9 Best Jelly Nail Polishes Of 2021 For Translucent And Shiny Nails

Written by Anjana Sharan
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We have all been impressed by those translucent, colorful, shiny nails that everyone seems to be posting on social media. And why not? They offer a splash of sheer color and are super shiny and work in the same way that a lip gloss works for your lips. They are also a lot more durable and long lasting than their opaque counterparts. These nail polishes can be applied pretty easily at home, which means we don’t have to keep running to our manicurist and shelling out those hard earned bucks.

Jelly nail polishes are all about their shiny, translucent texture— they allow you to look trendy, your nails always look polished and manicured, and best of all, it doesn’t take much time. It gives you the option to wear something bolder in colors that you wouldn’t normally expect to come in a translucent nail polish finish. We hope our review of the 9 best jelly nail polishes will help you in your pursuit of shiny, translucent nails and you are able to take the world, or at least, the party by storm.

Top 9 ProductsCheck Price
Jelly Belly + Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Color - Strawberry CheesecakeCheck Price
ILNP Blackest Holographic Nail PolishCheck Price
Cirque Colors Holographic Jelly Nail Polish - Crushed IceCheck Price
Essie Nail Polish - A ListCheck Price
Tomicca Jade Nude Color Gel SetCheck Price
Zoya Professional Lacquer - AliaCheck Price
In.Hype Gel Polish - Jelly PinkCheck Price
Lavender Violets Color Coat - Jelly BeanCheck Price
Pretty Woman NYC Nail Polish - Don’t Be JellyCheck Price

9 Best Jelly Nail Polishes Of 2021 For Trendy Nails

1. Jelly Belly + Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Color – Strawberry Cheesecake

Haven’t the colors of jelly beans just fascinated you since childhood? Well, this jelly belly nail polish transports you to the carefree time of your childhood with its delicate hue. Just apply 1 coat in a single stroke with the insta-dri brush and you are done. It dries in no time and is ideal for those who are on the go, as the whole process takes just about a minute. It has an upgraded 3-in-1 formula with a built-in base and top coat to provide shiny, long wear in a single step. This nail polish is available in an assortment of gorgeous, spring shades from a fruity cherry red to a glitter spangled violet. Take your pick! 

PROS:

  • Long lasting
  • Dries instantly
  • 3-in-formula
  • Requires just 1 coat

CONS:

  • Contains acetates

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2. ILNP Blackest Holographic Nail Polish

 

Get ready for magic in a bottle with this holographic black jelly nail polish, especially if you like the gothic look. This sparkly and mind blowing nail polish gives your nails long lasting coverage and is durable and chip-resistant. Only the most premium ingredients go into this nail polish and it’s formulated with love and care. It’s 100% vegan, cruelty-free, and free of 7 toxic chemicals. This product is formulated to maximize depth and holographic payoff while maintaining a pure, jet black glossy finish that is as smooth as silk and shines like crystal. The sheer formula of this nail polish allows the scattered holographic flakes to work their magic all the way through each layer right down to your nails! The end result is a super sparkly finish with unmistakable depth. Seriously, it’s absolutely wonderful! 

PROS:

  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Long lasting
  • Doesn’t chip
  • Non-toxic
  • High gloss and sparkle
  • Easy to remove

CONS:

  • Might require several coats for full coverage

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3. Cirque Colors Holographic Jelly Nail Polish – Crushed Ice

Who doesn’t like a sparkly silver nail color that reminds us of unicorns! This jelly nail polish is a silver-scattered holographic nail polish made with sparkling holographic flakes. It is rich in color, gives full coverage in 2 to 3 coats, and has a smooth long-lasting finish. This polish is vegan, animal cruelty-free, and has a non-toxic formula which is devoid of 10 harmful chemicals. It’s hand made in small batches to ensure its premium quality. True to its name, Cirque, which means ring or circle, it is inspired by the color wheel, and each shade is a view into the endless possibilities of the color spectrum which are high in performance.

