10 Best Gel Top Coats For Nails In 2022 – Buying Guide

Now coat your lacquer with these clear varnish and protect the colors from fading.

By Baishali Bhattacharya, Certified Image Consultant, Certified In Makeup Artistry
All products recommended on StyleCraze are independently selected by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we may receive a commission. Learn more about our product selection process here.

The best gel top coat protects your gel nail polish from cracking or fading away. It forms a protective layer and adds a lasting shine to your manicured nails. Well-set nails look lovely till your paint chips away a little or fades to a lighter shade. You can now enhance the longevity of nail paint for up to three weeks with the help of a good-quality gel top coat. Go ahead and check out the 10 best gel top coats to make your manicure last longer than usual.

Our Top Picks
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Best Long-Lasting Formula:Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish Shiny Top Coat
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Best Chip-Resistant Polish:Essie Gel Couture Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat
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Best Vegan Option:Seche Vive Gel Effect Top Coat
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Best Glossy finish:Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat
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Best Eco-Friendly Formula:PrettyDiva UV Gel Top Coat
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Best Solvent-Free Top Coat:OneDor No Wipe Top Coat
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Best Non-Wipe Product:Kiara Sky Soak-Off Gel Polish NON-WIPE Top Coat
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Best Salon-Finish:Gelish Soak Off Gel Polish
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Best Nail Strengthening Formula:OPI GelColor Top Coat
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Best Cruelty-Free Option:Mineral Fusion Gel Top Coat
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10 Best Selling Gel Top Coats of 2022

1. Best Long-Lasting Formula:Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish Shiny Top Coat

The Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish Shiny Top Coat gives your nails a salon-like finish while sitting at your home. This gel nail polish top coat can last up to 8 long days to prevent chipping and fading of your nail art. You don’t need any UV or LED light to set it, and it comes in more than 80 shades. Featured with a high shine, this topcoat is easy to wear and can also be removed like your regular nail polish. If you want to know more about this product, check out this video on YouTube.

Pros

  •  High shine
  •  Lasting stay
  •  Easy to wear
  •  Easy to remove
  •  Available in more than 80 shades

Cons

  •  Too runny

2. Best Chip-Resistant Polish:Essie Gel Couture Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat

Essie’s Gel Couture Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat is a quick-drying topcoat that seals and protects the gel nail polish while revealing intense shine. This chip-resistant and flawless finish top coat prevents your nail paint from fading and increases longevity. You don’t need to use any base coat if you are topping up your nail paint with this top coat. It comes with swirl steam and a curve-hugging brush to let it apply with ease. Go ahead and check out this YouTuber’s video for more details about the product.

Pros

  •  Quick-drying
  •  Long-lasting
  •  Chip-resistant
  •  Non-fading
  •  Easy application brush
  •  Toluene-free
  •  Formaldehyde-free
  •  DBP-free
  •  Dibutyl phthalate-free
  •  Triphenyl-free
  •  Tosylamide-free
  •  Camphor-free
  •  Phosphate-free
  •   Xylene-free

Cons

  •  Runny consistency

3. Best Vegan Option:Seche Vive Gel Effect Top Coat

This gel effect top coat from Seche Vive is fade-free and offers a lasting finish. Its non-chip capability prevents the nail paint from becoming dull over time – it keeps them fresh and shiny for a long time. The quick-drying formula of this topcoat provides plumping effects without any need to pass it through UV or LED light. This durable nail topcoat protects the nails from yellowing while offering them strength and durability. To get a better understanding of the product, you can check out this video on YouTube.

Pros

  •  Long-lasting
  •  High shine
  •  Protective
  •  Non-yellowing
  •  No staining
  •  Strengthening
  •  Paraben-free
  •  Sulfate-free
  •  Triclosan-free
  •  Vegan
  •  Cruelty-free

Cons

  •  Too watery

4. Best Glossy finish:Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat

Get salon-quality nails with Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat! This high shine topcoat is exceptionally crafted to use with ColorStay Gel Envy nail polish and uses diamond flex technology to prevent chipping. In addition, it features a wide-angle brush for smooth and bubble-free application.

Pros

  •  Professional quality
  •  Glossy finish
  •  Chip-resistant
  •  Easy applicator brush
  •  Available in 46 shades

Cons

  •  Not long-lasting

5. Best Eco-Friendly Formula:PrettyDiva UV Gel Top Coat

Suitable for chrome, mermaid, aurora, holographic unicorn, and chameleon nail powder, this natural resin-made PrettyDiva UV Gel Top Coat offers long-lasting shine while being non-shrinkable. Compatible with LED or UV light, this topcoat is quick-drying and is non-wipe. It lasts up to 21 days or more to keep your gel nail paint alive while being non-toxic and healthy at the same time.

Pros

  •  Long-lasting
  •  Eco-friendly
  •  Non-toxic
  •  Low smell
  •  Non-shrinkable
  •  Quick-drying

Cons

  •  None

6. Best Solvent-Free Top Coat:OneDor No Wipe Top Coat

The OneDor No Wipe Top Coat is a UV or LED light-equipped gel topcoat that works with all sorts of nail polishes. It doesn’t contain harsh additives that can damage the nails and prevents nails from drying or aging. It is solvent-free and does not produce any toxic odor or fumes.

Pros

  •  Solvent-free
  •  Acetone-free
  •  No foul odor
  •  Formaldehyde-free
  •  Easy to wear and remove

Cons

  •  It takes too long to dry.

