Looking for the best glow in the dark nail polish?
Then this post is for you.
I’ve tested a bunch of polishes that claim to glow in the dark and I’m ready to share the results of my epic nail polish experiment!
I’m gonna share my top 8 options for glow in the dark nail polish that apply easily, are safe, look great, and actually work.
I’ll also answer some of your questions, and give you my best tips and advice for rocking glow-in-the-dark nails.
Let’s get started.
Gel nail polish set
Whether you want neon green, fluorescent pink, bright blue, or vibrant orange, this six-polish set has you covered.
It’s fluorescent gel polish so it’s long-lasting (up to 2 weeks of wear) and will need to be cured with a UV lamp and soaked off.
These glow-in-the-dark polishes charge by natural sunlight or UV light.
If you want something super bright that will work for going to bars, clubs, parties, and for Halloween, this set is a great choice.
What I loved most about these is that the colors are highly pigmented and look great during the day too.
These polishes are also low-odor and non-toxic.
The only downside I found with these is that the polish goes on a little transparent.
You might be tempted to apply thicker coats but in my experience, this will cause peeling.
So my advice is to do several (3 or 4) very thin coats to get the best results.
Benefits of Gelike:
1. Very bright and vibrant glow
One of the best pros for this particular set is how bright they are.
The vibrancy level of these polishes is very good. They really make your nails stand out in the club and the glow lasts for around an hour before it will start to fade.
Pro tip for making nails glow longer
Top up your glow by exposing your nails to sunlight or popping them under a UV lamp for a couple of minutes.
You can even get a portable UV lamp for your nails to keep them glowing all night long!
2. Good selection of colors that work well together
I was pretty happy with the color selection in this set. You get 6 colors and there are no duds in the set.
Sometimes the colors in a set don’t awlays gel well together (pardon the pun).
With this set, all the colors work well together, so you can mix and match to your heart’s content without worrying about color clashes.
This is great for doing nail art designs.
3. Highly pigmented colors that look good during the day too
It’s unfortunate, but a lot of glow in the dark nails polishes look awful in natural daylight.
One of the best things about this set is that the colors look good in the daytime too.
So you can wear these polishes day to night and they’ll handle the transition.
4. They are safe and they don’t stink!
My last pro about this set is the fact that they are non toxic.
This makes them safe to use, even for kids.
So you can finish off that Halloween costume with some cute glow in the dark talons without exposure to the toxic chemicals that are present in a lot of nail polishes.
What I didn’t like about Gelike:
Here are some of the drawbacks for the Gelike set.
1. Needs UV light to charge/re-charge
Most glow in the dark polishes need UV light to charge, but there are some that charge in natural sunlight.
So the need for a lamp can be considerd a con (especially if you don’t already have one).
I recommend getting a mini lamp for glow in the dark polish so you can keep topping it up.
2. You’ll need several thin coats to get the right look
The polish is very transparant, so you do need to do at least 3 thin coats to get an opaque finish.
This makes the whole application process take longer.
Please resist the temptation to do thicker coats, it won’t cure well and you’ll end up with smudges and smooshing!
Best glow-in-the-dark gel polish
Here is another of my favorite glow-in-the-dark polish sets from Vrenmol.
This set is very similar to the previous one, but the colors are a little brighter, happier, and more summery in my opinion.
This is a gel polish set so it does need to be cured under a nail lamp and it also needs UV light to activate and re-charge the glow.
When I tested them, these polishes applied well, but you may want to use several thin coats to get full opacity.
Here’s a video showing the application process for these colors:
I couldn’t capture the glow well on camera, but the glow on these polishes is amazing – probably the brightest I’ve seen.
I also tried a white gel polish under these colors and the colors really popped!
The green and yellow are the brightest, and the blue was the least vibrant.
- Super bright fluorescent glow
- Happy summery colors
- Smooth application
- Charges up fast
- Needs to be cured under a UV lamp
- Must be exposed to UV light to re-charge
- Goes on a bit transparent
Best glow-in-the-dark polish colors
A lot of the glow-in-the-dark gel nail polish sets come in standard colors like neon green, yellow, pink, and orange.
I love that the colors in this set are completely different.
These polishes look amazing and you’d never guess that they glow in the dark!
The glow is strong and long-lasting and I had so much fun wearing them.
This is a gel polish set that needs to be cured under a UV or an LED nail lamp and soaked off.
This polish lasted for almost 2 weeks!
The only negative I could find with this set is that the nail polish formula is a bit on the thick side.
- Unique colors for glow-in-the-dark polish
- Look fabulous and classy during the day
- Good quality long-lasting gel polish
- Glows very well
- Consistency is a little thick
- Needs UV light to cure
- The bottles are small-sized (8 ml)
Best non-gel glow-in-the-dark polish set
If you’re looking for a regular, glow-in-the-dark nail polish that doesn’t need to be cured then this set could be for you.
It came with 6 colors – yellow, pink, green, orange, purple, and blue.
The polish was easy to apply and remove and I was happy to see that it glows really well under blacklights!
This polish is very bold and eye-catching, particularly in the warmer colors.
I found that the blue and purple in this set weren’t quite as bright as the other colors.
This polish applies well, dries pretty fast, and doesn’t chip right away which is great.
You do need to expose these polishes to UV light to activate them, so do keep that in mind.
- Easy to remove
- Doesn’t need to be cured under a nail lamp
- Bright vibrant colors and a nice glow
- Good value for money
- Doesn’t last as long as gel polish
- Needs UV light to activate it
- Not the best quality nail polish in the world
Glow in the dark top coat nail polish
My next recommendation is this glow-in-the-dark top coat.
