Is there a gel nail polish that doesn’t need UV light? Yes, and it offers the same glossy shine as regular gel polish.
The best no-light gel polish cures without using a nail lamp. Plus, it lasts for a week or longer without chipping.
Today, we’re going to review gel nail polish that dries quickly without UV light.
Table of Contents
- How long does it take for no-light gel polish to dry?
- Tips for the perfect home manicure and pedicure using gel nail polish without UV light
- Secrets from the experts for a perfect finish on no-light gel polish
- How to choose the best color of no-light gel polish
- Best No-Light Gel Polish in 2021
- butter LONDON Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer
- Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish
- Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Shiny Top Coat
- essie Gel Couture 2-Step Longwear Nail Polish
- essie Gel Couture Platinum-Grade Finish Top Coat
- OPI Nail Polish Base Coat
- OPI Nail Polish, Nail Lacquer
- OPI Nail Polish Top Coat
- Adesse New York Organic Infused Gel Effect Nail Polish
- Eternal Gel Nail Polish Kit
- CND Vinylux Long Wear Nail Polish
- Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish Gel Lab Pro
- COVERGIRL Xl Nail Gel
- L’Oreal Paris Extraordinaire Gel-Lacque 1-2-3 Nail Color
- Maybelline Super Stay Gel Nail Color
- Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Polish
- Revlon ColorStay Longwear Nail Enamel Diamond Envy Top Coat
- Tbestmax Professional Nail Art Liner Brushes
How long does it take for no-light gel polish to dry?
This type of gel-look polish dries all by itself. It doesn’t require a nail lamp or a dryer.
The only thing you have to do is show a little patience. Depending on the brand, it may take anywhere from 2 minutes to 15 minutes to cure.
Then, you can enjoy the trendy glass-like shine for a week or more. That’s because this type of gel polish is durable enough to stand up to daily wear.
Tips for the perfect home manicure and pedicure using gel nail polish without UV light
Round up the nail clippers, emery board, cuticle pusher, nail polish remover, and cotton pads. It’s also nice to have hand lotion for afterward.
No-light gel polish usually requires a top coat and base coat, which is the colorful layer. So, gather up your polish and nail art ingredients, too. Now, let’s start the manicure or pedicure.
- Begin by washing your hands or feet. Use the polish remover to take off any remaining polish. (Even if you weren’t wearing any, it helps to swipe the acetone across the nails to make sure they are oil-free).
- Then, trim and shape the nails. It helps if you soak your hands for a few minutes in warm water first. Remove or push back overgrown cuticles. Oval or squoval -shaped nails are more resistant to chipping. Moreover, emery boards and crystal nail files are gentler and less likely to cause splintering (1).
- Make sure you’ve cleaned off remnants of polish and dust from filing. You can use a little acetone on a cotton swab for this part.
- Shake your polish or stir it, then apply the base coat. Two layers should be enough. Let each coat dry before you do the next. If you’re new to manicures, here is a hint: mistakes are less visible when you use light colors.
- Finally, it’s time for the top coat for extra gloss and durability. Once every nail is dry, apply moisturizer, and you’re done.
Secrets from the experts for a perfect finish on no-light gel polish
It’s difficult to get that flawless border around the nail, isn’t it? It’s all too easy to get polish on the cuticles. But if you get a very fine tip brush, dip it in acetone, and outline your nail first, you’ll never have that problem again. Your manicure will have a salon-quality look.
Next, when you dip the brush into the nail polish, pull it out while wiping one side clean across the neck. Let the bristles fan out and tap off the excess polish. Then, brush along the center of the nail from the cuticle to the end. Do the same for either side. Let that coat dry, then repeat the process.
You can avoid bubbles in the finish by using acetone to remove any oil from the nails first. Also, never use a hairdryer to dry your nails faster as the heat will slow down the dry time, and the airflow may cause bubbles.
If you end up with a chip in a few days, hit the spot with a little bit of acetone and smooth the polish. Then, touch it up with more polish or top coat.
Lastly, if you’re right-handed, you can appreciate the difficulty of applying polish with your left hand. But if you lay your right hand on the table and rotate it while you work on it, it’s a little easier.
How to choose the best color of no-light gel polish
You’ll need to know your natural skin undertone to choose flattering shades of polish. If you have a bluish undertone, go with cherry red, fuchsia, pinkish nudes, or violet.
Alternatively, if you have an olive undertone, your hands will look gorgeous with coral, chocolate, beige, or white.
Would you like to know an easy way to test a shade? Put scotch tape across your nail and apply the polish.
Best No-Light Gel Polish in 2021
butter LONDON Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer
Let’s begin with butter London as it’s one of the safest nail polishes available. Even though it’s free of harsh ingredients, it offers up to 10-day wear. It’s also extra glossy. Your friends will likely think you went to the salon to do your nails when you use it.
The cushioned finish looks just like UV-light cured gel polish. It’s smooth, strong, and fade-resistant.
This is one of the best polishes for pregnant women and those with sensitive skin and allergies. It’s 10-free, which means it does not contain formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, camphor, xylene, gluten, parabens, TPHP, and other nasty ingredients.
Instead, it has Shock Resistant Polymer Technology enhanced by diamond powder. It strengthens the nails with bamboo and access sunscreen by absorbing UV without fading.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish
When you use Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polish, you’ll need color and top coat. There is a wide variety of shades available, from nudes to holiday fun. Plus, the colors are pigmented enough that one coat may be enough.
