Best Korean gel nail polish brands

6 Best Korean Gel Nail Polish Brands 2023

A good manicure can change your whole outfit. And with these best Korean gel nail polish brands, you can change your nail art anytime you want. 

Nail art is the easiest and by far the cheapest way to add that zing to your whole look. A lot of other makeup items like eyeshadows, lipsticks, etc. cost a lot of money.

And doing a full face of makeup takes a lot of time too. But this isn’t the case with nail lacquers. 

A well-done gel manicure will last weeks. And you can change it any time you want to suit your outfits. 

I decided to give some Korean gel nail polish brands a try. I mean why not? I’ve loved the Korean skincare brands and their products. 

Best Korean Gel Nail Polish BrandsBest FeatureBest Colors
Makartt Nail Gel UV Polish SetWide Color VarietyBurgundy, Macaron, Nude
Gellen Gel Nail Polish KitExtra Nail Accessories and Manicure SetCoffee and Peach, Sweet Candy, Sweet Rose
YaoShun Gel Nail PolishSuper AffordableChameleon, Cat Eye, Cheese Candy
Withshyan 60 Seconds Gel Nail PolishQuick DryingGrey Chiffon, Mimosa, Silk Kaki
3CE StyleNanda Nail LacquerStrengthens Brittle NailsCalm Yellow Red, Sand Beige, Dark Burgundy
Etude House Play NailChip ResistantSyrup, Neon, Jelly, Yoghurt

How I tested the best Korean gel nail polish brands?

I tried out several Korean nail polish brands that are popular and tested them based on the parameters given below. I then rated them on a scale of 1-5. 

  • Durability: the nail lacquers need to be chip-resistant and stay on a long time on your nails.
  • Color Variety: I checked if there are several different colors and finishes available from the brand.
  • Safety: I also examined the ingredients to see if they are free from harmful chemicals and safe for sensitive skin. 

Top Korean Gel Nail Polish Brands 2023

How To Choose The Right Korean Gel Nail Polish Brands For Yourself?

Choosing the right Korean gel nail polish brand for yourself can make a significant difference in the quality and longevity of your manicure. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting the best Korean gel nail polish brand for your needs:

  1. Quality and Durability:
    • Look for brands known for producing high-quality gel nail polish that lasts longer without chipping or fading. Customer reviews and ratings can provide insights into the durability of a brand’s products.
  2. Variety of Colors and Finishes:
    • Ensure the brand offers a wide range of colors and finishes to match your preferences and style. Whether you prefer classic, bold, or trendy shades, having options is essential.
  3. UV/LED Compatibility:
    • Check if the gel nail polish is compatible with both UV and LED lamps. Compatibility with both types of curing lamps provides flexibility and convenience during the manicure process.
  4. Formula Ingredients:
    • Pay attention to the ingredients used in the gel nail polish formula. Look for brands that prioritize safety and use non-toxic, hypoallergenic ingredients to minimize the risk of allergies or skin reactions.
  5. Ease of Application:
    • Some gel nail polish brands offer user-friendly formulas with smooth application. Consider brands that provide gel polishes that are easy to work with, even for beginners.
  6. Curing Time:
    • Gel nail polishes come with different curing times, which can affect the overall convenience of the manicure. Brands that offer quick-curing options are suitable for those with a busy schedule.
  7. Base and Top Coats:
    • Check if the brand offers complementary base and top coats designed to work seamlessly with their gel polish colors. Using matching products from the same brand can enhance the overall performance and longevity of your manicure.
  8. Price and Affordability:
    • Consider your budget and look for Korean gel nail polish brands that offer a range of price points to accommodate different budgets. Keep in mind that higher-priced options may come with added benefits in terms of quality and longevity.
  9. Customer Reviews and Recommendations:
    • Research customer reviews and seek recommendations from nail enthusiasts or professionals to gain insights into the performance of specific brands. Real-life experiences can help you make an informed choice.
  10. Brand Reputation:
    • Established and reputable brands often have a track record of delivering consistent quality. Brands with a strong reputation in the nail care industry are generally a safe bet.
  11. Availability:
    • Check if the brand’s products are readily available in your area or online. Accessibility can affect your ability to replenish your favorite colors or products.
  12. Skin Sensitivities and Allergies:
    • If you have sensitive skin or allergies, opt for gel nail polish brands that are known for being gentle and hypoallergenic. Look for products labeled as “5-free” or “7-free” to avoid common allergens.
  13. Testing and Certification:
    • Some brands undergo testing and certification for quality and safety. Look for certifications that indicate compliance with industry standards.

Ultimately, the best Korean gel nail polish brand for you will depend on your personal preferences, nail care needs, and budget. Experimenting with a few different brands and colors can help you discover your favorites and achieve salon-quality gel manicures at home.

