Best Gel Nail Polish Brands - Reviews and Buying Guide 2018

Having your manicure using the best gel nail polish is extremely important. There are a lot of factors that might influence the aesthetics of your nails. Depending on the brand that your manicurist or you use, your nails’ aspect could differ. Some brands have slightly better pigmented gels, glossier or intensely colored. Others, on the other hand, might be creating them in such a way so that they obtain translucent, glittery or pearlescent colors. However, the density of the gel, its durability and ease of use are some of the most important aspects that you might want to consider when choosing the best gel nail polishes.

Choosing the best gel nail polish brands isn’t rocket science, as they have already created a reputation on the market and they are easy to identify. However, manicurists and professional beauticians know that sometimes, the best products are hidden behind brands that aren’t so popular.

It is important to know exactly what the results that you wish to obtain are in terms of nail making, regardless if you are planning to buy the gels for yourself or your clients. This way, you will be able to buy all the products that you need from one brand only: the base coat, the top coat, the colors, etc.

Are you looking to buy manicure products from the best brands on the market but you aren’t sure which is the best choice? We have reviewed 5 of the best gel nail polish brands out there to make it easier for you to decide and be able to work with the best available products. We have highlighted the pros and cons, by looking at all of the characteristics of each brand. Check out the five products below.


Comparison

Product Size Weight Rating Price
CND Shellac CND Shellac 1 x 1 x 3 inches 0.96 ounces 4.9/5 $$
Gelish Gelish 0.8 x 0.8 x 3.9 inches 2.4 ounces 4.9/5 $
OPI OPI 1.9 x 1.6 x 5.3 inches 1.6 ounces 4.8/5 $
Essie Essie 1.5 x 1.5 x 2.8 inches 1.6 ounces 4.8/5 $
Sally Hansen Sally Hansen 1.4 x 1.4 x 3.1 inches 3.2 ounces 4.7/5 $

Table of Contents

What you should know about the Best Gel Nail Polish Brands?

Products

1. CND Shellac
2. Gelish
3. OPI
4. Essie
5. Sally Hansen

Final words about the Best Gel Nail Polish Brands

Review Author


CND Shellac is one of the best brands on the market and the one that offers over 100 designed shades, from the creamiest to the most intense ones. They are known for investing in technologies that are meant to keep your nails healthy and beautiful. The company’s mission is to offer professional products that will rise to your highest standards and that will inspire you. CND has developed a number of brands and Shellac is one of them. What differentiates the Shellac gel products from others is the fact that they are twice as easy to remove from the nails and that they do no damage to the natural nail.

The gel nails that are part of the Shellac series need zero dry time, last for at least 14 days, have a superior shine and can be removed immediately. One of the most popular products is the Creative Nail Design Shellac UV Color Coat, 25 Ounce that comes in 45 shades, can be used on both hand and feet nails. This product’s advantage is that it can be brushed on easily and offers a smooth nail surface with a perfect coverage.

What’s to like?

  • Shellac is a global leader in nail beauty
  • It offers 100 designer shades
  • It has both intense and creamy shades
  • The gels are extremely easy to remove
  • Zero dry time is needed
  • It offers perfect coverage
  • The gels are perfectly pigmented
  • They leave the nail smooth and shiny
  • It is reasonably priced
  • It lasts for at least 14 weeks

What’s not to like?

  • Pink shades tend to look rather orange

2 Gelish

If you are looking to buy gel nail polishes that are high-quality and made by a renowned brand, then you should think about this option. Gelish is one of the brands with a strong reputation for being able to offer its clients professional products, as it understands the salon industry. There are more than 100 gel colors that Gelish puts at its clients’ disposal, that can be used at home or in a professional beauty salon. With stylish little bottles and great gel names, they are not only attractive, but also extremely pleasurable. The brushes are easy and comfortable to use and dry immediately. Gelish also offers foundation products, tops, matte tops and many more.

Except for having a great reputation on the market, they also come with essential products, such as the soak off gel nail polish. This product is meant to prevent chipping and peeling and to help you save a lot of time. After applying it, it takes no longer than 10 to 15 minutes for it to be completely soaked. This product comes in 35 shades that you can choose from. The light blue crème option is nice and elegant and has 3-weeks durability. It is very easy to remove and it applies just like a traditional nail polish. A UV or LED lamp must be used in order to obtain perfect results and quick dry.

What’s to like?

  • It is a brand with history and a great reputation
  • It offers essential and professional products
  • It comes with a large number of shades
  • The containers have a great design
  • The products are suitable for home use
  • The gel polish nail is easy to apply and remove
  • It soaks immediately
  • It stays on the nails for 3 weeks
  • It has a unique formula that prevents chipping and peeling

What’s not to like?

