After getting an expensive manicure or pedicure, many women live in perpetual fear that something will cause the polish to chip or peel off. This can be a big problem if your day involves working a lot with your hands or standing on your feet. Some just give up and leave their nails unpolished, saving the manicure or pedicure for special occasions only.
Gel nail polish is different. You can apply it in just a few minutes and get back to your work immediately without fearing that it will come off. Even better, it lasts for much longer than other nail polishes without losing its shine. Most users report a lifespan of 2-3 weeks before nail growth forces you to apply the polish again.
If you are looking for a nail polish that will last longer while still retaining its vibrant style, try gel nail polish. We went out and compared popular gel nail polishes in the market. We have put together our top four gel nail polishes to help you pick the right one for yourself. These top picks are long lasting, safe (no harmful chemicals) and look just as good as your favourite nail polish.
So, which is the best gel nail polish in the UK?
Elite99 allows you to pick any five colours from more than three dozen options. Each bottle contains 7.3ml of gel nail polish. Once you apply the polish, it is cured under a UV light, giving it a glossy and strong finish. This ensures that it will stay on for two weeks or even more regardless of what activities you will be engaged in.
- Easy to put on.
- Wide variety of colours available.
- Has a strong protective finish that makes it long lasting.
- Requires 3 coats of polish for the best look, which take some time to apply.
Unlike Elite99, Perfect Summer allows customers to pick four colours from the 300 options available. But their bottles are slightly bigger at 8ml. As with other gel polishes it is important that the polish be cured under an LED or UV lamp for the best results. When applied properly, your nails can easily last for more than two weeks before requiring a new application.
- Polish lasts long without chipping or peeling.
- Easy to apply.
- Non-toxic formulation.
- The actual colours may be slightly different from what you see on your screen when buying.
Gellen also provides a set of four gel nail polishes, each with a capacity of 8ml. You will be able to choose your preferred colours after placing an order. The nail polish is non-toxic and is designed to last at least two weeks without any fading or chipping. Note that you need an LED or UV lamp to properly cure the polish. Follow the applications directions provided by the seller for best results.
- Lasts long without chipping or fading.
- Uses non-toxic ingredients.
- Easy to apply.
- Actual colours may vary from what you see online.
This set consists of four colours, each measuring 8ml. This gel polish can be used on natural nails, acrylic nails and false nails. It is non-toxic, ensuring the safety of users and the environment. Use an LED or UV lamp when apply each coat to make sure that it sticks on properly.
- Easy to apply and remove.
- It is a thinner than usual, which means you have to apply several coats for it to look good.
Key considerations when buying gel nail polish
There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for gel nail polish:
- One of the most important one is safety. Some manufacturers use dangerous chemicals in their nail polishes. Some of these ingredients can damage the skin while others have been linked to cancer. In most cases, these chemicals are also terrible for the environment. Check the ingredients list when buying a gel nail polish. Avoid those with chemicals such as butylated hydroxyanisol (BHA), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene and formaldehyde.
- Another issue is the curing process. Most gel nail polishes call for UV curing. This requires exposure to UV light for 2-4 minutes. UV radiation has proven links to skin cancer. You can mitigate this risk by wearing sunscreen on your fingers.
- An even better alternative is to use an LED or UV lamp. Most gel nail polishes allow you to use UV or LED light. In fact, an LED lamp will cure the polish faster without any negative side effect. If you are getting a manicure or pedicure at the salon, ask whether they use LED lamps for curing.
- It goes without saying that quality should be a priority when you are buying gel nail polish. If the seller says it is going to last for 2 or 3 weeks, make sure that this is actually true. Customer reviews can help you determine this.
- The quality issue is very important for those with a busy lifestyle. You want a nail polish that will stay on no matter what you are doing. If it begins to chip off after just a day or two, find a better one.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Is gel nail polish safe?
A: Yes, most gel nail polish brands are safe to use. The most important thing is to check the ingredients list for any dangerous chemical. If after using a certain polish you develop a skin reaction immediately stop using it and seek medical advice if it gets worse.
Q: How long does gel nail polish last?
A: The average lifespan for most brands is two to three weeks. Many sellers provide a two-week guarantee although many users say they can comfortably keep it on for up to three weeks. In fact, most people remove the polish because of new nail growth and not because it has chipped or faded.
Q: How do I apply gel nail polish?
A: Consult the manual or label of your nail polish pack or visit the seller’s website on specific guidelines for application. Most gel nail polishes are applied in layers, with each layer being allowed to cure before adding on another layer. A full application on your hands could take around half an hour or less.
Q: How to remove gel nail polish at home without acetone?
- Look for a chipped or loose spot on the nail. Using your fingernail or a pair of tweezers, partially left the chipped spot.
- Turn on your faucet and run lukewarm water over the lifted part of the polish. Using your fingernail gently push the gel polish off your nail. Go slowly to prevent damage to your natural nail. Alternatively, cover your nail with cuticle oil or olive oil then gently lift and push off the gel polish.
- Use the smooth side of a nail file to buff out any remaining bits of polish on your nail.
- When all the polish is gone, moisturise your nails and hands. Apply cuticle oil to your nails and cuticles and slather your hands in hand cream.
Q: How to apply gel nail polish at home without UV light?
If you don’t have a UV light to cure gel nail polish, you can use an LED lamp instead. LED lamps cure gel nails much faster and are safer for your health.
If you have neither UV light nor an LED lamp, you can try drying your nails in the sun but they’ll take long and your nails won’t look as good.
We recommend buying a non-UV gel polish that doesn’t require UV light to dry.
Make sure you apply the gel as directed, especially when it comes to applying the different layers. That’s because some non-UV gels include an activator that you are supposed to apply as a top coat. It allows the gel to cure faster in natural light.
Q: How to treat an allergic reaction to gel nail polish?
Immediately remove the nail polish using acetone or by peeling away the gel polish under running lukewarm water.
Apply a moisturizing cream to your nails and hands and see if the symptoms improve. However, if the symptoms are severe or they don’t improve, see a dermatologist.
It’s also important to determine whether it is an allergic reaction or an irritation.
If you’ve been experiencing ever-worsening symptoms over a long period, it’s probably an allergic reaction to a chemical in the polish. In this case, you have to change your gel polish.
Your manicurist can do a patch test to determine whether you are allergic to certain types of nail polishes.
If you’ve experience the reaction just once, it’s probably irritation to an excessive amount of a chemical. If that’s the case, you’ll just need to be careful when applying gel nail polish.
Make sure you don’t apply too much and cure it properly.