PROS:

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Hand made
  • Free of 10 harmful chemicals

CONS:

  • Some may find it too sheer and lacking in glitter

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4. Essie Nail Polish – A List

 

Looking for a classic red? This translucent jelly nail polish goes on smooth and leaves you with the perfect thickness because of its professional quality. It is the go-to nail polish for beauty professionals, celebrities, and fashion icons around the world, and for right reasons. This classic creamy candied apple red polish is a nail color that’s here to stay with its high, glossy shine finish. The creamy look of this color gives it a softness that deep colors often lose, making it the perfect color for any occasion. It provides flawless coverage along with outstanding durability and has a brush that fits every nail size for streak-free application. Its salon-quality formula and catchy names have made this brand a hot favorite. 

PROS:

  • Glossy finish
  • Long lasting
  • Flawless coverage
  • Streak-free application

CONS:

  • Contains formaldehyde resin and alcohol

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5. Tomicca Jade Nude Color Gel Set

 

Practice nail art with a whole range of colors with this soak off gel nail polish that comes in a pack of 6 colors, ranging from orange to purple. They are made from non-toxic ingredients that make them safe and odorless. They contain no harsh ingredients or adhesives that can damage your nails. With proper application, this nail polish will last up to 2 to 3 weeks with a brilliant shine, and no chipping or smudging. It comes in an attractive gift box and these attractive red, orange, and purple colors make an ideal gift for different occasions and different ages. This jelly nail polish will bring you the perfect nail art experience at home or at a salon. 

PROS:

  • Made from natural resins
  • Non-toxic
  • Long lasting
  • Easy to apply
  • Low smell
  • MSDS-certified
  • SGS-certified
  • Environment-friendly

CONS:

  • Some may find the texture too thick

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6. Zoya Professional Lacquer – Alia

 

Do you crave for a professional manicure but find it too much of an effort? Alia by Zoya  jelly nail polish can be best described as a non-streaking, buildable, translucent plum jelly with an ultra shiny finish. It’s beautiful on its own, but also adds a great flush of color to a french manicure. Made from non-toxic ingredients, it is free of 10 harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, DBP, toluene, camphor, parabens, and lead to name a few. It’s safe for pregnant and health conscious women worldwide, and is also vegan-friendly and has a long wear. 

PROS:

  • Vegan-friendly
  • Long lasting
  • Shiny finish
  • Devoid of 10 harmful chemicals

CONS:

  • Contains alcohol

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7. In.Hype Gel Polish – Jelly Pink

If you like to go for the sheer and natural look, this milky pink jelly nail polish uses the highest quality non-toxic ingredients to make sure you have the best quality nail polish. It’s devoid of 9 toxic chemicals like parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, and xylene, and is especially formulated for your safety. It’s easy and safe to apply, environment friendly, healthy, and has a very mild smell. This jelly nail polish helps to strengthen your nails with a durable and shiny coat and can be used for natural nails for strengthening, tip overlay, and sculpture. It layers on so thin that it looks extremely natural. This product is fast drying and cures with both UV and LED lamps and soaks off in 5 to 9 minutes. It is a perfect gel for someone who likes sheer looks and wants to strengthen their nails at the same time. 

PROS:

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Sheer finish
  • Mild odor
  • Quick drying
  • Environment friendly
  • Free of 9 toxic chemicals

CONS:

  • Contains alcohol

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8. Lavender Violets Color Coat – Jelly Bean

 

Have you been craving for salon-quality nails at home? This green jelly nail polish can give you manicured hands for up to 14 days without chipping, peeling, or cracking, and with a very shiny finish. It’s made with environmentally friendly ingredients and doesn’t contain formaldehyde, toluene, or DBP. It’s non-toxic formula is cruelty-free and the product is available in more than 100 shades besides this one, including a magnetic, glitter, shimmer, sparkle, and creme finish. Use this lovely vibrant color and add glamor to your hands.

PROS:

  • Cruelty-free
  • No formaldehyde
  • No toluene
  • No DBP
  • Shiny finish
  • Long lasting

CONS:

  • Contains parabens, phthalates, and alcohol

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9. Pretty Woman NYC Nail Polish – Don’t Be Jelly

 

This flattering jelly nail polish color is durable and long-wearing, while also being crack and chip resistant. This ensures that your colored nails will look as good as new, even after several  days. It dries quickly when applied in thin coats, lasts for long, and at the most might require a touch up periodically. It goes on smooth and you can get an opaque effect in just 2 coats. It is free of 10 toxic chemicals like parabens, sulfates, phthalates, GMO, and triclosan to name a few. If you aim for a darker shade of this beautiful deep plum color with chocolate undertones, you just need a few more layers to do the job. 

