If you love painting your nails, chances are that you too (like us) yearn for that perfect salon finish manicure. And what are perfect manicures without remarkable nail enhancements really? Nail extensions are of three kinds – gel, acrylic, and fiberglass.
An amateur or a professional – you will agree to the fact that hard gels – the most common type of gel used for extensions – offer the finest of nail extensions.
The best hard gel nails are more durable than the other types, have a natural look with a glossy finish, are more flexible, cure faster, and when primed correctly, will not cause any damage on the nail bed.
In other words, the hard gel is the strongest form of gel nails out there. When you first dabble with nail enhancements such as hard gels, there is often the fear of damaging your nails with all the chemicals and strengthened hard extensions.
While some inexpensive products might be made from cheap ingredients but there are a multitude of options available that have organic ingredients and will not harm your nails. The key is good products and tools, quality experience in faultless application, and careful removal.
Also, there is always the importance of moderation involved – that you should take breaks between your gel enhancements to let your nails rest and grow. It is always in your best interest to follow your trusted nail professional’s advice.
But with a plethora of options available in the market, it becomes difficult to figure which genuine product would suit you the best. But worry no more! To help you pick your hard gel correctly, we have curated the following list of top products. Get ready to flaunt the flawless set of nails in town!
Best Hard Gel Nails – Buying Guide
There are a lot of factors that you should keep in mind before buying a hard gel overlay. There are a lot of gel extensions available in the market nowadays. To find the best overlay for natural nails you should look for the following factors:
Factors To Look For When Buying Hard Gel Nail Extensions
If you have an active lifestyle and do a lot of work, then you should choose hard gel nail extensions of superior quality. High-quality gel nail extensions will be able to withstand a lot of external factors. For example, if you work with water a lot, or if you work with chemicals, high-quality nail extensions will withstand those. They will last longer and give your nails a pretty look.
A more flexible hard gel overlay can withstand more amount of wear and tear. They do not chip easily. They do not smudge too. While a tougher gel extension can not withstand too much pressure and damage. It is prone to chipping due to its toughness. While the more flexible gel extensions can withstand damage due to its flexibility, and that is why it does not chip easily.
Gel nail extensions are notorious for their difficult application process. If not applied in a proper manner they will stay for a shorter amount of time on your nails. They will also become prone to chipping. Improper application can also make the surface of the nails uneven and it will take a lot of effort to file them. So choose a gel nail extension that is easy to apply. It will be better if the gel extensions are easy to remove too. It will save you the trouble of going to the salon just to take the nails off.
the process of applying gel nail extensions is very time taking and requires a lot of focus. So you may want to consider the lifetime of the gel extension that you are buying. Nobody wants to spend time and effort into giving themselves a manicure every week. Most products in the market last for at least two weeks. However, it will be better if you can buy a product that lasts longer than that, say 3-4 weeks. You will not have to keep applying it every other week then.
Many gel nail extensions use toxic products in their ingredient list. While it may lower the price, it is not good for the health of your nails in the long run. It can damage your nails severely. It can destroy the texture and shine of your natural nails. After damage, your nails can take up to 6 months to heal completely. That is why it is so important to invest in a high-quality and healthy gel nail extension. Look for a product that is free of the top 5 most common toxic substances used in gel nails. Such products are labeled as “Top 5 free.”
Low curing time
A gel nail extension that takes a long time to cure will increase the total time of the application process. So look for a product that can cure fast under a UV or an LED lamp. Some products can cure as quickly as 30 seconds between each layer.
Best Hard Gel Nails Reviews
- This IBD UV builder gel is an amazingly clear gel that will provide a high gloss shine to your nails.
- Its transparency provides outstanding luster that will remain intact for a very long time and is very durable.
- If you cannot stand the smell of acrylic nails while building out your nails, this gel is a great choice as it is odorless i.e. it does not have any strong smell.
- Made with special self-leveling, high flow formula; its application becomes very easy to achieve that smooth finish you will love to sport.
- Specially formulated for nail extensions, tip overlays, and sculpting, this stylist-approved product is suitable for both, salon and home use.
- This builder gel is perfect for first time users as the spread is nice and smooth, and does not require effort for leveling.
- One of the best hard gel nails, it can cover multiple sets so you can actually use it frequently, without worrying for your pocket for more than a couple of weeks!
- If you fear the use of strong chemicals on your nails then Makartt Poly nail builder gel is your pick. The ingredients are 100% organic so you can remain sure about not damaging your nails at all.
