The ultimate guide to jelly nail polish

Matte, gel, glitter, frost and shimmer, we’ve pretty much seen it all when it comes to nail trend – but what exactly is jelly nail polish? Here’s everything you need to know about the nail look.

Jelly refers to the finish of the polish, and when on the nail it gives a jelly-like look, meaning it’s shiny and looks a little squishy to touch.

The difference with jellies is that they offer a splash of sheer colour and loads of shine—kind of like lip gloss, except for your nails.

Jelly nail polishes are generally a coloured polish that has a transparent finish that may show the nail line.

Jelly Nail Polishes are not the same as a gel polish, despite their similar name. A gel polish is generally cured or hardened with a special light. These types of polishes were most often found in salons, and would not harden without the use of special UV lights. But the beauty industry has cottoned on to our desire for long-lasting gel manicures, and now you can buy at home sets with a UV light or try one of the Gel Manicure kits that come with a special top coat that doesn’t need a light to set.

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How do you apply jelly nail polish?

Jelly nail polishes are just like any other polish to apply. Most jellies are very sheer in colour, so you many need to apply a number of coats to achieve the level of opaqueness you want.

The real draw of the jelly nail polish is the quickness, customisability (sandwich a glitter polish in the jelly varnish) and the simple beauty of the look.

Manicurist Geraldine Holford told Into the Gloss: “You don’t have to be so precious about it. A girl can just put this on and go. It’s a lot less time consuming because it doesn’t have to be so perfect.”

Buy jelly nail polish

Get your hands on the nail trend with these jelly nail polishes

Zoya Bubbly Summer Holographic Jellies Nail Polish Collection - Muse

Zoya Bubbly Summer Holographic Jellies Nail Polish Collection - Binx

Zoya Bubbly Summer Holographic Jellies Nail Polish Collection - Staasi

Zoya Nail Polish, Alma

Zoya Nail Polish, Harper

Yves Saint Laurent La Laque

Sally Hansen Triple Shine Limited Edition Palm Beach Jellies

Sinful Colors Professional Nail Polish

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear, Red Carpet

Also try the Barry M High Shine Gelly Paint

These are a little different. They provide an extra glossy jelly-like finish in just one coat. They’re highly pigmented colour with a chip-resistant formula. Giving a glossy, jelly-like look in a single coat. Perfect for when you’re rushing out the door.

The ultimate guide to jelly nail polish

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