  • Gelish offers a lot of pastel colors and less modern shades than other brands

3 OPI

OPI is probably one of the best known nail polish brands on the market, with a reputation that convinced women from the entire world to buy these products. OPI is dedicated to innovation and safety and develops products that are healthy for your nails, that have fashionable colors and names. The difference between OPI professional nail polishes and other products on the market is that they are dense, heavily-pigmented and last for a long time. They are designed to be chip-resistant and have affordable prices that most clients afford. One of the best examples is the product below that comes in a light shade, a nude color that is suitable for your nails in any situation. It looks elegant, chic and feminine. 99 other colors are available in the same small container that lasts.

This nail polish has an intense shine and its color is rich enough to cover the base of your nail entirely, unlike most light shaded polishes. In order to obtain the best results, one must apply the OPI base first. It is recommended for the cuticles to be pushed back and for the nails to be completely dry before applying it. The result will be gorgeous every single time.

What’s to like?

  • It is a well-established brand
  • It has a strong reputation
  • It has products that last
  • The colors are rich and dense
  • The shades are well-pigmented
  • They last for a long time
  • Works best together with the base and top coat
  • It has an amazing shine
  • It is easy to remove
  • The container is small and chic

What’s not to like?

  • It is more expensive than most similar brands

4 Essie

Essie is a brand that has built its name around the nail art industry since 1981 and has lasted on the market ever since thanks to its catchy colors, new and modern solutions and its ability to adapt to its clients’ needs. Essie has won awards for its high-quality nail products that are designed to make women feel more beautiful, regardless of their style and preferences. The nail polishes that it offers today are lasting and well-pigmented. Also, its offer comprises nail care products and essential ones that can be used on a daily basis. Unlike other brands, Essie puts a more powerful emphasis on the bottle design and makes sure that it is easy to maneuver and use. Also, the prices of its products are highly affordable.

The Essie gel couture nail polish that comes in pale pink is a great choice for women who like to keep things simple and who like natural nails. However, you can choose from 33 other color options that range from clear to black. The gels last for 14 days and can be applied in no more than two steps, in the comfort of your home or at a salon. Just like Sally Hansen gels, these products do not require the use of a UV or LED lamp, which makes doing your manicure so much faster and easier. Basically, what you need to do is to apply the gel coat and then a top coat that can be bought separately and that is available under the same brand. At the same time, they are easy to remove. It only takes a few minutes for your nails to be fresh and beautiful again.

What’s to like?

  • Essie focuses on fashion collections
  • It has affordable prices
  • The products are great for salon use thanks to the density and great design
  • They are suitable for home use
  • No UV or LED lamp is required
  • Clients can choose from a variety of shades
  • The gel can be removed easily
  • It lasts for two weeks
  • It is an award winning brand

What’s not to like?

  • You have to clean the nails impeccably or they will remain yellow

The Sally Hansen brand is highly appreciated for its ability to stay on top of its client’s preference list, giving the tight competition and the history of the other brands, such as OPI. This brand focuses on other beauty areas, too, such as hair and make-up, but nail care is their focus point. The great thing about Sally Hansen gel nail polishes is that no UV lamp is required, which is way more comfortable for most women who want to do their manicures and pedicures at home. Even salon professionals mention that clients are more excited about the service when they don’t have to wait for so long for the nails to dry. Also, it comes with products that are created using a patented technology that is meant to make the gel last longer.

The Miracle gel polish is one of the best product examples that has brought the brand so much popularity. The product that we are presenting today has a pink shade, but there are 98 other options available. It comes in a nicely designed 0.5 ounce bottle. If you are planning to use it, you should know that the only thing you need to do is to apply two coats of it and then the topcoat. Let it dry using natural light, as no UV is needed.

What’s to like?

  • It is a highly credible brand that invests in new technologies
  • It comes with gel polish nails in modern shades
  • It has beautifully designed containers
  • It requires no UV or LED light
  • Its products are highly practical
  • The gel is very easy to use
  • It dries under natural light
  • The gel lasts for up to 2 weeks
  • It is very easy to remove
  • Over 95 shades are available

What’s not to like?

  • You must make sure that it is completely dry before starting to use your hands to prevent any scratches

There isn’t anything more comforting and relaxing for a woman then getting her nails done regularly, using the best products on the market. Keeping the standards high when it comes to manicure is important for a number of reasons. The final aspect of the nail, the shape, the color and the shine are just a few of the elements that must be taken into consideration when choosing the best brand. Also, the time that you can save by using the best products on the market that dry quickly and do not require a lot of attention and effort are very important.

As you might have seen from our list above, most of them look similar, but trust us, they won’t do the exact same job, so you will surely only understand if they are perfect for your needs in practice. Take into consideration the number of colors that they have available; the shape of the brush, the credibility of the brand and their history and you will surely make the best decision, based on your expectation.

The author of this review is Zoe Carter, an experienced Nail Technician.

Zoey Carter