Benefits Of Choosing A Korean Nail Gel Brand

Benefits Of Choosing A Korean Nail Gel Brand

If you’re wondering why on earth you should get a nail gel from a Korean brand only and not from any other source, I’ve got some news for you. Not all nail gels are made the same. The formula, thickness, and ease of application differ. There’s even the question of harmful chemicals being present in certain nail polishes compared to others. Here’s why Korean nail gels are better than the rest.

  • The formula is thicker: Regular nail polishes have a thin, liquidy consistency. So you’ll need to put multiple coats of nail varnish in order to completely make your nail color look opaque. This isn’t the case with Korean nail gels. One coat is enough to cover the entirety of your nail in a rich color.
  • More strongly pigmented: A Korean nail color is more strongly pigmented so the color you see in the bottle is the color you will get on your nails.
  • Lack of harmful chemicals: Most low-end nail polish brands contain one or more of the “unhealthy” nail polish ingredients – toulene, DBP, and formaldehyde. A lot of korean brands (yes, even the cheaper ones) are free from these substances.

Makartt Nail Gel UV Polish Set

korean gel polish set

Makarrt is one of the lesser-known Korean gel nail polish brands out there. But what attracted me to this gel set was the promise of a non-toxic nail polish formula.

And I was happy to see that Makartt does use purified water, natural ingredients, etc., and cuts down on harmful chemicals in their nail lacquers.

There was also a good variety on offer with the nail lacquers coming in a set of dark, nude tones, bright reddish tones, and soft pastel shades.

I also liked that each set comes with a UV nail lamp so you can get a salon-like manicure experience at home.

korean gel nails

Now coming to the nail polish, it kind of disappointed me as the mauve shade I used on my nail started bubbling and didn’t stay smooth like expected.

Also, despite the brand’s claims that the polish lasts 2 weeks, my nail color started peeling off in just 3 days. 

So these nail lacquers are for short-term use only. 


  • High gloss finish
  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Available in matte shades
  • Non-toxic ingredients
  • The set comes with nail lamp


  • Polish bubbles and doesn’t cure well
  • Flakes easily

Colors Available:

  • Red
  • Plum
  • Mauve 
  • Yolk Yellow
  • Flamingo Pink
  • Green Apple 
  • Sky Blue 
  • Light Blue
  • Black 
  • White 
  • Taupe
  • Nude

Ratings – 4/5

Gellen Gel Nail Polish Kit 

If you’re looking for a nail polish set to gift someone special, this would be the perfect one. 

I was elated looking at the several little goodies in the set. Apart from the 12 nail polishes, I also got a UV nail lamp, hand masks, nail rhinestones, and nail stickers.

However, some of the things advertised (like the manicure brush and file set in my case) was missing from the nail kit.

I don’t know if this was just that one kit I ordered or if it’s something that happens all the time. 

nail polish korean

The nail polish however was good. That’s about it. They spread well and did not chip as easily as the Makartt ones. 

But there was nothing exceptional about them either. 


  • Environment-friendly, non-toxic formula
  • No chemical odor
  • Wide color variety
  • Comes with UV lamp, top coat, and nail art stickers
  • Contains pair of hand mask gloves
  • 12 nail polish shades in one set


  • Nail polish consistency is too thick
  • The lamp doesn’t cure nail polish fast enough
  • Some nail decorations were missing

Colors Available:

  • Pastels: Shades of pink, blue, lilac, grey
  • Neutrals: Grey, black, white, taupe, brown, cream, tan
  • Rainbow colors: red, pink, orange, blue, violet, dark purple, green
  • Fall Colors: Pink, red, maroon, brown, orange, white, tan
  • Nudes

Ratings – 4/5

YaoShun Gel Nail Polish

I came across this gel nail polish kit on Amazon and ordered it as I was intrigued at the pricing. 

It had all the accessories and more that I got from  Gellen and Makarrt Nail Polish sets and it cost me several dollars less.

But I soon realized that the lower price is also reflected in the quality. 

korean gel nail lacquer

The UV lamp worked well and all the accessories were there. But the quality of the manicure set was according to its price.

What about the nail polishes? Unfortunately, they were a bit disappointing as the formula was too thin.

I had to apply several coats to make it look opaque. And when I tried the glitter polishes I found huge chunks of glitter in the formula that just wouldn’t stay on my nails.

gel nail polish

The brush was intriguing as the thin structure is supposed to help you create lines, etc. for nail art.

But it’s just the one brush in the set. And its thin, hard bristles are not equipped for regular nail polish application.  


  • Very affordable
  • Comes with UV lamp, manicure set, hand masks, and nail art set
  • Six nail colors in one set
  • Thin brush applicator for easy nail art


  • Brush bristles are too hard 
  • Very thin formula
  • Glitter chunks are too big
  • Not enough color pigment
  • Chemical smell

Colors Available:

  • White
  • Black 
  • Dark Blue (Glitter)
  • Grey 
  • Golden (Glitter)
  • Pink
  • Silver 
  • Grey 
  • Nude 
  • Lilac

Ratings – 3/5

Withshyan 60 Seconds Gel Nail Polish

very good nail gel polish korean

I was lured into buying the Withshyan nail polish due to its siren song about 60 seconds dry-time.

