Sometimes it’s nice to get the look and lasting power of a gel manicure without going through the entire, often long process. There’s a bunch of top coats that act as gel, and now, there are a ton of beauty product brands that are offering gel nail polish without light requirements. This is wonderful for many reasons: more options, great for those on a tighter budget, great for those who want a gel look but like to easily change up their polish color more often, and perfect for those who want all the benefits of gel nail polish without UV light.
The polishes on the list are some of the best gel-like nail polish available at the moment. None of these are true gels, so you’re definitely not going to get a wear that lasts as long as a real gel manicure, however all of these polishes will certainly last longer than your standard polish. The lasting power will vary depending on how hard you are on your hands and your own personal nail chemistry. Best of all, they all come off easily with standard polish removers and no soaking.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel
The newest addition to the growing list of gel polish without uv light is Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel. You may have noticed displays for this polish just starting to show up at various drugstores. There are 47 shades, making this one of the biggest collections of no lamp gels. Miracle Gel promises 2 weeks of wear. Doing a manicure with this one is really easy. You just put two coats of color and then top it off with the miracle gel top coat. When you’re ready to remove it, just grab whatever polish remover you normally use.
The downside for this polish is that the dry time is a little lengthy and the price isn’t the cheapest. These are currently retailing about 10 dollars a pop, and it could be more depending on where you live. >>Buy it here<<
Nails Inc Gel Effect
The Gel Effect Polish from Nails Inc is the priciest option on this list and they only offer 12 colors. However, these look freaking amazing on the nails. It gives your nails a super glossy, “plump” look that you get from gel nails, without uv light. That sounds weird, but it’s actually really lovely. It takes about 3 coats to get an opaque finish, but you won’t need a top coat to seal it in. You should get about 10 days of wear from it, with minimal damage to the tips. Eventually the shine will begin to go away as well. These are available at Sephora, so if you have one nearby, you can try one for yourself and decide if it’s worth the investment. >>Buy it here<<
For lovers of Shellac, CND has a no lamp gel-like polish that should last at least 7 days. It comes in a whopping 76 shades, all of which should be fully dry in about 8-10 minutes. The brush is nicely shaped and the polish flows on fluidly. To apply it, you just add two coats of color and then 1 coat of the Vinylux top coat. The polish can be worn without a base coat because the polish itself is supposed to adhere to the nail. If your nails are really damaged and uneven, you could, of course, wear a ridge filling base coat, but it’s not necessary. This polish boasts “pro-light technology” which is pretty much fancy marketing lingo that means resistance to chipping and damage is increased when it’s exposed to natural light. So you’ll have a gel manicure without uv light from a lamp. >>Buy it here<<
Layla Gel Effect
Layla offers 12 shades of polishes that are supposed to mimic the wear of gel nail polish, no uv light needed. With Gel Effect you get a brightness and luster that is long lasting without a base coat, because the polish itself acts as a ridge filler, and no top coat. If you want, you can add your favorite top coat to enhance the wear, but it’s really glossy even without one. This no light gel polish is incredibly fast drying. You should be good to go in about 3 minutes. Wear time is about a week with only minor chip wear. >>Buy it here<<
L’oreal Extraordinaire Gel Lacquer
L’oreal’s uv free gel nail polish is a 3 step system with 21 colors. Apply The gel primer for a smooth and flawless surface. Then apply the color for a manicure that will make your nails appear visibly thicker. Finally apply the gel glaze to add an incredible shine. This no led light gel polish probably has the shortest life on this list, but it looks really pretty. Some users have said they were only able to get about 4 days of wear before getting any chips while others have claimed to get 7 days. As usual, it really depends on each individual. >>Buy it here<<
Avon Gel Finish
Did you guys know that Avon is cool now? They have a no light gel nail polish that will let you skip the lamp and still get a gel-like finish. The polish is a base coat, color, and top coat all in one, and each of the polishes are only 7 bucks a piece, which I personally think is a steal. There are 18 colors and each is highly pigmented. The formula is very smooth and just glides right over the nails, and it dries in just a couple of minutes. With this polish you shouldn’t see any tip wear or dulling of the shine until around 7 days. That’s not bad for something that costs less than a bottle of Essie. >>Buy it here<<
Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy
Revlon’s new Gel Envy line is replacing the original Colorstay Longwear nail polish line, so if you are in love with these polishes, now is the time to grab every one that you see before they’re gone. The new Gel Envy line has 30 shades so that you can do gel nail polish at home without uv light, and they’re all stinkin’ beautiful. Seriously, check out those colors. They’re very nice. The whole system is easy to do. Just apply the color, which is the base as well, and then finish it up with the diamond top coat. The applicator is a lot thicker than than some other Revlon brushes, so you’ll be able to cover the entire nail quickly. This polish will give you a bright, chip resistant manicure that lasts 8 days. When it’s ready to be removed, you won’t be left with any staining. >>Buy it here<<