It’s considered a two-step gel hybrid as it requires no UV light to cure. But it’s chip-resistant and still easy to apply and remove. The finish lasts up to eight days.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Shiny Top Coat
Here’s the top coat that adds extra shine to the cushiony Miracle Gel. It ensures that your manicure lasts the full eight days or more.
essie Gel Couture 2-Step Longwear Nail Polish
Essie is a popular polish brand that’s been in the nail business for almost four decades. It offers a two-step system: brush on two coats of color, then cover with top coat. The patented swirl stem brush helps follow the curves, and it simplifies applying the polish.
The 100-plus shades range from classic colors to the latest trends. But what’s even more attractive is that the polish lasts up to two weeks.
essie Gel Couture Platinum-Grade Finish Top Coat
Here’s the clear top coat that seals in the color and intensifies the shine. Plan on sitting still for about 15 minutes while everything dries properly. Trust me, it’s worth it for the gorgeous glossy finish.
OPI Nail Polish Base Coat
OPI is an award-winning American brand that’s used by salons as well as people at home.
But there’s a catch. This is a three-coat process that takes longer than some other no-light gel polishes.
It requires the base coat, color, and top coat. But together, they create a long-lasting manicure that won’t fade or chip. It also won’t stain or yellow your natural nails.
OPI Nail Polish, Nail Lacquer
Choose from more than 200 attractive shades, including glitter, pastel, and pearlescent. Brush on two coats of color and then proceed to the quick-drying top coat below.
OPI Nail Polish Top Coat
The transparent top coat adds a diamond -like finish to OPI’s color coat. Once it cures, it maintains a high-gloss shine for a week of wear. It prevents smudging, chipping, and scratches.
Adesse New York Organic Infused Gel Effect Nail Polish
Animal-lovers look for brands like this one. This nail polish is certified by PETA and Leaping Bunny to be vegan and cruelty-free. It’s made in the USA with premium ingredients like organic pigments, minerals, and essential oil.
Moreover, the polish is designed to strengthen natural nails with organic bamboo and omega fatty acids. The omega comes from natural argan oil and shea.
I’m also happy to report that it’s 12-free. It doesn’t contain toluene, xylene, formaldehyde, and several other toxins common to other polishes. There’s no strong odor, either.
That all sounds good, right? But is it going to give you a decent manicure? Yes, because it seems like it melts over the nails. The polish fills in ridges for a flawless, glossy finish.
For best results, shake the bottle before using it.
Eternal Gel Nail Polish Kit
Eternal’s polish dries to a mirror shine. It holds up well for days on end but soaks off with regular nail polish remover.
It conveniently comes in a two-pack that includes the color and the top coat.
Users say that it takes about 10 minutes to complete the manicure as the polish dries quickly.
CND Vinylux Long Wear Nail Polish
You might be familiar with CND’s Shellac that requires UV light to cure. The Vinylux is the new gel-look polish that hardens with exposure to natural light and air.
Conveniently, the color names are the same between Shellac and Vinylux polishes. If you had a favorite shade, you could easily find it in the new polish lineup. You can also use one to touch up the other.
Vinylux is designed for seven-day wear without chipping or fading. It features a patent-pending technology that grows stronger when exposed to daylight. There’s no need for a base coat. Just apply color and top coat.
When it’s time to do a new manicure, it’s straightforward to remove with nail polish remover. You don’t even need acetone.
Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish Gel Lab Pro
Have you heard of the celebrity manicurist who has worked with Lady Gaga, Scarlett Johansson, and Kim Kardashian? This is the brand she developed. Her name is Deborah Lippmann, and her nail polish has won awards from places like Allure Magazine.
This stunning polish requires no lamp and no special tools to apply. It will not damage natural nails, either. The brand markets itself as “the healthy alternative to gel polish.” They are 7-free and non-toxic.
A manicure done with color coat and top coat will last for a week or more.
COVERGIRL Xl Nail Gel
This inexpensive brand provides excellent value for the money. Covergirl’s air-dry gel polish can last for eight days or more without chipping. One reviewer says her pedicure lasted for three weeks.
The plump, shiny finish is available in a wide variety of shades.
L’Oreal Paris Extraordinaire Gel-Lacque 1-2-3 Nail Color
L’Oreal’s three-step gel-look polish is surprisingly resilient. It mimics the gloss and strength of a salon gel manicure.
First, apply the primer to prepare the surface by smoothing imperfections. Second, brush on the color, and the nails already look thicker. Third, put on the glaze top coat for a mirror shine.
Maybelline Super Stay Gel Nail Color
Maybelline’s no-light gel polish is fortified with vitamin B5 and minerals to strengthen the nails. It lasts at least a week when you use top coat over the color. Users say it dries impressively fast.
Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Polish
Revlon tries to go head-to-head with Maybelline, but some reviewers say it falls short. The light shades require three coats to go opaque. Worse, the polish is thin and runny. It doesn’t seem to last for the whole week.
If you decide to give it a try, it comes in 46 shades. It’s also infused with plant oils and shea butter to keep nails healthy.
Revlon ColorStay Longwear Nail Enamel Diamond Envy Top Coat
Be sure to seal the color coat with this transparent top coat. It’s chip-resistant and extra shiny. Plus, it’s straightforward to apply with the wide-angle brush.
Tbestmax Professional Nail Art Liner Brushes
In the expert tips at the beginning of the article, I mentioned using an extra-fine brush to ensure salon-like perfection. Here’s a set of three brushes to help you achieve that goal. They are also suitable for nail art.
I’m pleased you browsed our top picks for no-light gel polish. They are the healthy option as they require no UV lamp to dry. They are also less expensive since you don’t need to buy a light for home manicures.
If you’re skeptical that you can get a salon-quality manicure with this type of polish, I recommend that you try it. I suspect that you’ll be pleased with the durable, cushiony, glossy finish.
1. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/ss/slideshow-manicure-guide Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on February 28, 2019, accessed November 6, 2020