I’m such a big fan of gel nail polish, not only does it last longer than standard nail polish, it also dries quickly too, so I can get on with the fun things in life.
Unlike UV or LED Gel nail polish which requires a lamp to dry the nails, gel nail polish requires room temperature to dry and can be applied like standard nail polish. The benefits being it stays chip proof for longer and it’s so much better for your nails. So I’ve compiled a list of my top favourite gel nail polish high street brands.
CND Vinylux Polish
Created by the Shellac makers and often used within nail salons, this professional gel nail polish promises to keep nails looking great for at least 7 days. No base coat is required but it’s recommended to be used with the CND Vinylux Weekly Top Coat (can also be used with normal nail polish too) which should be applied weekly to keep nails chip proof for up to 10 days.
Reasonable priced too I was expecting great things with this polish, the choice of colours are good and application gives a clean finish. I do find the polish takes at least a couple of minutes to dry in-between coats which lets it down. Definitely not a nail polish to apply in a hurry. Although my nails began to start chipping after five days, further application of the top coat resealed my nails. In total, I managed to keep my nails looking decent for at least 8 days.
Chip proof days: 8 days
Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Polish
Like many gel nail polishes, no base coat is required. The colour polish acts as both base and colour coats. It’s recommended to be used with Relvon Colorstay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat. As the name suggests the top coat is hard wearing and kept my nails chip proof for at least 5 days. A further top up coat of the top coat made my gel nail colour last for a further few days. The Revlon range has a small but good range of colours and is reasonable priced. The brush made application easy and polish has stay fluid like a standard nail polish colour.
Chip proof days: 5 days
Nails Inc Gel Effect
With plasticiser technology, I love the rectangular shape of the bottle and the colour range is great with plenty of on-trend colours. The wide brush makes applying easier.
Base coat is required with this nail polish, Nails Inc recommend application of NailKale Superfood Base Coat, followed by two coats of the nail polish colour. Finish with one coat of 45 Second Top Coat with Kensington Caviar.
I found the Nails Inc polish great to start with after a few uses. Then application became quite clumpy and thick and a few of my nails had air bubbles forming. I loved my initial sheen but found my nails started to chip the very next day which was a huge disappointment especially at £15 for a bottle.
Chip proof days: 1 day
Barry M Sunset Gel
The gel nail polish by Barry M has grown from a few colours to a good selection over the years.
One of the cheapest nail polishes on the market. All you need is a Sunset colour and the Sunset Topcoat, no basecoat is needed as the special formulation bonds to the nail like a gel in daylight.
Application is easy, the wide brush makes the job mess free. Drying time in-between coats is only a few seconds. The finish is a lovely high sheen effect which mimicks Gel nails. My only negative is my polish only stayed chip free for three days and after a few months the polish started to become clumpy and sticky to use. But it’s still a fantastic budget gel nail polish.
Chip free: 4 days
No7 Gel Finish Polish
I really like the shape of the bottle, the wide brush makes application easier and cleaner to apply. The range is quite small but still has a good range of colours. Base and Top coat are recommended for this brand. Application of No7 Stay Perfect Base coat, followed by the nail colour polish and finished with No7 Gel Shine Top Coat applied all over the nail to help the nail Polish last longer. I really loved the high shine of the gel finish, I felt I could get away with one coat of colour as the polish consistently was rich. The polish did take a minute between coats to dry but was surprised my nails stayed chip proof for a good 4 days.
Chip free: 4 days