Gelish Mini VitaGel Strength

Gelish Mini VitaGel Strength is meant to be used on natural nails either alone, with regular polish, or under gel polish. It can be used in lieu of Gelish Mini Foundation. I have mixed feelings about this product. Read on to find out why!

What Gelish claims:


  • Formulated to maintain natural nails
  • Enriched with Vitamins A, E and B5
  • Formaldehyde, Toluene and DBP free


Gelish VitaGel Strength first-ever LED/UV light cured Vitamin Nail Strengthener. Reinforces nail growth while guarding the natural nail from peeling, splitting and chipping. Can be worn in place of Foundation Base Gel, alone as a natural nail strengthener or with nail lacquer for extended color wear.

I have tried several different methods of applying VitaGel Strength. I’ve used one coat, cured, and topped with Gelish mini Top It Off. Since the VitaGel is so thick it goes on patchy and doesn’t smooth out well. This is not a method I found to give a good end result. I’ve also applied one coat and after curing, used a small, dry nail brush to remove the excess. That seemed to remove too much VitaGel.


Gelish mini VitaGel under “Make You Blink Pink” and “Vegas Nights”

I’ve used this as the first polish in my gel manicure routine, both under Gelish mini Foundation, and without Foundation. After 2-3 coats of colored gel polish over, it smooths the VitaGel out nicely. The finished manicure is smooth, and feels strong. My nails are a bit thicker than when I don’t use the VitaGel. It looks good, and feels strong, however, there is one big problem. No matter what I do it peels off. Not every nail, not right away. It seems completely random, and I can’t figure it out!

In my experience the best way to use VitaGel is to prep your nails, apply a thin layer, cure, apply Gelish mini Top It Off, cure again, and wipe with cleanser to remove the sticky residue. Once your nails are dry, apply a non gel polish and top coat. If you use a formula that is a little thick, and do 2-3 coats, it usually will smooth out nicely. It doesn’t work well with a thin polish formula.

Gelish also makes VitaGel Recovery, which they claim is a thick formula meant to fill ridges while your natural nails grow out after acrylics. I haven’t tried that formula. I can’t say that I would want to, given my experience with the very thick VitaGel Strength.
You can find Gelish products at Sally Beauty Supply. A .30 fl oz bottle is approximately $20.

Have you tried either of these strengtheners? What do you think?

xo Amber

Cargo Cosmetics

  • Aleya Bamdad

    I never tried these but it sounds a little tedious. I like to do a quick mani and get on to other things.

  • BeautyJudy

    I really like the Gelish at home kit but haven’t tried this as a base. I might just stick to the foundation!

  • Kim Porter

    I’ve never used Gelish. The only at home gel kit I used was Red Carpet Manicure. I’m sorry it peeled so quickly, especially after all of your hard work. Love the pink gel though.

    • Amber

      Thanks Kim! RCM and Gelish are pretty much one in the same. I have a collection of gel colors from both lines. They are equally great!

  • Nidia Doherty

    No one can say you didn’t give this product a fair shake! I’m not ready to try gel polish, but I don’t think I’ll be picking this up anyway.

  • Miranda Mendoza

    I love gel polish but I really hesitate from using it because It’s such a b*tch to take off!

    • Amber

      Miranda, it is some extra work. I use the foil method and I’m used to it now. Doesn’t take too long! :)

  • Anastasia

    Too bad that it peels off easily, but the color looks lovely on your nails.

    • Amber

      Thank you Anastasia!

  • MyBeautyJunction

    I’ve never tried gel polish – it seems like too much work with the curing part :(

  • Phyrra

    I love that color!

    • Amber

      Thank you!! Brights are my favorite shades! :)

  • Farryn

    Gorgeous color!

    • Amber


  • marciaf

    I don’t get gel nails since I have a wrap that keeps my nails strong. I wouldn’t be happy if it made my polish peel though.

    • Amber

      Your nails always look fab Marcia! :)

  • loveforlacquer

    That color is gorgeous!

    • Amber

      Thank you, it’s one of my favorites too! :)

  • Kimberly

    I like this pink a lot!

    • Amber

      Thanks Kimberly!

  • MyNewestAddiction

    I need a way to strengthen my nails. They break and chip constantly.. ugh!

    • Amber

      Laura, this might work for you!

  • Sheila Arkee

    I’m fascinated – have never tried these types of products, but will have to check out Gelish now.

  • Betzy Carmona

    Your nails look great, this is what i need

  • ms_lizard

    I like the concept of Vitagel. Every review I’ve read is that it peels off. I tried it too on a problem nail and guess what… it peeled off in a whole sheet! I followed the instructions exactly! Now I wear a couple coats of Gelish Foundation on a nail that I want to keep from breaking or use it for a repair.

    • Amber

      I haven’t tried more than one layer of foundation (at least I don’t remember trying that!), but what a great idea!

  • The Beauty and The Business

    God that’s such a bummer! I might haave to skip on this one then!

  • bastylefilegirl

    Did you dry out your nail bed first? I checked out some YouTube reviews and the folks who had the most success use some type of nail prep like the Gelish Nail Prep pH Bond.