Matte and metallic polishes may win the occasional spot in our manicure rotation, but that classic high-shine gel finish will always be our polish go-to. But as much as we love the smooth glossy color while it’s on our nails, anyone who has made regular gel manicures at the salon part of her beauty routine can attest to how damaging it can be. Even if you follow all of the rules and soak the gels off (instead of peeling, which we’re embarrassed to admit we’ve done), gels can still leave your nails dry and prone to breaking. Instead, we’re trading in the UV light gels for a traditional bottle that delivers the same high-shine finish. Shop our favorite new picks for summer for bold, bright colors minus the damage.
Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Polish in Splish Splash
Celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann even added sparkly finish shades to her range of light-free gel polishes -- but we like this aqua green shade for summer best.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Color in Malibu Peach
Choose any color from this 75-shade line-up, apply two coats, then finish with Miracle Gel Top Coat for your glossiest mani yet.
Essie Gel Couture in The It Factor
Just in time for the summer, Essie is launching 42 shades of gel finish polishes. With no base coat required, paint on two coats of your color of choice (we love the hot pink shade, The It Factor), Essie's Gel Couture top coat and enjoy your manicure chip-free for 14 days.
Nails Inc. Coconut Bright Nail Polish in Soho Gardens
Adding to their Gel Effect polishes, Nails Inc. is introducing a new set of bright colors that are perfect for the summer and are formulated with coconut water to keep your nails hydrated.
Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Nail Enamel in Wild Card
This cobalt blue color will look amazing with your summer tan, and it will stay shiny and chip-free when paired with the Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat.
CoverGirl XL Nail Gel in Haughty Lemon
If you like your gel nails as bright as they are glossy, try this neon yellow shade.
OPI Gel Color in SPF XXX
Part of OPI's limited-edition Retro Summer 2016 collection, you'll want to stock up on this coral-orange shade.