November 24, 2020

The 20 Best Gel Nail Polishes For a Manicure That Lasts

6 min read

gel polish

Monica Schipper

An at-home manicure can be daunting: You have to worry about trimming your own nails, shaping them to perfection, and most importantly, applying the polish just-so with the hopes that your DIY manicure will last just as long as one you’d get at a salon. But that’s where these top coats and polishes come in. They’re all ideal because of the long-lasting formula and no-chip capabilities, plus they don’t require a UV lamp, so you can create the perfect manicure or pedicure from the comfort of your home. Read on for ratings and reviews of our top 20 picks.

1 of 20

Color Polish

Gel Shine Nail Lacquer

Rating: 3.6 stars, 80 reviews

What people are saying: “This is by far my favorite nail polish brand. I received one in my Ipsy bag about a year or so ago and I was pleasantly surprised and a little shocked on how well this nail polish covers and lasts.”

2 of 20

Color Polish

1 Step Wonder Gel Nail Color

wet n wild


Rating: 4 stars, 78 reviews

What people are saying: “Easy to apply and long lasting. I used over clear, full cover press-on nails and it looks like I have a professional set! No chipping, fading or streaks in color. I’m into my 2nd week of wearing the same color and my nails still look amazing. I’m sure to never get them done in a salon again. Saves time and money.”

3 of 20

Color Polish


China Glaze


Rating: 3.9 stars, 151 reviews

What people are saying: “It’s awesome. It goes on nice and thin. Usually full coverage in 2 coats. Lasts at least 2 weeks.”

4 of 20

Color Polish

ColorStay Gel Envy™ Longwear Nail Polish

Rating: 4.1 stars, 48 reviews

What people are saying: “Love this polish, wasn’t expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised when my polish lasted almost 2 weeks without chipping and then it just started to wear out. By far one of the best polishes I’ve tried and I have tried them all. No more shellac polish for me with the soaking time and damage to my nails.”

5 of 20

Color Polish

Xl Nail Gel



Rating: 4 stars, 81 reviews

What people are saying: “Fantastic color, wears great, 8 days without a chip! Perfect for people who don’t have time for a daily manicure. I painted my toes almost 3 weeks ago and they still look fresh. I love this stuff!”

6 of 20

Color Polish

Extreme Shine Gel Nail Polish

L.A. Colors


Rating: 3.5 stars, 52 reviews

What people are saying: “Love these. The gel stays on for awhile and the colors are fabulous.”

7 of 20

Color Polish

Extraordinaire Gel-Lacque 1-2-3 Nail Color

Rating: 4.1 stars, 171 reviews

What people are saying: “Love the colour – I’ve used this now for a week and it doesn’t chip and looks great. It is a nice smooth polish. Very happy!”

8 of 20

Color Polish

Forever Strong SuperStay 7day Gel

Maybelline New York


Rating: 4.2 stars, 45 reviews

What people are saying: “Love, love, love it! Beautiful colour, lasts at least one week (with a top coat) and great price!!!”

9 of 20

Color Polish

Gel Finish 7-in-1 Nail Enamel

Rating: 4.2 stars, 227 reviews

What people are saying: “Love this polish! It goes on easy and is very long-wearing. I can go 7-10 days without chipping.”

10 of 20

Color Polish

Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer

butter LONDON


Rating: 3.9 stars, 298 reviews

What people are saying: “This brand works so well for me. I have thin nails prone to breaking, and most nail polish doesn’t last well for me. This product has such good shine and wear. I am not great at manicure stuff by any means, but the polish goes on so evenly, lasts well, and looks so good that my friends think that I go to a salon to have my nails done. Worth the price when you consider what it costs to go to a salon.”

11 of 20

Color Polish

Miracle Gel Nail Polish

Rating: 4.2 stars, 1,632 reviews

What people are saying:  “This has been the only nail polish I have used for awhile, but never splurged on the second step. Decided to see if it would make my polish last longer. In the photo that I’ve uploaded, I painted my nails on Thursday and I just finished my third 12 hour shift since Friday and my polish is still mostly there. To put things into perspective, I work in a warehouse and do not wear gloves. Without the top coat, by the end of my work week my polish would be almost completely gone. Needless to say I’m impressed and I’m upset with myself for waiting so long to buy it.”

12 of 20

Color Polish

Gel Couture

Rating: 4.2 stars, 786 stars

What people are saying: “This is the first nail polish I have purchased that doesn’t instantly smudge even after 15 minutes of dry time and still looks new after a few days of wear.”

13 of 20

Color Polish

Gel Lab Pro Nail Polish

Deborah Lippmann


Rating: 4.5 stars, 106 reviews, 30k Sephora loves

What people are saying: “The brush is amazing and the consistency of the polish is perfect. I avoid doing my nails myself when applying dark colors, but the consistency of the polish and the shape of the brush made doing my own nails a breeze. The color lasts at least a week unchipped with a good top coat (I use the DL topcoat).” 

14 of 20

Color Polish

Gel Effect Nail Polish

Nails Inc.


Rating: 3.9 stars, 68 reviews, 32.2k Sephora loves

What people are saying: “New fav brand! Wears well, applies great, lasts long even if you’re always doing dishes, etc! I will buy this. Maybe 100 time more. Love it!” 

15 of 20

Color Polish

Vernis Gel Shine & Long Wear Nail Lacquer



Rating: 4.5 stars, 180 reviews

What people are saying: “I’ll rate it at a 4 for formula alone. However, 851 is such a perfect oxblood color so I give it a 5 star! It is really the star of the collection. You can feel autumn/winter-ready in moments.”

16 of 20

Color Polish

Manicure Designer Series LED Gel Nail Polish Collection

Red Carpet


Rating: 4.3 stars, 81 reviews

What people are saying: “Great color. Love Red Carpet products. Great base coat.”

17 of 20

Color Polish

Vinylux Weekly Polish

Rating: 4.2 stars, 637 reviews

What people are saying: “Can’t say enough good things about this polish!! Tip: clean nails with alcohol before applying.”

18 of 20

Top Coat

Gel Effect Top Coat

Rating: 4.1 stars, 10 reviews

What people are saying: “I painted my nails and applied this top coat and I cannot believe how shiny it made my nails. My nails are thin and this product made my nails look thicker and healthy. No light. And comes right off with nail polish remover.”

19 of 20

Top Coat

Kur Gel Genius Top Coat



Rating: 5 stars, 16 reviews

What people are saying: “A friend was so sweet to pick this up for me cause she knows my polish never lasts! My nails usually chip pretty instantly, but this stuff works. This is absolute magic. My new go-to!”

20 of 20

Top Coat

Infinite Shine ProStay Gloss Polish

Rating: 3.8 stars, 105 reviews

What people are saying: “Best top coat yet. It removes easily like a normal polish and yet it is one of the best long lasting nail polish top coats. It covers any nail polish and prevents chips. Lasts about a week without chipping with normal wear. I loved it so much I even bought one for my friend.” 

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