Nail Specialists Have a Love/Hate Relationship with Gel Polish. ncLA is No Different.

We love that it offers durable shine and wear for our client’s nails as opposed to lacquer. We hate that it is usually streaky when applied, is expensive for us to buy compared to lacquer ($10-17/bottle of gel polish plus buying a lamp to cure it versus $1-4 for lacquer), that it doesn’t offer the strength support that clients think it does to their nails, and is difficult to remove compared to lacquer with buffing the shiny coat down and soaking in acetone/cotton soaked acetone enveloped in foil.

So far Akzentz has been the only brush on gel that has performed for me in my two years of testing out products that met the ethical practices of being cruelty free while gentle and durable on nails. But what if you don’t have the money to buy a line that costs so much per bottle, and multiple hundreds of dollars for a single lamp, no less two?

Enter the Indie brands of gels and lacquers, where the selection of colors is notably smaller, they are not as available as big brands, but offer cost effective alternatives with niche markets (in this case, affordable gel that is also cruelty free)

So how does ncLA measure up?

Clients, a summary of the ncLA company, as well as a detailed FAQ section about their Gelous? line will be presented to you first so that whenever you go into a salon and see it, you will understand the company and product better,  as well as how it can help you achieve your nail goals.

Techs, after the summary we’re going to get into the details about the ncLA Gelous?  line for the questions we usually ask about a product so you can determine if you should consider carrying it in your salon versus your current brand.

What is ncLA Exactly, and Gelous? Gel Polish in Particular? 

ncLA is a Californian company that markets itself as being a nail product only company, made in the USA, with 7 free, vegan, and cruelty free products. They carry 44 colors in their Gelous line, with the 24 most popular colors paired with their lacquer line

They have a lot of simple application product lines besides Gelous?:

  • Nail Wraps –  Self adhesive sticker wraps, similar to Jamberry
  • Nail Lacquers– 7 free, vegan, cruelty free, a no light gel top coat ( /eyeroll )
  • Treatments – Personal manicure kits, scented cuticle oils, acetone pen, hand scrub, and hand cream


Clients, Here are Some Questions About ncLA Gelous? Asked on Your Behalf:

  1. Does ncLA Gelous? products contain nuts, or is processed in a place with nuts? No
  2. Is ncLA Gelous? products vegan, containing no animal products at all? Yes
  3. Is ncLA Gelous? products cruelty free in manufacturing and testing? Yes
  4. Does ncLA Gelous products have any fragrances? No
  5. Where is ncLA Gelous? products made? Los Angeles, California
  6. Does it Contain Dibutyl Phthalate? No
  7. Does it Contain Toluene? No
  8. Does it Contain Formaldehyde? No
  9. Does it Contain Formaldehyde Resin? No
  10. Does it Contain Camphor? No
  11. Does it Contain Xylene? No
  12. Will it burn at any point? Not unless it’s too thick or the nailbeds are thinned out from being filed too much by drills or heavy handed filing.
  13. How long does it last? It says 21 days, but lasted 3 before chipping.
  14. How often should this be done on my nails? Manufacturer says after 21 days.  If you want to grow your nails past 1/16th over your finger, you should have a more supportive gel on it first, and then do a gel polish over it.
  15. How is this different than nail gel I can buy in a regular store? It’s similar to OPI except it’s certified vegan and cruelty free and supposed to last 21 days.


Nail Techs, Here are Your Questions Answered About Gelous:

  • Where is this ncLA Gelous? system from that I used? I bought this product from an ncLA booth at Premiere in Florida. I bought the base, single color, no wipe top coat, and nail lacquer there. They didn’t offer a base and top coat for the nail lacquer.
  • How easy is this product to get, can I buy it anywhere? Online only? Dig it out of the ground? This is an online only product, so this won’t be good for procrastinators that wait until their supply is empty before buying more product.
  • Is there fragrance/fumes to consider? It has a bit of a sweet smell to it. I didn’t smell it until my nose was right next to the brush of any of the bottles I tested.
  • Is the MSDS available?   They said they have them but never emailed them to me.

  • How would you compare this to other colored brush on gels or gel polishes you’ve worked with? Much more simple to understand than others that I’ve tried to use. Every step is 30 seconds in LED curing in a 36W lamp, but the colors are streaky.  A third coat of color fixed it.The base and top coat bottles look very, very similar. There is only a slight change in font color to differentiate one from the other. Pretty annoying. I would write a B and T on the top of the handle to know what to grab during my typical busy salon day. The color bottles label matches the color inside. The red I used was of a decent pigment.
  • How much is it? $8.49-bottle from 1-50 bottles, and then the price goes down .50 progressively for each additional 50 that you buy.
  • What is the cost per service? Per bottle is $.28
  • How much are the lamps? $179.00.
  • What types of lamps are used? LED only.
  • Where can I get instructions from the manufacturer on how to apply this product? Shopncla on YouTube
  • How easy is it to use the website? Can I find what I’m looking for easily? Can I click a button and organize by color? Does the search bar work well? Color search and texture search available,  the search bar works well also. There’s no FAQ page, they’re more focused on being in a trendy magazine or fashion show on their blog.
  • Why should I use this in my salon? Cost effective, cruelty free versus OPI/CND/Gelish, on trend colors and classic colors that have a lot of matching lacquers, made in USA, no wrinkling.
  • What did you not like about this line? Not all gels had matching lacquer. I could see clients that would not like that. Online order or show order only. Base and top coat bottles look too similar. Top coat is eh, ok but not the best.
  • How easy is this to use? Really easy. Prep the nail, wipe buff dust off with alcohol, cure base, color, and top for 30 seconds LED each, done.
  • Was it difficult to remove? No. 5 minutes on natural nails, just make sure to buff off the gloss first before wrapping them. 


This was a fun product to test. It would be a good one for nail specialists in school to buy and play around with to learn how gel polish works to get the thin layer application process down.

There’s still no USA owned company that I’ve come across yet that performs AND has the ethical business practice requirements that my clients have repeatedly asked for.

Gelous? follows the same protocol as the vast majority of gel polishes; prep the nail, apply base coat then cure, apply one coat of color then cure, apply second coat of color then cure, apply top coat then cure. But unlike most gel polishes, Gelous? doesn’t stink, wrinkle, or have different cure times for different coats to memorize. The colors are the most popular ones that clients repeatedly use, so it would not be a good line for nail art specialists.

If you have any questions I didn’t cover about Gelous?, please let me know in the comments below so we can all be better versed in this product!