Gel-eration gap: 12 gel nail & beauty basics your makeup bag’s missing

Ayesha Muttucumaru 7 August 2015
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12 gel nail and beauty basics your makeup bag needs

When it comes to long-lasting makeup must-haves that merge pigment with the smoothest of formulas, gel beauty products are fast becoming the cream of the crop.

From nail polishes that allow you to achieve high shine gel-effect nails at home to skin perfecting primers to panda eye proof eyeliners, the choice is now endless when it comes to giving our makeup bags a dose of professional grade gloss. Here are the 12 gel beauty essentials that are making waves here at GTG HQ.

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Dior Vernis Gel Shine and Long Wear Nail Lacquer

Achieving a salon-look gel manicure at home has never been easier thanks to this gel-effect nail polish. High shine and extremely fast-drying, the cleverly designed brush ensures smooth application by perfectly hugging the nail bed and dispensing just the right amount of polish to merge striking colour and coverage in one fell swoop. If we had to choose, Rouge has to be our favourite - a bold, classic red that suits every skin tone.

£19. Buy online .

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Illamasqua Gel Sculpt in Silhouette

On first glance, this piece of compact contouring makeup  looks pretty scary. However, trust us when we say it’s sheerer and more versatile than we ever expected. Suiting the darkest to the palest of the Glossy Posse, its creamy texture melts into skin to subtly add shadow and contrast to cheekbones and the jawline to sculpt and contour with ease. It also blends like a dream too, to allow you to switch up your finished look from subtle to the more dramatic at just a swipe (or two) of your fingertips.

£22. Buy online .

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Lancôme La Base Pro Perfecting Makeup Primer

The perfect primer for those with oily skin types, this pre-foundation essential creates the smoothest of bases for the rest of your makeup. With a lightweight and slick texture that’s akin to a veil for the skin, it gives makeup a dose of dawn to dusk longevity to keep base, blush and bronzer  looking camera-ready through the hottest and most humid of conditions.

£28.50. Buy online .

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OPI Infinite Shine 2 Nail Lacquer

To give nails a brush-on budgeproof boost, this range of OPI nail polishes provides colour and density in equal measure. Shiny and available in an array of different colours to suit any mood and occasion, it gave us bottles of nail inspiration while also giving our nail-biting GTG-tester a much-needed incentive to change her ways! To achieve the most long-lasting of effects, use in conjunction with the Infinite Shine Primer Base & Gloss Top Coat , £19.95.

£13.95. Buy online .

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MAC Brow Set

The perfect match for those looking for an easy yet effective way to up their eyebrow grooming games, this brow booster is the easiest way to achieve neater brows while also providing subtle depth and definition. A must for every beauty bag, it’s available in both tinted and clear versions to tame, tidy and shape the thinnest to the bushiest of facial topiary for a look that’s natural but equally eye-catching.

£14. Buy online .

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Benefit They’re Real! Push-Up Liner

Long-lasting and panda eye-proof, this range of dialled down and dramatic coloured gel eyeliners has supreme staying power. A great choice for eyeliner junkies and newbies alike, they’re so easy to apply that they’re capable of transforming anyone’s eyeliner skills from shaky to straight in no time; no prior experience needed.

£18.50. Buy online .

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Maybelline EyeStudio Color Tattoo Cream Gel Eyeshadow

The handiest of day to night makeup transformers, these little pots of pigmented colour balance the creamiest of gel formulas with buildable day to night coverage. Permanent Taupe was a favourite of the team’s - a matte nude shade that provided a beautiful bronzed look for day and could be built up easily for a touch of night time drama. Ideal for high and low maintenance beauty fans alike, it’s the purse-friendly eyeshadow pick that’ll boost your smokey eye artilleries, without breaking the bank.

£4.99. Buy online .

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Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick

One of the best lipsticks we’ve tried in a long time, these bullets of pigmented colour scored full marks from us for their lip plumping  abilities. Merging high colour payoff with high moisture, we were able to ditch our pre-application slicks of lip balm in favour of a single slick of these hybid lipsticks - a statement lip never looked (or felt) so good if you ask us.

£7.99. Buy online .

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Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner

Providing definition and a creamy formula that glides onto lash lines, this sharpener-free eyeliner could become your new clutch bag essential. Our new Saturday night favourite for its smudge-proof finish and dancefloor-proof appeal, its thin pencil tip offers expert precision and the perfect level of colour payoff that doesn’t drag, pull, or tug on delicate eyelids.

£18.50. Buy online .

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Butter London Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer

Fast-drying and easy to apply, this range of foolproof nail polishes provides the gloss and shine of a professional salon style gel manicure. A great choice for the more chip-prone among us (*raises hand up sheepishly*), the results were smoother, longer-lasting and more vibrant when compared against others we’ve tried in the past to provide an express mani that delivers in both the short and long-term too thanks to its list of nail strengthening goodies.

£15. Buy online .

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Topshop Cheek Jelly

From high street to handbag, this collection of budget-friendly pops of colour has ‘beauty bargain’ written all over them. An easy way to add a natural flush of colour to cheeks, their no fuss finish suits a range of different skin tones and is perfect for anyone looking to master the ‘no makeup makeup’ look or for a gentle wash of colour when time is of the essence.

£7. Buy online .

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Essie Gel-Setter Nail Polish Top Coat

Essentially, this is a must-have for anyone’s at-home manicure kits. With the power to give any nail polish the finish of gel nails without the faff, it dries incredibly quickly to keep smudges to an absolute minimum too. It’s the top coat upgrade that our makeup bags wondered what they did without.

£9.99. Buy online .