Ever wear a nail polish to the beach, only for it to chip every single time you move? Sure, sticking your toes into the sand feels great, but the action does a number on your pedicure—particularly if you didn't seal in your handiwork with a durable top coat. Consider swapping your go-to formula for one that mimics the effect and lifespan of a gel manicure, or even an actual gel manicure. Both are certainly more efficient (and easier on the wallet) than hitting up the salon every week, and will stay shiny long after your sunburn has faded.
Shop the longest-lasting nail colors and best DIY gel options below.
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1. Nails Inc. Gel Effect Nail Polish
The glossy shine mirrors (pun intended) the effect you'd get at a salon, though the botanical extracts infused into the formula actually help to improve the strength of your natural nails underneath.
Nails Inc. | $15
2. Butter London Patent Top & Tails Gel Flawless Set
Sandwich the nail color of your choice between this base and top coat set to instantly give it that coveted gel finish—without the intense removal process.
Butter London | $40
3. Dior Vernis Gel Shine Long Wear Nail Lacquer
Fact: every time we've worn this formula, it exceeds our expectations every time. As of right now, the two even coats on each of our digits have been going strong for over a week.
Dior | $27
4. The Gel Nail Polish by Essence
Talk about a cheap thrill—at $2 a pop, we're practically hoarding these lacquers, which glide on like a dream and dry at lightning speed.
Essence | $2
5. Red Carpet Manicure Pro 45 Starter Kit
From the insanely shiny finish that won't quit for two weeks, to the vivid colors, Red Carpet Manicure's DIY system is the closet we've found to an actual in-salon gel mani.
Red Carpet | $80
6. Sally Hansen Gel Polish Starter Kit
If waiting for your nails to dry is not your forté, consider an at-home gel kit. Since versions like Sally Hansen's are cured with an LED light, you don't have to worry about any smudges when you go to dig through your handbag.
Sally Hansen | $60
7. Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro
The unique shape of Lippmann's brush ensures her shatter-proof formula evenly covers your entire nail bed.
Deborah Lippmann | $20