11 Gorgeous Ways to Get a Gel Mani Look for Less
If you work the 9 to 5 grind, you know all too well that midday mani touch-ups aren’t in the books — you want something that is going to work all week long. While gel manicures are all the rage these days, not everyone can afford the expense of salon-perfect manis. If you don’t want to go the gel route but yearn for high-shine, chip-free tips, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are 11 tough, long-lasting polishes to rock the next time #manimonday rolls around!
1. Nail Polish Strips ($9): When your traditional manicure has grown stale, nail polish strips are a quick and easy fix. Simply apply the nail wraps (no drying time here) and voila! Nail art has never been so easy. (Photo via Refinery29)
2. The Formula X System ($32): Though not the cheapest option, this four-step system brought to you by Formula X is as fancy as they come (without having to pay a visit to the nail salon). Once you’ve invested in the nail cleanser, base coat and top coat, there are over 200 out-of-this-world shades to choose from for your main color. (Photo via A Clothes Call)
3. Salon Pro Nail Color ($3 each): No need to splurge on that perfect mani when you have Rimmel Salon Pro at your disposal. For 10 days of chip-resistant nails, a precision nail brush and colors curated by Kate Moss, you’d be crazy not to try them all!
4. Miracle Gel in “Tidal Wave” ($10): Sally Hansen’s new two-step miracle gel and top coat ($10) is a game changer! With over 45 summer-ready shades to choose from, you’ll be flaunting a flawless mani that lasts up to 14 days. No UV/LED light required.
5. A Different Nail Enamel in “Yellow Genius” ($13): For a fresh, clean palette of summer hues, Clinique’s line of nail lacquers are durable and suitable for all skin types. For extra protection, a base and top coat ($13) will maximize the sheen and longevity of your mani.
6. Vinylux Polish Reinvented in “Lilac Longing” ($10): Thanks to this weekly polish and top coat ($7), you can finally say goodbye to those pesky mid-week chips! Foregoing the traditional base coat, this lacquer actually becomes more durable when exposed to natural light.
7. Extraordinaire Gel-Lacquer in “Don’t Shy Away” ($8): Long-lasting, super glossy nails can be achieved in three simple steps! This gel primer and glaze ($13) will get you a professional mani that lasts up to 14 days.
8. Gel Effect Nail Polish in “Soho Place” ($14): The ever-popular at-home mani just got a lot easier with this gel effect polish, which utilizes revolutionary plasticizer technology. For extra good measure, their caviar base coat and top coat ($11) provides a flawless application with high-pigmented color that doesn’t fade.
9. Colorstay Gel Envy Nail Enamel in “Pocket Aces” ($7): All of your friends will be envious of the faux-gel mani that you achieved with this all-in-one base + color + protective Colorstay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat ($8). Available in an assortment of pretty jewel tones, get ready for a mani that will outshine them all.
10. City Flourish Nail Lacquer in “At Vase Value” ($8): China Glaze’s tried-and-true nail hardening lacquers continue to be a fan favorite. Available in some of the most rad shades, this polish has a unique balance of polymers and resins that, when coupled with the no-chip top coat ($9), creates a chip-resistant mani that’s pretty hard to beat.
11. Dior Gel Top Coat ($25): The jury is out on this one, if you believe half of the reviews, this stuff rocks, if you believe the other half, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be for 25 bucks. We’re admittedly seduced by the brand name on the bottle and might stop by our nearest Nordstrom to test it out! (Photo via A Beautiful Mess)
Will you replace your gel mani with one of these more affordable alternatives? Let us know in the comments below or Tweet us a pic of your at-home mani!