- Makartt’s extension gel not only offers high sturdiness but also more flexibility than other nail extension products.
- With proper nail care like filing, buffering, and cleaning, these will last for up to more than a month!
- For an even enduring life-term, you may use Makartt’s nail dehydrator and primer along with this.
- To avoid the gel sticking to your brushes or tools, you can use a slip solution or a 70% isopropyl alcohol.
- Multiple application techniques make it one of the best hard gel nails available in the market. You can apply the poly gel with dual forms, with nail forms, or as an overlay.
- You may also use a nail paint remover or alcohol instead of slip solution to pick and form this extension gel easily.
- The wonderfully natural pink shade helps your nails look beautiful in any choice of your shape.
- For removal, carefully file and buffer the poly gel down by hand or use a nail drill machine instead.
- This Gershion Acrylic Poly Nail Gel is a professional alternative to both gel and acrylic.
- The AcryGel’s consistency isn’t runny. Hence, you could suitably control the flow and set it into shape without rushing against the clock.
- After forming the extensions, the curing time is around 30 to 60 seconds for an LED lamp and 2 minutes for a UV lamp.
- These nail extensions are flexible yet stronger and better yet, lighter on your nails when you wear them.
- These could as well be your best hard gel nails purchase as with proper filing, buffering, and cleaning, they will last up to more than a month!
- You may use a nail dehydrator along with a primer to strengthen the adhesion more and extend its lifetime.
- When your nails grow, the gap between the extension and the new cuticle can also be simply filled in about every two weeks.
- You can use this product with dual forms, nail forms, or use it as a gel paste drill to give you the flawlessly natural looking, pretty, and glossy appearance which you will love.
- It is no wonder that this amazing OPI 3-in-1 start to finish nail treatment made it on to our list of best hard gel nails.
- This compact complete pack includes a base coat, top coat, and strengthener to provide protection to the nail plate while strengthening the adhesion, prevents yellowing of your nails, and seals the enhancement in the shape you give.
- It only needs two coats and you will find your nails in the ultra shiny, attractive natural look that you will fall in love with.
- Its compactness makes it ideal for travel use as well.
- OPI has been awarded by the Sunday Times Style Beauty Awards in 2015! What more reasons do you need?!
- Young Nails lets you bring your salon home for those impeccably finished set of nails we all want.
- This little Protein Bond bottle is an adhesive that not only anchors your acrylic or gel extension to the nail bed but also acts a primer.
- Its special acid-free formulation makes it corrosive-free and bonds with the keratin between your natural nail and enhancements. This makes your natural nails stronger and does not harm them.
- Always clean the nail surface before application to ensure maximum adhesion.
- Two coats of this long-lasting bond will keep your enhancements from lifting for sure!
- Use with Young Nails Acrylic System to get the best hard gel nails.
- Gellen’s range of poly nail extension gel is great for DIY manicures at home.
- This product package is a set of four different colors – pearl, soft pink, clear, and violet – that help you create your own natural looking nail art.
- Since these builder gels dry relatively quickly, the curing time for these is only 30 to 60 seconds under an LED light, and two minutes under a UV light.
- Its application will not make your nails feel heavy. Yet, despite the lightness, it forms stronger nails than acrylic nails.
- It is convenient to use and with proper care, can last about for 1 month straight.
- This product comes with a detailed instruction manual, making it easy for even first timers to get their beautiful nail extension without any difficulty, giving them the best hard gel nails ever!
- It is recommended to not over-work the gel to avoid air bubbles getting trapped, and even to use enough gel over your nail plate to avoid shrinkage during cure.
- It is a long-lasting nail extension gel. Customers have reported that it can last for four weeks without lifting.
- It has a low curing time. You can use any LED lamp or UV lamp to cure this nail gel.
- Gelish nail enhancement gel is easy to use. You do not have to be a professional or go to a professional salon to apply it. Anyone can apply it at home and cure it with the help of a UV or LED lamp.
- You can get natural looking nails with this nail extension gel. They provide you with stronger nails without making it too thick.
- This PolyGel enhancer does not lift as easily as acrylic nails. It is also more durable than gel nails.
- You can easily file and infill it at home by yourself.
- It does not contain harmful chemicals like monomers. It is free of the seven most common harmful ingredients that are used in other nail extension gels.
- It provides a fast application and unlimited playtime. Most customers give this product a satisfactory review.
- This nail extension gel by Orly is the easiest way to add strength and length to your nails.
