Gel nail polishes have revolutionised the UK beauty industry, and are your best option for achieving a long-lasting, salon-quality manicure at home. Their gloriously thick formula can be layered to form a tough, shiny surface over your natural nails, and unlike regular varnishes, gels actually build the appearance of size and volume on each fingernail, making them a striking addition to any glamorous outfit.
Whether you’re looking for neon hues, tonal nudes, all-white wow-factor, summer ice cream shades, or popping brights, there’s a best nail polish brands and shade for everyone!
TOP 10 Best Nail Polish Brands UK
With these thoughts fresh in your mind, you can now take a look at our selection of the top 10 best nail polish brands available to buy online in the UK this year. With a mix of UV-curing and daylight curing products, we hope we’ve found something for every taste.
1. Best Splurge: Mylee
Mylee are a reputable and well-known UK brand that specialize in UV lamps and nail gel polishes. They offer the largest variety of colours and even specialist finishes such as a disco ball, copper shine and much more.
For complete peace of mind, the brand even offer a 30 day money back guarantee with their nail gel polishes.
Other features of the Mylee MYGEL include:
- Last up to 14 days
- Over 100 gel colours available
- Completely safe and compliant with UK safety regulations
- Vegan based formula
- Cures under a UV or LED lamp
- Easy to apply and remove
- UK brand that offer a money back guarantee
As with all of the Mylee polishes, this MYGEL formula is easy to apply and provides a great finish each and every time. This particular range of gel finishes offer unique finishes but it’s also available in over 100 standard gel colours too.
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2. Best Overall: Essie
Ask anyone for the name of their favorite nail polishes and an Essie shade is bound to the top the list. I mean, it certainly says something that even Queen Elizabeth has one.
If those accolades don’t convince you, its vast shade range certainly will. In its 35 years, the brand has created more than 900 colors—250 of which are permanent, all of which are gorgeous.
Its staying power, meanwhile, will nearly always last you a week—two if you use a top coat. If manicurists swear by any brand over and over, this is it.
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For those that don’t own a UV lamp but want a professional-like finish, the Sally Hansen gel polish is the best option. It’s a two step process that works by applying a colour and then a top coat, which makes the gel cure upon the nail.
In terms of colour availability, the brand offer their gel nail polish in a total of 70 different colours.
Plus you can say goodbye to harmful UV light; this miracle gel lasts up to 14 days without exposing your hands to ultraviolet rays.
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4. Best Non-Toxic: Nails Inc Gel Effect Polish
Another nail gel polish that doesn’t require a UV lamp is the Nails Inc Gel Effect formula. It’s a vegan based formulation that combines a regenerating complex with an African resurrection plant, which provides the polish with its durability.
For the best results, it’s advised to firstly use a base coat and then follow up with 2 layers of the gel polish.
Although expensive, the Nails inc Gel Effect is a long lasting formula that is quick and easy to apply. As the formula contains a high reflection resin, it also produces a freshly painted shine finish, which is very desirable.
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5. Best Vegan: Bluesky Gel Nail Polish
Nail polish brand Bluesky is the types of gel nail polishes that are used in professional nail salons for great looking, long lasting style nails.
The Bluesky gel nail polish brand are a hard wearing, full range of gel colour nail polishes which include various textures, glitters, colour changing and classic ranges.
Bluesky gel nail polishes have become highly popular in the last few years as they can last up to 14 days without chipping or fading when applied properly.
The Bluesky Gel Nail Polish ranges need to be applied using a 35v UV nail polish lamp or LED nail lamp to cure the gel nail polish gel and get the full hard waering effect of gel nail polishes.
For optimum results it is recommended to use the Bluesky gel nails polish base coat, and also the Bluesky gel nail polish top coat alongside the Bluesky gel nail polish colour you choose.
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6. Best Neutrals: Rimmel Supergel
Want the London look? Rimmel London presents a breakthrough in gel nails: Super Gel.
