As someone who used to be hopelessly devoted to a monthly gel manicure, I get the appeal of the salon treatment. I do! You don’t have to lift a finger (except when the manicurist asks you to), you don’t have to worry about what your nails look like for weeks, and the juicy signature shine is hard not to fall head over heels for.
Alas, salon-job gel manicures do come with their fair share of shortcomings. A) They’re expensive, B) there can be hassle and inconvenience with making an appointment, parking, and actually making it *on time* to your appointment, and C) they can inflict some not-so-nice damage to your tips.
Therefore, when a slew of our favorite nail polish brands began to debut their own at-home gel mani dupes with comparable shining, long-lasting results, we threw our hands up and shouted hallelujah. Yes, a salon experience can be relaxing, but in our mind, nothing beats sitting at home in front of our current Netflix binge and doing the job ourselves. Not to mention, since so many of the best gel nail polish brands only require one, two, or three steps tops and have a super-fast dry time, we can nosh on our accompanying Postmates order mere minutes post–paint job.
Tempting, no? So kick the damage and time that your salon gel manicure requires and take a look at these best-of-the-best gel nail polish brands instead. (We promise you won’t miss a thing!)