- It will give you crystal clear gel nails. They will work perfectly for the base as a blank canvas. You can then apply any color of your choice on these clear gel nails, or you can go for detailed nail art.
- You can cure it in no time under any UV or LED lamp. It has a fast curing time of only 30 seconds for each coat.
- It is easy to apply by yourself and feels lightweight on the fingers. You can use it on your nails without any overlay.
- This gel nail extension is an affordable option. It costs lesser than its other competitors in the market but works as well as others.
- It comes in a bottle that has its own applicator. You do not need to have a set of brushes to apply this nail gel. The storage bottle is very functional and provides easy storage and application.
- You do not need separate pots and brushes to apply it. This gel has a brush-on application. It saves you from creating a sticky mess.
- This gel has superior self-leveling quality. It will give you an effortless application. The consistency of the gel is easy to control too.
- You do not need to do a lot of filling and leveling with the advanced formula of this gel nail extension. It will significantly minimize the heat spikes that your nails have to go through.
- It will provide your nail strength while maintaining flexibility. It is a perfect balance of soft gel and hard gel. It does not cause cracking and breaking that can be painful and damaging for the nails.
- This gel nail enhancement kit will allow you to get salon-quality nails at home. You can save a lot of time and money by applying this nail extension gel at home.
- It comes in six shades. You can create a perfect french manicure with these shades. You can choose from Clear, Rose Gold, Flame, Dusty Rose, Berrylicious, and Cherry color shades.
- It has quick building properties. You can build beautiful nails with the builder gel in under 3 minutes.
- It can last up to a month with proper application. For people with a busy lifestyle too, this gel extension can last for at least two weeks.
- The ingredients of this product are free of any kind of toxins. It will not do any damage to your nails or harm it in any other way.
- The formula of the gel is free of odor. It can be cured with either a UV lamp or an LED lamp. The curing time depends on the thickness of the application.
- You can achieve a natural look for your nails with this gel nail extension by Beetles. It will also preserve the health of your nails.
- You can use it on its own to build a natural-looking nail extension or use it as a base for making pretty nail art.
- It is easy to remove. You just need to file it down and buffer it.
It is important to understand that branded gel systems are designed to work perfectly together. Therefore, for best results, one should avoid mixing products from multiple manufacturers. There are a few things that most expert nail professionals recommend:
- Application of hard gel is suggested with a high-quality synthetic or natural-hair brush that has a littler, steadier brush head. This will give you maximum gel control.
- What lamps you use for which product is also of significance. More often than not follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for curing times, and changing bulbs regularly will give you the best results.
Hard gels make your life easy by providing you with not only one-step application but also a great option for people who may have lifting problems with acrylic. The most loved qualities of hard gel are self-leveling and are easy to manipulate, and the fact that you can form your extensions with gel until you are really happy with what you see, and then cure it.
Finally, remember that for most times, natural nail damage does not occur from the use of hard gels. Instead, it is the improper removal that hits the nail. Refrain from over-filing or prying off gels to avoid severe damage to the nail plate. If appropriate care is taken, your nails will reciprocate the love with them being naturally healthy, so you can flaunt them anywhere, anytime. Happy manicuring!
Also, take a look at the Best Gel Nail Polish Brands reviewed.
How long do hard gel nail extensions last?
Hard gel nail extensions can last between two to four weeks easily. If you work a lot, they will wear out early. But in that case, too, they will last for at least 15 days. If you have a relatively relaxed lifestyle, they can stay for quite long. After a month, you get a worn-out look, and then you have to remove them.
Which are the best gel nail extensions at home?
- IBD Clear Gel
- Makartt Nail Extension Gel
- Gershion Extension Nail Gel
- OPI Natural Nail
- Young Nails Protein Bond
- Gellen Professional Extension
These are some of the best gel nail extensions at home. These brands are well known for their gel formula and other product for beautiful nails. They all last for a long time.
How to get natural looking gel nails?
Gel nails have a wide variety of natural colors that you can choose from. A good gel manicure will transform your nails into well treated and well-groomed natural looking gel nails.The best brands to achieve a natural nail look are as follows:
- Sally Hansen
- China Glaze
- CND Shellac
- Red Carpet Manicure
Is IBD hard gel good?
IBD hard gel is one of the best gel nail extensions available in the market. It has many features that make it so good. This nail gel has a thick viscosity that makes them self-leveling. IBD hard gel does not contain any odor. It can cure in just 3 minutes. It will give your nails a glossy finish and natural shine. You can use it to either strengthen your natural nails or to create nail art.