For a round-up of the lastest soak-off gel polishes, visit the gallery here.


Billed as the biggest breakthrough in nail services since the advent of gel nails, a new crop of brush-on gel polish lines have become the biggest trend in nails, even garnering attention from national and local news stations across the country as they interview techs and clients about the new product.

These new brush-on gel polishes are essentially soak-off color gels that underwent a revamping of their formulas to allow them to apply easier, cure quicker, and soak off faster so clients can get the benefit of a gel’s durability along with the ease-of-use of a polish.

Spearheaded by CND’s Shellac and Hand and Nail Harmony’s Gelish, many of the major nail manufacturers have now come out with their own lines of these “hybrids,” which are characterized by their traditional polish bottling.

According to nail scientist Doug Schoon, the hybrids incorporate different solvents that allow them to soak off faster than the current group of soak-off gels in potted jars, and the hybrids have other ingredients to lower the viscosity so that application is more similar to that of a polish.

Two of the outstanding characteristics of these new brush-on gel polishes have been their ability to cut down soak-off times by as much as 75%, and an application that requires little to no prep.

Not all of these brush-on formulas are the same, but they all incorporate an increased amount of solvents into their mix to help the brush-on gels break down faster than traditional soak-offs. These solvents are called “volatile solvents,” and they are regularly used in nail lacquers to serve the same purpose. This makes the new brush-on gels a unique blend of ingredients that pull from both polish formulas as well as gel formulas to create a new and effective product.

The leap in technology has made gel nails easier and more approachable to clients who were normally apprehensive about full gel enhancements, as well as nail techs who are just as uneasy with their own gel application skills.

“I think these products have huge market potential,” says Danny Haile, CEO of Hand and Nail Harmony. Haile believes the new products’ biggest plus is they help prevent chipping. “So many clients have fresh polish chipping after only a few days,” he says. “With these, you’ll be getting good coverage for three weeks after application.”

Light Elegance’s CEO and lead chemist Jim McConnell agrees, adding, “With traditional gels as well as soak-off gels there is a learning curve, and for techs who have never used gels before, it takes a little while to get used to the way the product performs on the nail and get a good application.” But with the new brush-on gel polish, application is more similar to polish — but with a thicker consistency.


For a round-up of the lastest soak-off gel polishes, visit the gallery here.

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