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Which fall gel nails are best?

Besides mainstays of fall fashion like boots and scarves, there’s one more essential accessory worth adding to your seasonal look: fall gel nails. 

Fall gel nails embrace classic autumn shades, such as auburn, reds and golds. Trending fall shades are also popular, including deeper nudes and jewel tones. If you’re looking for a diverse fall gel polish assortment, consider Modelones Fall and Winter Color Gel Polish Set, which comes with 12 rich shades. 

What to know before you buy fall gel nails

Gel nail polish vs. regular nail polish

Gel nail polish particularly sets designed for home application, has grown in popularity recently as an alternative to traditional nail polish. For one, gel polish manicures may last for up to three weeks, whereas regular polish typically begins chipping within a week. Gel nail polish offers a consistently opaque application, but regular polish usually requires several coats to become opaque.

However, gel nail polish may be more damaging to nails than regular nail polish. It also requires more involved removal methods that call for more expensive polish removal products. Gel polish manicures may cost more in the long run than regular nail polish, as bottles and sets can be significantly more expensive. 

Popular fall gel nail polish trends

Fall gel nail trends typically embrace colors inspired by the changing season, such as oranges, browns, golds, yellows and burgundies. Rich jewel tones become more popular in fall months, including deeper purples, mauves and blues. Several gel polish wearers gravitate toward darker shades of nude or neutral colors, particularly darker browns, taupes and mauves. Pantone’s fall and winter trending colors often emerge as some of the season’s bestselling shades as well. 

How to apply gel nail polish

Gel polish application is much different than regular polish application. It includes a few additional steps, and it requires gel polish-specific products. Here’s a quick overview of the steps for most gel polish applications:

  • Manicure
  • Basecoat application 
  • Curing with nail lamp
  • Gel polish application
  • Curing with nail lamp
  • Topcoat application
  • Final curing with nail lamp

It’s also necessary to invest in gel nail polish removers, as regular nail polish removers won’t dissolve the formulas. Some gel polish removers have soak-off formulas, whereas others are paint-on formulas that gradually lift and loosen gel polish layers that are later scraped off.

What to look for in quality fall gel nails

Fall gel nail set varieties

There are several fall gel nail set varieties available. Basic sets include only gel nail polish and may consist of three to 20 bottles. On the other hand, Deluxe gel nail polish sets often come with an extensive shade assortment and base and topcoats. Starter sets include essential accessories, namely manicure tools and curing lamps. 

Shade varieties

Several fall gel nail sets feature an assortment of solid shades. Most sets on the market include a mix of classic and trending colors. A growing number of sets have at least one or two glitter, metallic, marble or iridescent shades. There are a handful of fall gel nail polish assortments that only include glitter shades. 

Toxin-free varieties

Several varieties of gel nail polish now feature cleaner formulas that leave out toxic ingredients often seen in nail polishes. These polishes advertise that they are “X toxin-free,” in which X refers to the number of toxic ingredients not included in the formula. More often than not, the packaging indicates the specific ingredients left out, including lead, parabens, formaldehyde and xylene. 

How much you can expect to spend on fall gel nails

Fall gel nail assortments featuring six or fewer bottles cost $15-$30, and deluxe sets cost $35-$60. Gel nail polish starter sets that include curing lamps cost anywhere from $30-$150, depending on the polish and lamp quality. 

Fall gel nails FAQ

Is the home application of fall gel nail polish just as good as salon-quality gel manicures?

A. Although some people may master at-home gel polish application, it rarely compares to a salon-quality gel manicure done by an experienced and licensed nail artist. Additionally, it’s challenging to achieve an even or flawless application on both hands. 

Are there nail art supplies on the market for gel nails?

A. Yes. Rhinestones and nail art stickers remain the most popular. There are some gel nail art paints, as well. These are typically used to either paint over nail stencils or create detailed freehand designs. 

What are the best fall gel nails to buy?

Top fall gel nails

Modelones Fall and Winter Color Gel Polish Set

Modelones Fall and Winter Color Gel Polish Set

What you need to know: The bestselling 12-shade set features a well-rounded assortment of autumn nudes with one glitter shade.

What you’ll love: The gel polish set is made with toxin-free ingredients that are low-odor. The long-wearing formula offers chip-free color for up to three weeks. Many users attest to the polish’s highly-saturated pigments that maintain their boldness.

What you should consider: The set doesn’t include top and base coats like several other deluxe assortments. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top fall gel nails for the money

Modelones Fall and Winter Retro Gel Nail Polish Set

Modelones Fall and Winter Retro Gel Nail Polish Set

What you need to know: If you’re on a budget, this six-shade Modelones gel set features trendy retro colors with a couple of classic shades in the mix. 

What you’ll love: The brand-new set features the year’s on-trend shades, including morandi green and night blue. Besides being cruelty-free and vegan, the set is free of 11 common toxins seen in lower-quality formulas. The polish dries with an attractive high-gloss finish. 

What you should consider: The bottles look almost exactly the same as one another, making it challenging to distinguish between shades. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Beetles Gel Autumn Nail Polish Set

Beetles Gel Autumn Nail Polish Set

What you need to know: Made by one of the top gel polish brands, this set features vibrant autumn shades inspired by Thanksgiving and Halloween colors. 

What you’ll love: Unlike most six-shade collections, this set includes two unique glitter shades besides four solid ones. The formula is free of nine common toxic ingredients, including formaldehyde and lead. 

What you should consider: There are some reports that the gel stays tacky after curing.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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