commonly cured using a UV or LED lamp. Now, nail experts have come up with new polishes that have the glossy effect of a gel manicure and no need for UV exposure. Gel nail polishes are now available just like regular polishes but are more durable, and it has a gel finish. This kind of polish can be removed using a regular nail polish remover. It is more convenient and safe because the nails don't have to go through the soaking process in acetone which eventually can cause dried and brittle nails. 

There are gel polishes available nowadays that contain no harmful toxins that can be hazardous to health. Mostly contains natural ingredients while providing durability and protection to the nails. Unlike salon-made gel manicures, gel polishes can be user-friendly and more affordable. Because it doesn’t involve the curing process of a gel manicure, anyone can do it at home. Just like ordinary nail polish, this gel nail polish comes in different shades and mostly dries faster. 

Listed below are the top best gel nail polishes.

  • Best Overall: The Essie Gel Couture Nail polish is the best overall gel polish because it has high opacity and gloss like the gel manicure. It is 100% vegan, and it has a nice applicator brush for easy and smooth application. It dries quickly and can last for up to 5 days.
  • Best for Budget-friendly: The Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Nail Polish is the best for budget-friendly gel polish. Considering its affordable price, it can provide good quality gel polish. There is no need for an additional base coat because it already has a built-in base coat in the polish.
  • Best for Strengthening: When it comes to providing strength, the Nails Inc Gel Effect Nail Polish is the best. It has a strengthening ingredient that comes from a rare flower extract. It is formulated with plasticizer technology to achieve a glossy and salon-finish manicure.

1. Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish (Best Overall)

The Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish is a long-wearing nail polish inspired by haute couture. It can give a salon-quality manicure even at home. The Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish dries quickly in less than 5 minutes with each nail application. It has a creamy, high opacity, and high-gloss finish. The innovative shape of the brush applicator will definitely give full coverage to the nails. The Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish is 100% vegan. The average price of Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish is £12.09 GBP. It receives an average customer rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, mainly because of its good quality that can be compared to an expensive gel manicure. 

Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish Advantages

Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish DIsadvantage

Quick-drying

Strong smell

Great Opacity

Reasonable price

Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish

2. Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Nail Polish (Best for Budget-Friendly)

The Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Nail Polish is an advanced, long-wearing nail polish that promises ultimate shine and lush, vivid colours that last in 2 easy steps. There is no need for a base coat when using this amazing nail polish because it has a built-in base coat on its polish. This amazing nail polish comes in 15 vibrant shades. It comes with a wide-angle applicator brush that creates smooth, precise, and bubble-free coats. It can be easily removed by using any nail polish remover. The average price of Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Nail Polish is £5.99 GBP. It has an average rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars because of its affordable price. 

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Nail Polish Advantages

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Nail Polish Disadvantages

Affordable

Not long-lasting

Easy application

Thick consistency

Clumpy

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Nail Polish

3. Nails Inc Gel Effect Nail Polish (Best for Strengthening)

The Nails Inc Gel Effect Nail Polish is a super-gloss nail polish that imitates the plumping effects of a gel manicure for an elegant finish.  It is a long-lasting nail polish formulated with plasticizer technology to achieve a glossy and salon-finish manicure. It contains rare flower extract that helps to condition and strengthen the nails. The Nails Inc Gel Effect Nail Polish comes with an extra-wide applicator brush that allows the polish to smoothly glide on the nails. This nail polish has an intense reflection resin system allowing the gel to keep its ultra-shine finish, giving a strong and flexible bond between gel and nail. The average price of Nails Inc Gel Effect Nail Polish is £15.00 GBP. The average customer rating of this nail polish is 3.7 out of 5 stars due to its good coverage and easy application.

Nails Inc Gel Effect Nail Polish Advantages

Nails Inc Gel Effect Nail Polish Disadvantages

Dries fast

Chips easily

Easy to apply

Not pigmented

Good coverage

Streaky

Nails Inc Gel Effect Nail Polish

4. OPI Infinite Shine Gloss Top Coat

The OPI Infinite Shine Gloss Top Coat is a well-loved top coat for ultimate shine. It is made with ProStay technology for long-lasting and ultimate shine. The OPI Infinite Shine Gloss Top Coat delivers optimum sticking power, less chipping, and better gloss retention. The average price of  OPI Infinite Shine Gloss Top Coat is £15.95  GBP. It receives an average customer rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars, mainly because of the long-lasting effect and glossy shine it gives. 

OPI Infinite Shine Gloss Top Coat Advantages

OPI Infinite Shine Gloss Top Coat Disadvantages

Long-lasting

Lacks shine

Easy application

Matte finish

Super glossy

OPI Infinite Shine Gloss Top Coat

5. Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Color

The  Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Color is a healthy alternative to Gel Manicures. It delivers intense shine and extended wear without the need for a UV lamp. This nail colour is easy to use and easy to remove with any nail polish remover. The average price of Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Colour is £18.00 GBP. Customers gave a high rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars due to its fast-drying formula and the professional-looking manicure it creates.

Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Color Advantages

Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Color Disadvantages

Fast drying

Colour doesn’t match actual product

Professional looking manicure

Chips easily

Long-lasting

Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Color

6. Butter London Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer

The Butter London Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer provides a gel-like coverage, finish, and shine. The Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer features are proven to help promote shinier, firmer, and healthier-looking nails. The patented Shock Resistance Polymer Technology delivers a gel-like finish with visible shine. The Radiant Curing help hardens and polishes with the help of natural light. With just one application, it will surely give full coverage with its curved brush applicator. The Butter London Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer is vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free. Apply a single coat of nail polish and for a more intense colour, a second coat can be applied. The average price of Butter London Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer is  £15.00 GBP. It receives an average customer rating of 4.1 out of 5, mainly because of its easy application and quick-drying formula.

Butter London Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer Advantages

Butter London Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer Disadvantages

Quick-drying

Strong alcohol smell

Easy to apply

Expensive

Lovely colours

Butter London Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer

7. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel

The  Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is the closest thing to a salon gel manicure that anyone can do at home. This miracle gel is known to be the number 1 selling gel polish in the US. The ultimate chip-resistant nail polish was designed for a longer-lasting manicure without using a UV lamp. Paint the nails with 2 coats of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel and allow the colour to dry for 5 minutes, then apply 1 coat of top coat. It is easily removed by any regular nail polish remover. The average price of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is £9.65 GBP. It has an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars due to its great coverage and consistency. 

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Advantages

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Disadvantages

Great consistency

Not long-lasting

Dries quickly

Chips easily

Great coverage

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel

8. Wet n Wild 1 Step Wonder Gel Nail Color

The Wet n Wild 1 Step Wonder Gel Nail Colour is the first gel formula that doesn't require a top coat and sets without a UV lamp. It promises to give 2 weeks of colour and shine in just an easy single step, this nail colour innovation is about to become a must-grab. It really is a wonder gel because there is no need for any other products or procedures to achieve the gel-finish manicure. The average price of  Wet n Wild 1 Step Wonder Gel Nail Colour is £2.95 GBP. It has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, mainly because of its reasonable price, and it is long-wearing. 

Wet n Wild 1 Step Wonder Gel Nail Color Advantages

Wet n Wild 1 Step Wonder Gel Nail Color Disadvantages

Long-lasting

Inconsistent coverage

Reasonable price

Sticky

Dries quickly

Wet n Wild 1 Step Wonder Gel Nail Color

9. Olive & June 7 Free Nail Polish

The Olive & June 7 Free Nail polish is a natural, long-wearing, and quick-drying nail polish. It is vegan, cruelty-free, and seven-free. It is called 7 free nail polish because it doesn't contain the 7 controversial ingredients commonly used in nail polish. The Olive & June 7 Free Nail polish provides salon-quality and long-lasting formula. The gel-like finish can be easily removed with any nail polish remover. The average price of Olive & June 7 Free Nail polish is £7.42 GBP. The average customer rating is 4.6 out of 5 stars, mainly because of its safe and natural formula.

Olive & June 7 Free Nail polish Advantages

Olive & June 7 Free Nail polish Disadvantages

Beautiful formula

Slow drying time

Competitive price

Chips easily

Safer formula

Olive and June 7 Free Nail Polish

How to choose the best gel nail polish?

When choosing the best nail polish, the first thing to consider is the toxic components in the ingredients. Harmful chemicals should be avoided like formaldehyde because it can be harmful to the health when exposed on a regular basis. Another thing to consider is the durability, a good gel nail polish should approximately last in  5 days when properly applied and taken care of. A quality gel nail polish must be long-lasting and won't be easily chipped.

What Gel Nail Polish is long-lasting?

The Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish is a long-lasting gel nail polish. It is a quick-drying nail polish, and it has the good quality of a professionally done gel polish in a salon. It doesn’t need a base coat and a UV lamp to achieve a beautiful gel-finished manicure. Furthermore, it is a much safer and easier way to have gel-finished nails, but in a more convenient and affordable way.

What Gel Nail Polish is non-toxic?

The Olive & June 7 Free Nail polish is a non-toxic gel and natural nail polish. It is vegan and cruelty-free and best of all is a 7-free ingredient. This means, that it does not contain the 7 toxic ingredients that are mostly used in nail polish, so it is very safe to use.

Is it harmful to your nails to use UV gel nail polish?

Yes, UV nails can be harming both skin and nails. Most Gel manicures use UV lamps for curing, and over time it may be harmful to the nails. Prolonged UV exposure may cause premature ageing of the skin, wrinkles, and skin cancer. 

Is it better to use UV or LED for gel nails?

LED lamps are better because it lessens the exposure to UV light, and it will cure the gel polish in just 30 seconds. Both UV and LED curing lamps are used to cure gel polish. They do have the same function, but UV lamps can take longer to cure the gel polish. LED lamps can cure a gel polish faster, but not all gel polish can be cured by a LED lamp. Both the LED and UV nail lamps emit UV wavelengths that work the same way.