Gel Illusion LED Gel Topcoat

Gel Illusion LED Gel Topcoat

Excuse the pun, but I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this when I first heard about it. I mean, a gel topcoat that extends the life of your nail polish for up to 10 days with no damage to the nail whatsoever – what’s not to love here?

Gel Illusion is applied as a topcoat over any nail polish or colour, and gives a glossy, long-wearing finish after you’ve cured your nails for 60 seconds. When it’s time to take it off, it can either be peeled off or quickly removed with gel polish remover.

Gel Illusion 1

That’s the official blurb – I’m now going to take you through how I personally found application and removal.

  • Paint your nails with your favourite polish. You then need to wait at least 30 minutes before applying Gel Illusion to let your polish fully dry. I left my nails about an hour, and next time may paint them before bedtime and apply Gel Illusion the next morning
  • Cleanse the surface of your freshly painted nails with one of the supplied wipes. Note, you only get 2 in the box and neither of mine were ‘wet’ enough, so after ruining one of my nails due to having to rub too hard with the dried out wipe, I ended up using another nail cleanser on a lint free cotton pad for the rest which worked fine
  • Apply a coat of Gel Illusion to your nails and cure with an LED lamp for 60 seconds. Do your four fingers first and then the thumb on each hand
  • Take another wipe or cotton pad and remove the sticky residue on the nail surface
  • That’s it!

Gel Illusion 2

Wearability: This definitely helped my polish last longer, although despite running it over the free edge of the nail, it still chipped a bit there on a couple of nails. I did do a fair bit of washing up and I type every day, but this doesn’t tend to happen with actual gel polish. On the nail it gives a high-shine finish and is obviously not as thick in appearance as normal gel polish.

Removal: Here’s where it gets a little tricky… The Gel Illusion YouTube vid says that after buffing the surface of the nail to break down the Gel Illusion (the same process when gel polish is removed), you should be able to peel it off the nail in seconds – otherwise you need to soak it off. This did not happen with mine, but oh I wish it had as I did attempt to pick it off, probably not the best idea!

So what you need to do is this: get your gel polish remover/acetone and some lint free cotton pads. After buffing the surface of each nail, soak a pad in remover and hold it over each nail for about a minute. Then keep rubbing until it comes off. I couldn’t resist a bit of a pick either, which didn’t seem to affect my nails.

It took me about 15 minutes to do both hands, so not nearly as long as traditional gel polish which is a definite plus point. But one of the best things about Gel Illusion is, as the brand says, that your nails are not affected in any way at all, and it’s true. After removal, my nails were back to their original pre-polish state.

Gel Illusion is one of my favourite products of the year so far – I can see me using it a lot, but will need to stock up on acetone and some more nail cleansing solution…

Gel Illusion costs £19.99 and is available from and – if I find more stockists I’ll update this post.

*PR sample




Rebecca Barnes
  • Anonymous
    Posted at 08:05h, 26 September Reply

    I had this applied recently at a salon by the time I got home the varnish had chipped on several nails and by following day it was lifting on all nails and was peeling off. So lasted barely 2 days

    • rebeccab
      Posted at 08:11h, 26 September Reply

      Thanks for your message, it’s definitely no substitute for gel polish and I did also get a bit of chipping but overall my experience was positive. Sorry to hear about yours though.

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