This is a soak-off gel topcoat that needs to be cured under a UV or an LED lamp.
It’s designed to be used on top of any glow-in-the-dark gel nail polish.
Now, you may be able to get away with using your regular top coat.
Some people have tried this and it has worked out ok.
But if you’re worried about the topcoat dampening the effects of the glow then this specially designed top coat can give you peace of mind.
This polish is designed to maximize and intensify the glow of your nails, so you should get amazing results.
- Can be used on top of any gel nail polish
- Glows brilliantly
- Nice application brush and bottle
- The glow has a sort of greenish tinge
- You need 2 coats to get a good result with this
Polygel glow in the dark nail polish
This is a great glow-in-the-dark set for anyone (like me) who’s into sculpting their own nails with polygel.
This polygel kit is fantastic value for money.
You get 12 different colors that look completely different from day to night.
The glow is super strong, even on the blue (which is hard to find).
You do need a UV lamp to both cure and activate/re-charge this poly gel.
This kit has great reviews overall, even from beginners, so it’s a good one to think about if you’re ready to try out poly gel for the first time.
- Easy to work with
- Nice color selection
- Strong vibrant glow
- Highly pigmented colors
- There’s a learning curve (especially for beginners)
- Some people find the gel a little sticky
How to make your own DIY glow nails
If you’re into DIY nail projects, you might wanna give this method a try.
This is amazing stuff!
It’s basically a powder that adds a bright glow to anything you mix it with.
It’s commonly used in crafting, where it’s mixed with acrylic paint or resin.
But you can add glow-in-the-dark powder to acrylics, or hard and soft gels for amazing results.
This set comes with 10 colored powders and a portable UV light for charging.
I haven’t used it on my nails yet but I mixed it with a bit of acrylic to test it out and it worked great!
- Mixes great with acrylics and gels
- Glows super bright
- Holds the charge for a long time
- Can be a little grainy/gritty which means lots of filing
Glow in the dark set with pretty colors
This luminous 12-color gel polish set is very affordable and the colors are super pretty.
These are gel polishes, so you will need to cure them under a UV or LED nail lamp and soak them off to remove them.
You will also need to charge up the polish using UV light.
But once you do, the glow is amazing!
The quality of these polishes is very good. They are long-lasting and don’t chip easily.
The colors do go on a little transparent with this set so I’d recommend either doing 3 to 4 thin coats or adding a white base to make the colors pop.
- Beautiful colors
- Charges well, even in the sun
- Glows BRIGHT!
- Long lasting glow
- Small-sized bottles (7.5 ml)
Best glow-in-the-dark gel liners
Sometimes, you don’t want the whole nail to glow.
So, my last recommendation for you is these glow-in-the-dark gel polish liners.
I found that these are great for adding those little details to your nail art that will glow up in the dark.
You get 12 different colors, all of which are highly pigmented.
The thin brush tips are easy to use and you can create some super cute and fun designs.
If you like to create amazing hand-drawn details, you need these in your life!
- Good selection of pretty colors
- Nice thin brushes
- Decent glow
- Good price
- You do need UV light to cure and charge these.
Does glow-in-the-dark polish work?
Glow-in-the-dark nail polish divides people.
Some see it as a novelty or a gimmick product that doesn’t really work very well.
Others love its bold attention-grabbing look.
A lot of the bad reputation is down to the fact that people don’t understand how glow-in-the-dark nail polish works.
They don’t know how to activate it or how to re-charge the glow when it runs out.
While it’s true that there are some dodgy and disappointing glow-in-the-dark nail polishes out there, there are also some great ones.
All of the polishes in this article glow well if properly treated.
How long does glow-in-the-dark nail polish last?
Glow-in-the-dark nail polish doesn’t last forever.
15 minutes to an hour is the length of time you can expect your nails to glow.
The glow will eventually fade at which point you’ll need to recharge it.
The vibrancy, type, and length of your glow, as well as the best way to activate it, depends on what type of glow-in-the-dark nail polish you are using.
The two types of glow in the dark polish explained
There are 2 main types of glow-in-the-dark polish.
The first type is a natural glow-in-the-dark polish that doesn’t require exposure to UV or Black lights to work (this is phosphorescent polish).
This first kind of polish gives a soft, more natural-looking glow that lasts for a long time but does need exposure to some kind of light once it fades.
This can be natural sunlight, your mobile phone flashlight, or any other light source.
The best thing about this type of polish is that it can be charged by any kind of light.
The second type (fluorescent polish) glows much brighter but needs to be exposed to UV light specifically to activate it.
This second type of nail polish is super vibrant and very eye-catching but it can’t be charged with your phone for example.
With fluorescent polish, how long your glow lasts depends on how long you expose your nails to UV light.
The longer you charge, the longer your nails will glow.
When the glow fades, simply recharge using a UV light like a nail lamp.
Does glow-in-the-dark nail polish work with a top coat?
You might be able to get away with using a regular topcoat over your glow-in-the-dark nails.
But it can dampen the effect and the polish might not charge as well or as quickly.
I recommend getting a special topcoat that is designed to work with glow-in-the-dark polish.
The results will be much better and I’m my experience it’s totally worth the investment.
Scroll up for my glow-in-the-dark gel soak-off top coat polish recommendation from Crea8tion.
That’s it my lovelies!
I hope that you found this post helpful and that I was able to de-mystify glow in the dark nail polish a little bit for you.
I think that a lot of people are put off because of reviews saying that the glow doesn’t last, but if you know how to charge it then you can keep the glow alive!
The trick is really in knowing how to charge your polish so that it glows really brightly.
Thanks for reading.
Sources, Citations and further reading
Avoiding the toxic trio – Audrey Kunin, MD
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