The simple two step system for gel nails in the comfort of your own home. No UV lamp, no mes? No need to spend time or money in the salon for a classic French Manicure.
Apply 1-2 coats of Super Gel colour, followed by Super Gel Top Coat to activate curing. Dries like a regular nail polish without UV lamp.
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7. Best Quick-Dry Nail Polish: Sensationail Gel Nail Polish
Sensationail Gel Nail Polish is the hard gel nail polishes last longer than regular nail polish, & help prevent chipped nails, peeled nails, & damaged nail beds. A UV LED lamp is required to cure & dry the polish.
Unlike slow-drying nail lacquers & ordinary polish that chips, SensatioNail polishes are easy to apply & dry in seconds with your LED nail drying lamp.
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8. Best Long-Lasting: OPI
As one of the most popular brands in the industry, it should be no surprise that OPI ended up at the top of our list. With an extensive range of colors/textures and a superior formula that will last for nearly a week without chipping, OPI is the go-to brand for nail polish.
Available in more than 200 shades, there’s an OPI color for everyone! OPI is known for their elegant classics as well as deep, cool shades–perfect for fall and winter.
OPI’s heavily-pigmented Nail Lacquers are long-lasting and chip-resistant, with remarkable staying power providing up to seven days of wear time.
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9. BEST CUTE: Anself 23pcs Gel Nail Polish Set
DIY mani-pedi just got more fun with this 20-piece rainbow set of gel polish. Unwrapping this gel polish kit’s tropical-inspired box feels a lot like Christmas. Lined up on the white foam are the polishes, removable part by part for easy access. There’s even an instruction manual for beginners to check.
With 20 shades of glittery and glossy primary colors to choose from, you’ll never run out of options. The shades are bright and fun, and stay vibrant even after weeks of wear.
Top coats are what make nail jobs last, but they also leave a lasting impression. Choose between glossy and matte for a classy yet durable finishing touch.
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10. Best Reds: CND
If you’re short on time, this gel-effect polish has a built-in base coat so will save you a few precious minutes. Gel-effect means it’s chip-free and longer-lasting than a standard polish and this one benefits from the brand’s “Pro-light Technology”, which hardens when it’s exposed to natural light.
Two thin coats is plenty – but you’ll need to use the brand’s corresponding top coat for the product to fulfil its promise of a week’s worth of perfect nails.
It comes in a wide range of colours, although not as extensive as some, but we can only hope that CND is working on this to make it the perfect all-rounder.
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How to Choose a Nail Polish in the UK – Buying Guide
Different Effects Suit Different Occasions
One of the first things to think about when picking a nail varnish is the finished effect you’re looking for. This can depend on your personal taste and style, but also the particular look you’re going for at a certain event or celebration.
Brush Type Makes a Big Difference
A vital but often overlooked factor in choosing a nail varnish is the width of the application brush. Polishes tend either to have wide, soft brushes or thin, fine ones. The advantage of a wider brush is that you can sweep colour across your nail in just one or two strokes. This makes it much easier to avoid lumps, bubbles and streaks.
Consider How Long Wearing You Want Your Polish to Be
Take a moment to consider how long you want your nail varnish to stay on your fingernails and how much effort you’re willing to go to in order for colours to last. Many polishes claim to be ‘long-lasting’ and if applied properly (with a base coat, three layers of colour and a top coat) they will definitely stay fabulous for days on end, or even up a couple of weeks.
Lighter Polishes Are Easier To Remove But Tend to Chip Quickly
If you’re the kind of person who loves to paint their nails a different colour for every outfit or occasion, lighter, easily-removed nail polishes are the perfect pick for you. They glide on easily, look great for a night or two and can be swept spotlessly away with a drop of polish remover in moments.
In Terms Of Ingredients
Consider the possible benefits of silicone, which is added to make nail varnish glide onto nails more smoothly. Additionally, specially-formulated polymers may allow the polish to harden to an extra-thick, durable layer meaning your nails won’t chip as easily and should stay fresh-looking.