9 Best Color Changing Gel Nail Polish

color changing gel nail polish

Deep down we’re all just hoping for some magic in our lives and color changing gel nail polish delivers. If you’re not into gel polish, there are tons of non-gel color changing nail polish.

If you’re curious about how color-changing polish works, check out the bottom of the article where I nerd-out about the science–but for now, let’s get straight to the polish.

What Are the Best Color Changing Gel Polish?

color changing nail polish, mood nail polish, color changing gel polish, mood gel polish Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Salon quality
  • Many color choices
  • Individually or in sets
Price: $15.11 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
color changing nail polish, mood nail polish, color changing gel polish, mood gel polish Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Surprising color shifts
  • Individually or in sets
  • Affordable
Price: $12.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
color changing nail polish, mood nail polish, color changing gel polish, mood gel polish Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Dramatic color shifts
  • Individually or in sets
  • Lots of choices
Price: $4.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
color changing nail polish, mood nail polish, color changing gel polish, mood gel polish Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Affordable
  • Lots of kit options
  • Nice drastic changes
Price: $15.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
color changing nail polish, mood nail polish, color changing gel polish, mood gel polish Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Individual or sets
  • Ombre effect
  • Bright and playful
Price: $7.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Magnetic gel polish Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Both thermal and magnetic
  • Includes top and base coat
  • Collection color choices
Price: $15.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
color changing nail polish, mood nail polish, color changing gel polish, mood gel polish Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Affordable
  • Fun, playful colors
  • Can get ombre effect
Price: $14.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
color changing nail polish, mood nail polish, color changing gel polish, mood gel polish Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Color shifts based on light
  • Nice color choices
  • Can adjust color by using base polish
Price: $9.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
color changing nail polish, mood nail polish, color changing gel polish, mood gel polish Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Customizable sets
  • Glitter options
  • Nice gloss
Price: $15.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Lechat Mood Color Changing Soak off Gel Polish

    Pros:
    • Salon quality polish
    • Long-lasting
    • Lots of colors to choose from
    Cons:
    • Bigger investment up front
    • Not much for glitter
    • Wish it has a better brush

    I like Lechat gel polish and have featured their Diamond Hologram polish in my Best Glitter Nail Polish Shades guide. Lechat is long-lasting, durable, smooth, and often used in salons.

    What I love most about Lechat is that so many of their gel polishes come with a bottle of regular nail polish in the same color so you can do some quick touch ups if you need to. Unfortunately, their color changing polishes don’t come with an extra bottle.

    You can buy a set of six and save over money or they do have over 25 colors available individually including Lavender Blooms (white to purple) and Scarlet Stars (red to black).

    VideoVideo related to lechat mood color changing soak off gel polish2018-10-16T15:09:15-04:00

  2. 2. FairyGlo Thermal Gel Nail Polish

    Pros:
    • Dramatic, unexpected color shifts
    • Can customize your polish set
    • Tons of color options
    Cons:
    • Longer to cure than some gels
    • Needs a couple layers or base color
    • Not as long-lasting as others

    FairyGlo is one of my favorite brands when it comes to temperature changing nail polish because their color shifts can be pretty dramatic. A lot of thermal polishes tend to be between different shades of one color, like light blue to a darker blue.

    Don’t get me wrong, that’s still pretty magical, just slightly less impressive. FairyGlo has some of those as well, but they also have more unexpected shifts from light blue to dark pink or from pink to olive green. I love that.

    The formula isn’t too thin and most polishes are opaque in two coats, though some may need three coats. They aren’t the fastest curing on the market at 60 seconds under LED bulbs, but makes up for that with staying power.

    Individually, FairyGlo polishes are fairly cheap individually but buying them in a set saves you a ton money. These polishes come in Sets of Six and if you don’t like that color combination, there are 30 different assortments to choose from. FairyGlo also allows you to customize polish sets which is great, like this Pick Any 30 Set where you can choose any 30 color changing gel polishes so you can get the colors you like at half the cost of buying them individually.

    VideoVideo related to fairyglo thermal gel nail polish2018-10-16T15:12:26-04:00

  3. 3. Clavuz Temperature Changing Gel Nail Polish

    Pros:
    • Three distinct colors in the gradient
    • Unexpected color shifts
    • Tons of color choices
    • Available in sets or individually
    Cons:
    • Formula may need two to three coats
    • Not really for ombre
    • Too flashy for some

    This is another brand with dramatic color shifts including this pink to periwinkle to burgundy shade. Clavuz’s thermal nail polishes have some of the widest gradients I’ve seen with three distinct colors between cold, warm, and hot.

    With some shades, the center of the gradient is more obviously a transition color, but for some, it can look like a totally separate color. A great example is this shade that goes from mint green to a berry purple to a midnight blue.

    The only downside is that the Clavus formula goes on a little sheer so you’ll want to use two to three coats to get good opaque color. If you prefer to buy a set of polish for more variety, Clavuz offers a Starter Kit that includes 10 color changing polish along with a top coat and base coat.

  4. 4. Elite 99 Temperature Color Shifting Gel Nail Polish

    Pros:
    • Cheaper than most
    • Highly pigmented
    • Variety of colors and kit combinations
    Cons:
    • Not as high quality compared to others
    • Hard to keep in stock
    • Smaller bottles

    Elite99 is offering one of the best deals with their eight polish color sets. These polishes from Elite99 have intense, bright pigmentation in a great formula that’s easy to work with and doesn’t require four coats to be opaque.

    Check out this YouTube video review to see the color shifting in action.

    If you don’t love the colors included in this starter kit, Elite99 is offering 11 different starter kits with different nail polish combinations including all glitter, fun summery colors, and a combination of the two.

