Best Gel Nail Polish 2020: Top Drugstore Brands Reviews

By A Mystery Man Writer
16Jun2024

This is EXACTLY when we started to see chips.
Want long-wear color and shine without a trip to the salon? Here are the best at-home gel nail polishes to try.
Day 3

By day 3, the polish had not moved — score! The shine dulled a little, but no chips, yet.
Day 7

By day six, I had a tiny chip or two. The polish had receded slightly from the tips — but it still looked darn good. By day seven, I had a few more chips at the fingertips, but nothing that would make me remove the polish. I kept wearing this polish for a few days after, so 10 days in total. And it was easy to remove. I would definitely use this polish again; I may even take it into a salon to see how long they can make it last. A+!
Day 1

As soon as I opened Sally Hansen's Miracle Gel Polish, I had a hunch I'd love it. The brush is super-wide, meaning it can coat my entire nail in one or two strokes. The formula is opaque and never left streaks. After applying two coats of the polish, I followed up with the brand's top coat which made my manicure super shiny.
Day 3

By day three I was surprised that the polish was still in perfect condition on my nails. I am very hard on my hands and this withstood a few hours of guitar playing (a hobby that usually wrecks any manicure).
Day 7

The polish continued to impress me for days after that and remained flawless for six days before I finally noticed a tiny chip on my index finger on day seven. At this point, I resolved to take off my polish (which was easy and swift) and start fresh, but I could have rocked it for another day or two if I wasn't picky.

All in all, I was really impressed by the quality of this polish. Sure, it didn't last two full weeks, but it sure-as-hell put the rest of the long-wear polishes I've used to shame.
Day 1

On first impression, the polish applied very easily, but the applicator isn’t my favorite. Personally, I’m a fan of larger brushes because I like being able to cover my entire nail in one swoop.

That being said, I loved the formula, which wasn’t too goopy or thick. It was easy to spread out for an opaque, thin coat. I followed up with another layer of the color and the top coat. I’m incredibly impressed with how quickly it dried. For clumsy people like me, this is incredibly helpful. I can’t count how many times I’ve painted my nails and then somehow managed to mess them up 10 minutes later.
Day 3

The polish wore perfectly for three days. But on the third day, I noticed my first tiny chip. I have to be completely transparent: I’m really hard on my nails, and I have a feeling the combination of washing my hair and aggressively typing lead to the downfall of my manicure.
Day 6

After 6 days, I had more chips on the sides and tips of my nails. From a distance it didn’t look too bad, but I personally couldn’t stand it so I removed the polish with regular remover.

While I might not wear this on a 2-week vacation, this polish is great for a big event or night out when you need a quick-drying formula that will look flawless. And the shade range is killer.
Day 1

As a chronic nail biter, polishes tend to have a short lifespan on my fingers. So when I heard that Essie was releasing an at-home gel polish, meant to last longer on the nails without the hassle of hitting up a salon, I was intrigued.

The polish itself was really easy to apply, and the color was a stunning true red. Applying the gel top coat was really simple, too, and only took an extra minute or two. Once the polish had dried, I was really impressed with how shiny and 'well done' the mani looked, despite my novice skill level with painting my own nails.
Day 3

Over the next few days, it totally stayed put on my nails, and didn't peel or chip off in chunks like polish usually does on me. The shiny top layer left by the gel top coat also stayed put, which made it look like I'd just had them done, even after it had been a few days.
Day 7

At the one week mark, there was a tiny bit of wear and tear on the edges of my nails, but nowhere near what my nails usually look like after seven days. Overall, I was very impressed with the longevity of the mani, and it definitely helped me curtail my nail-biting tendencies, which is an added bonus!

The polish came off easily — though I admittedly bit some of it off. (I know, I know)
Day 3

After three days, my nails still looked great. Plus, I got a lot of compliments and there was zero chipping. They weren't quite as glossy as they were on day one, but they were holding up.
Day 7
Days later, my nails still look great! If you get super close, you can see a few little cracks in the polish, but it's nothing too noticeable. At this point, they're starting to look dull compared to how glossy and vibrant they looked on day one, but they look perfect to most people — and isn't that what really counts? Verdict: Worth it.

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