As you may know, especially if you follow me on Instagram, I am totally loving the gel nail polish. I wrote last January how I am in love with it, and I still am! And I think my love is catching. I have had many friends ask me what my favorite brand of gel nail polish is. I have used it for enough months and tried out enough different polish brands to have some real tried and true information for you. This post contains affiliate links. This does not increase your cost at all.
The best gel nail polish brand is Gelish. That can be kind of a hard pill to swallow because it is usually a lot more expensive than other options out there. After trying several brands, however, I finally bit the bullet and went Gelish. It is so much better! Instead of lasting two weeks, I am taking it off at 3 because I am ready for something different (plus after three weeks, my nails have grown out enough things look a bit off). The cheap polishes get dry and crack after about a week, but Gelish looks good until I take it off.
Gelish can also be overwhelming because there are SO MANY color options. You can’t just type in “black Gelish Soak Off Polish” like I did and expect to see AN option. There are tons. I have found it helpful to look at color ideas on Pinterest and to also Google color ideas before heading to Amazon with the name of the shade that I have settled on. There are helpful reviews on Amazon where people will show pictures of the color, and that can help give you a better idea of what color it is. Also, if you look on my Instagram and see a nail color you like, I am happy to tell you the exact name of it.
Now, if you are just getting started, you might not want to take the time to slowly build up your color collection (assuming you don’t want to drop several hundred dollars on nail polish at once). I know my normal nail polish collection was built slowly, and my gel nail polish collection is following the same path. However, you want variety! And variety is expensive!
Last Christmas, I asked my mom for some gel polish for Christmas. I asked her to get a BMC six pack of neutrals. This brand works well. It doesn’t last as long as Gelish, but it doesn’t get all cracked after a week, either. I find it has a two week life before it starts to peel up on the tips. Two weeks is a good length for me. This is a great option if you want to get some basic colors going for an inexpensive price. You can get 6 polishes for what you could typically get 2 Gelish. As you are looking, just be sure you get “UV/LED Nail Lacquer” and not “Stamping Lacquer.”
Another good brand is the Finger Paints Gel Polish. You can get them at Sally’s or on Amazon (I am sure other places, also). These bottles are smaller than the Gelish polish I have gotten on Amazon, so when pricing things out, keep bottle size in mind. They are usually cheaper (not always), but they are also smaller. Quality I would say it is close to Gelish. Not quite there, but close. The only down side to these is that once you remove the packaging, every bottle looks the same. So you have to open it to know what color is inside. Small problem, but still an annoyance.
I have also liked my Red Carpet polish. I use the red carpet main kit and it came with a red polish. It is the same quality as the Finger Paints.
So that is it. Of all of the colors I have tried, those four brands are my recommendations. I think you will be happy with any of those four for what they offer. Weigh cost against wear length. Always remember to consider bottle size when comparing prices. And always be sure you are buying soak off polish and not regular nail polish and not gel polish that does not need to soak off.
See my post on Gel Nail Polish for more and to get info on the cute stamps!