7. Best Non-Wipe Product:Kiara Sky Soak-Off Gel Polish NON-WIPE Top Coat

Offer your nails a long-lasting and intense shine with the Kiara Sky Soak-Off Gel Polish NON-WIPE Top Coat that cures under an LED or UV lamp in a couple of minutes. This color-resistant topcoat gives a professional touch to the nails from the comfort of your home.

Pros

  •  High shine
  •  Easy application
  •  Color-resistant
  •  Non-wipe

Cons

  •  Gets dull quickly

8. Best Salon-Finish:Gelish Soak Off Gel Polish

The Gelish Soak Off Gel Polish offers long-lasting and intense shine to reveal salon-finish nails. Its non-dull and chip-resistant formula is easy to wear and remove, which also gets cured under an LED or UV lamp in just a couple of seconds to minutes.

Pros

  •  Long-lasting formula
  •  High shine
  •  Easy to wear
  •  Easy to remove
  •  Chip-resistant
  •  No dullness

Cons

  •  Stays cloudy

9. Best Nail Strengthening Formula:OPI GelColor Top Coat

The OPI GelColor Gel Clear Base and Top Coat has a high shine and long-staying formula that offers intense color for up to 3 long weeks. Available in multiple shades, it is required to be cured for just 30 seconds under an LED light to get the desired outcome. It also promotes healthy nails while locking the nail color perfectly.

Pros

  •  Long-lasting
  •  Strengthens nails
  •  Stay true color
  •  Intense shine

Cons

  •  Super thick

10. Best Cruelty-Free Option:Mineral Fusion Gel Top Coat

The Mineral Fusion Gel Top Coat adds plump and shine to your nails. Its long-staying formula requires no UV light and is chip-resistant. Plus, this nail top coat comes with an extra thick brush to let you apply it on your nails with ease, flawlessly.

Pros

  •  Long-lasting
  •  Chip-resistant
  •  Carbon-free
  •  Paraben-free
  •  Xylene-free
  •  Formaldehyde-free
  •  Toluene-free
  •  DBP-free
  •  Camphor-free
  •  No triphenyl phosphate
  •  No ethyl tosylamide
  •  Vegan
  •  Cruelty-free

Cons

  •  Not quick drying

What To Look For In A Gel Top Coat

While getting yourself a gel top coat for your nail art, consider the foloowing factors:

  •  Quick-drying

Look for a quick-drying formula that doesn’t take hours to dry. A topcoat that dries quickly won’t get spoilt easily.

  •  Stay

Always invest in a long-staying topcoat to prevent the hassle of reapplying nail paint again and again.

  •  Chip resistance

A top coat that is prone to chipping or fading won’t be able to serve the purpose well, so go for a chip-resistant and non-fading top coat to keep your gel nail paint intact.

How To Apply Gel Top Coat

Follow the below steps to apply gel topcoat:

Step 1: After applying and drying your nail paint, apply a layer of gel top coat over the same.

Step 2: If there is a need to apply another coat, do that, followed by letting it cure under UV or LED lamps. Some nail top coats do not require to be cured.

Step 3: Now, just wait for the topcoat to get completely dry.

Perfectly manicured nails are everyone’s dream. But, to get the salon-like finish, you need to use a top coat on your base nail polish, whether it’s a gel nail polish or generic nail polish. Gel polish needs extra care, and it is essential to use a good-quality gel top coat on your polish. The best gel top coats prevent the nail polish from fading out and chipping. Furthermore, the coat acts as a protective layer, improves the longevity of the polish, and adds shine to it. Always consider long-lasting top coats that protect your polish perfectly and prevent chipping.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Baishali Bhattacharya, the author of this article, is certified in makeup artistry. In this article, she lists the best gel top coats to use on your nails. She researched and investigated many nail polish brands and their reviews before settling on the above-mentioned list. She recommends these products based on their shine, finish, shade variety, chip-resistance, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between gel top coat and no-wipe gel top coat?

A gel topcoat is required to be cured under a UV or LED lamp. But, you don’t need to wipe or cure a no-wipe gel top coat under a UV lamp; it works like your regular top coat.

Can we use regular nail polish with a gel top coat?

Yes, a gel topcoat can be used with regular nail polish.

Can we use gel top coat on dip powder?

Yes, you can use a gel topcoat with a dip powder.

Which gel top coat is shiniest?

The Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish Shiny Top Coat is the shiniest. It is easy to wear and lasts more than eight days.

Are all gel top coats the same?

While most gel top coats appear similar, some have greater staying power. Some offer better shine while some come with non-toxic formulas. Choose your preferred top coat in accordance with the brand and quality of the product.

Can you put another layer of nail polish over the gel top coat?

Yes, you can put another layer of nail polish over a gel top coat. However, make sure that the end result does not look messy and unprofessional. It is recommended to use a UV lamp to set your coats.

Can gel top coat polish be used as a base coat?

No, a gel top coat cannot be used as a base coat. Gel polishes would not last long if the top coat is used as a base coat.

Can I use a gel top coat alone?

Yes, you can use a gel top coat alone. However, if you want to keep your nails looking transparent, make sure to pair the top coat with a clear gel polish.

What do you wipe the gel top coat off with?

You can wipe the gel top coat off with a cotton ball dipped in alcohol. If you want to avoid using alcohol directly in your nails, you can use a non-acetone nail polish remover to wipe it off.

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Baishali is an associate editor and holds a master's degree in English. She specializes in makeup and fashion and is... more

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