PROS:

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Long lasting
  • Devoid of 10 toxic chemicals
  • Crack and chip-resistant
  • Smooth finish
  • Dries quickly

CONS:

  • Contains alcohol

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Now that you have gone through our review of the 9 best jelly nail polishes of 2021, it’s important that you know what to look for while choosing one for yourself. So, here are a few tips so that you can make an informed decision and pick up the most outstanding nail polish. 

How To Choose Jelly Nail Polish 

  • Texture

A jelly nail polish is expected to be sheer and translucent so that it gives a 3D effect when used with glitter for nail art. This is what differentiates it from regular opaque nail polishes. It also should have a very glossy and shiny finish.

  • Long wear

Your jelly nail polish should be resistant to chipping, cracking, and peeling and should last on your nails between 1 to 2 weeks. It should be quick to dry and easy to remove. 

  • Ingredients to avoid

Many nail polishes may contain toxins that are harmful for us. It’s important to check and see that your jelly nail polish does not carry toxins or harmful chemicals in it like toluene, DBP, alcohol, formaldehyde, acetone, formaldehyde resin, camphor, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, phthalates, parabens, gluten, triphenyl phosphate and fragrances.

Now that you know what to look for while choosing a jelly nail polish for yourself, it’s equally important to know how to use it to get the best effect. Jelly nail polishes can be used by themselves or for nail art, so here are a few points that you would need to keep in mind.

How To Use Jelly Nail Polish

Step 1- Before applying, make sure your nails are completely dry, clean, and oil-free, otherwise it will peel right off.

Step 2- Remember to apply a thin layer as a thinner layer serves as a strong base.

Step 3- Apply gel to nail edges and tips, and seal the gel with the brush to avoid chipping, thus increasing its wear.

Step 4- Do not cure the gel for too long or too short a time.

Step 5- Don’t apply gel on the skin or cuticle. If there is gel on the skin, please clean it before curing or your nail color will peel off.

In case you are using the jelly nail polish for nail art, do go through the following steps once.

Step 1– After prepping your nails, use a base coat, apply 1 to 2 coats of a sheer, jelly polish to each nail. Give it time to dry.

Step 2– Apply a layer of glitter polish with a clear base over it.

Step 3– Once the glitter is dry, put an additional coat of jelly polish on top of it.

Step 4– Finish off with a top coat for added protection and shine.

To get the best out of your jelly nail polish, there are a few general rules that you need to keep in mind while using them.

  • Use layers

As the nail polish is sheer, you will need to apply 3 coats and sometimes even 4 coats for the look you want, and that’s what gives your nail polish the 3D effect with the glitter flakes reflecting light at different depths on your nails.

  • Let the nail line show

As you are going for a translucent rather than an opaque look, it’s okay for the nail line to show even after 3 coats. If you are not a big fan of it, you can always use a neutral or white base color under your jelly nail polish.

  • Use a top coat

After applying 3 or more layers of your jelly nail polish, follow it up with a top coat the next day for that extra shine and to show off the layering of the jelly.

  • Extensions

A jelly nail polish goes very well with extensions as it enhances the long, clear nails. So, you can always use your jelly nail polish for your extensions.

  • Curing

Check the wattage of your curing lamp, which should ideally be between 4 watts to 9 watts, and that will determine the curing time. It’s suggested to cure the base coat for 30 seconds, each coat of jelly polish for 60 seconds, and the top coat for 60 seconds. 

Just like a product may have a matte, cream, or opalescent finish, the term jelly refers to the texture of the nail polish on application. But jelly nail polishes have the added advantage of giving your nails sheer color and loads of shine or glimmer. It’s low maintenance and gives your nails a very polished look. It’s easy to apply at home and it’s a lot less time consuming than going for a manicure. Available in a variety of bold, sheer colors, you can just put it on and get going in a matter of minutes. We hope our review of the 9 best jelly nail polishes of 2021 will help you to add that extra oomph to your nails.

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