And was it true? Kind of. No, this nail polish won’t dry in 60 seconds. 

And yes, this will dry more quickly than other brands and without any help from UV lamps. 

I found the nail polishes a bit hard to apply as the consistency is very thick. But on the bright side, you’ll only need a coat or two for complete coverage. 

Also, the glitter ones are really difficult to take off! 

And they don’t dry to a smooth surface, so you might give yourself some exfoliating action while touching your face with your nails. 


  • Dries quickly without UV lamp
  • Free from 10 commonly-used chemicals
  • Strengthens nail bed
  • Softens nail


  • Thick, lumpy texture
  • Glitter polish is very hard to remove

Colors Available:

Ratings – 4.5/5

3CE (3 Concept Eyes) StyleNanda Mood Recipe Long Lasting Nail Lacquer 

If it’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s how some lacquers leave my nails yellow and brittle. So I was specifically looking for Korean gel nail polish brands that are nourishing and non-toxic.

This particular set by cosmetic brand 3CE checks both boxes. You won’t find any hazardous chemicals here that can make your nails brittle.

But on the other hand, there are ingredients like jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, and others that keep your nail bed soft and protected. The added vitamin E helps too! 

I also liked the jelly formula of this lacquer it made polish very easy to spread. 

The formula was more translucent then Gellen but I didn’t mind as it didn’t chip easily. And besides, you can build up the coverage as you want.

So you have to add more coats for a creamier, more opaque look. 

There’s just one little caveat. It’s expensive. But if you value nail health over color choices and money, this is not a bad choice. 


  • Jelly-like consistency for easy application
  • Translucent buildable formula
  • Nourishing oil and vitamin E-rich formula


  • Takes longer to dry
  • Pricey
  • Multiple coats needed for opaque finish
  • Limited color variety

Colors Available:

  • Grey
  • Nude
  • Light Pink
  • Baby Pink
  • Warm Yellow Pink
  • Sand Beige
  • Classic Red
  • Warm Red
  • Deep Burgundy
  • Peach 
  • Nude Brown
  • Dark Brown

Ratings – 4.5/5

Etude House Play Nail

Everyone’s heard of Etude House or rather their skincare line. So it should come as no surprise that they’re into makeup too. 

I confess that I got this nail polish solely because the brand is just so popular. And I wasn’t really disappointed.

If you compare this nail polish to the ones coming in sets like Gellen or Makartt, it definitely lasts longer and is more chip resistant.

I also noticed that unlike other nail lacquers this one doesn’t get thick or calcified when you leave the bottle out for some time. 

However, this nail polish brand does have its limitations. 

For starters, the formula is very thin. So you have to heap on multiple layers to get an opaque finish. 

It aslo takes longer to dry unless you have a nail lamp handy at home.  


  • Doesn’t chip off easily
  • You can adjust the coverage
  • Doesn’t thicken in the bottle
  • More quantity than other brands 


  • Can take longer to dry
  • Thinner consistency
  • Needs multiple coatings
  • Single polish more expensive comparatively 

Colors Available:

  • Yellow
  • Lilac
  • Pink
  • Peach
  • Red
  • Gold (glitter)
  • Taupe (glitter)

Ratings – 4/5

Korean Nail Color Trends 2022

Syrup Nails

best Korean nail polish
Source: Instagram@inez.j_nails_lublin

Holographic (Aurora Nails)

How do you do Korean Aurora nails
Source: Instagram@au.ra_nail

Diamond Nails

Korean nail art design
Source: Instagram@annaliza_nails

High Heel Nails

stiletto nail art design
Source: Instagram@ericasbranch

Kpop Nails

bts nail art kpop
Source: Instagram@americanails4

There isn’t just gel nail polish, the Korean nail polish brands also boast of other formulas like matte and peel-off formulas.

Also, there are press-on nails and nail stickers that you can use to either spice up your existing manicure or try something special or last minute. 

Changing your nail color is the easiest way to tie your outfit and accessories together.

And with these Korean gel nail polish brands promising you such a variety of colors, it becomes super easy to do a gel manicure at home.  

Why You Should Trust Koreatruly?

All our editors including the author of this article, Song-i do extensive research on the products reviewed and recommended in the article. We also use these products ourself to give you accurate, first hand information without any prejudice or bias. Koreatruly has also got a team of medical reviewers and skincare experts to help give accurate advice and provide research-based facts concerning a product, its formulation or ingredients.

Also Read:

Must Have Korean Beauty Products

Etude House Play Nail Gel Polish
Best Korean gel nail polish brands

The best Korean gel nail polish brands are long-lasting, chip-resistant and free of toxic chemicals. The Etude House Play Nail Gel Polish comes in glitter, matte, glossy finshes.

Product SKU: NEB2K522UV

Product Brand: Etude House

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: $8.58

Price Valid Until: 2024-10-04

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:

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