While gel manicures have a super shiny finish and are chip-resistent, they can be pain. Not only are they expensive, but they’re tedious, too; a UV lamp is required to set the polish, and to take them off you need
a sandblaster to soak them in acetone for at least 15 minutes. Plus, the process isn’t great for nails – removing them at home can strip nails, leaving them broken and weakened. Even at-home gel manicure kits are expensive and tricky to use.
Okay, I’m starting to sound like the black and white portion of an infomercial. The truth is, I love the look gel manicures but hate the removal process. Once my manicurist didn’t let my nails soak in the acetone for long enough, so she practically chiseled the gel polish off my nails. It was so painful, I had to hold back tears. I haven’t gotten a gel manicure since. Lucky for me (and you), top beauty brands are following in the foot steps of Deborah Lippmann, who earlier this year came out with a Gel Lab Set that creates the high-gloss look of a gel manicure without all the hassle. And now Julep, Dior and NAILS, INC. have released one-step gel top coats for spring. No UV-light. No soaking. No tears. These clear top coats leave a shiny finish and make nails look thicker and stronger. Plus, you can use them with the nail polishes you already own, and can remove them using regular polish remover. Click through the slideshow above to shop spring’s best gel top coats.