  5. 5. Aimeili Thermal Gel Nail Polish

    Pros:
    • Unique ombre effect
    • Bright colors
    • Can buy individually or in sets
    • Variety of colors in sets
    Cons:
    • Polish formula is thick
    • Not as long-lasting as others
    • Best on longer nails

    Aimeili has a small but vibrant range of color changing polish including glitters and bright candy colors. Their thermal dye is fairly sensitive compared to other brands so if you have longer nails, you’ll likely get a nice ombre of the warm and cold colors from your nail bed to your nail tips.

    The formula of the polish is thicker than most so it takes a little getting used to. To get the best durability out of it make sure you’re applying thin, even layers.

    These polishes are available individually or in sets.

    VideoVideo related to aimeili thermal gel nail polish2018-10-16T14:27:30-04:00

  6. 6. Clavuz Magnetic Cat Eye & Thermal Gel Polish

    Pros:
    • Unique color changing magnetic combination
    • Cheap for a set of 7 polishes
    • Choice of sets
    • Includes top and base coat
    • Includes magnet stick
    • Comes with polish remover wraps
    Cons:
    • Colors are fairly dark
    • Smaller bottles
    • Might not need top and base coat

    Okay, we’ve had a lot of temperature changing polish, and this is thermochromatic too, but with a little something extra thrown in. This gel polish by Clavuz is color changing and magnetic.

    Magnetic polish works by having a series of metallic particles dispersed in the lacquer. It goes on as a uniform color, but when you hover a magnet over your wet polish, it pulls those metallic bits together giving your nails an effect a little like a tiger’s eye gemstone.

    It’s a neat and impressive look on its own, but this magnetic polish will also change color.

    It may not be the most durable on the list, but it’s worth it for the unique effect. This set of seven polishes has five thermal-magnetic colors as well as a top coat and a base coat.

    Plus you also get a magnet stick and 50 nail polish remover wraps. 

  7. 7. Gel Lab Color Changing Gel Polish

    Pros:
    • Wide gradient with three distinct colors
    • Affordable
    • Several options of color combinations
    Cons:
    • Not as great for short nails
    • Middle color can be a little muddier than with other brands
    • Bottles are smaller than average

    If you’re intrigued by the three-color temperature changes, Gel Lab has a good deal for a seven-piece set. I will say off the bat though that with the temperature sensitivity of this brand, if you have shorter nails you likely won’t be able to see three colors at once.

    With longer nails, you’ve got a better chance to get that full ombre effect, but with shorter nails, you may only get two colors. Gel Lab has six different color sets if you don’t love this selection of colors so you have options to choose from.

  8. 8. Perfect Summer Duo-Chrome Chameleon Soak Off Gel Nail Polish

    Pros:
    • Doesn’t rely on temperatures for color shift
    • Lots of great color choices
    • Eye-catching
    Cons:
    • More expensive than others
    • Not tradtionally color-changing
    • Best over black base

    Temperature changing polish is by far the most popular and available, but duo-chrome like Perfect Summer polish, is another type of color changing polish that doesn’t require you to change the temperature of your hands to get see the fun.

    This glitter gel polish by Perfect Summer has a multi-chrome effect where the polish is solidly one color, but if you shift your hand just a couple of inches, it’s suddenly a completely different color. At some angles you’ll be able to see both colors and watch them switch back and forth.

    I love my duo-chrome polishes because of how fast the colors can change and change back. It’s an instantaneous transition, unlike with temperature changing polish. If you’re not seeing a change, you probably just need to get better lighting.

    This polish has a sapphire to amethyst flash, but Perfect Summer also has polishes in emerald to gold, aqua to lilac, and fuschia to deep blue. Polishes like this do tend to look best over a black polish.

  9. 9. Gellen Thermochromatic Gel Nail Polish

    Pros:
    • Awesome glitter choices
    • Long-lasting shine
    • Can customize your polish sets
    Cons:
    • Formula can be a little thick
    • More glitter than not
    • Bottles are smaller than average

    If you’re looking for color changing polish and glitter, Gellen has a nice range of glitter gels that shift depending on temperature. This set of four comes with four glitter polishes that are all temperature changing polish.

    Gellen has great lasting power though the formula can be a little thicker than some are used to. Just make sure you’re using thin layers and you’ll be fine. 

Thermochromatic Nail Polish.

This nail polish is often called mood nail polish since thermochromatic ink first hit the scene in the 1970's and was famously used in mood rings.

If the science of this kind of thing doesn't intrigue you, go ahead and skip right down to the best color changing gel nail polish, but if you've ever wondered how it works, I'm going to break it down for you.

Thermochromatic nail polish contains two dyes--one is a normal nail polish pigment and the other is a leuco dye. Leuco dyes are usually transparent at warmer temperatures and opaque when cold, appearing either on top of or mixing with the regular polish pigment.

This all works because within the nail polish there are leuco dyes, a weak organic acid (nothing that would hurt your nail), and a solvent.

The solvent is in charge and is either a solid in cold temperatures or a liquid when warm. When the solvent is a solid, it holds the acid and the dye close together and the color is visible, but when the solvent melts, the acid and dye are able to flow away from each other and the dye becomes transparent. Neat, right?

Duo-Chrome.

Duo-chrome nail polish looks like one color from one angle and a completely different color from a different angle. It's also called multi-chrome and chameleon polish. It works by having reflective pigments set at different angles and depths within a layer of polish so light reflects one color when the light hits it one way and a second color from other angles.

For color changing nail polish, gel polish is the place to be. There are more brands with more dramatic color choices. If you're looking for regular polish see this guide of mine, but if gel is your thing then stick around.

See Also: 

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