Cat-eye gel nail polish is super-popular today. It’s also called magnetic chameleon 9d cat eye gel nail polish because it contains special particles that react to a magnetic tool and create a beautiful banded chatoyancy effect.
This is the effect you can find in the cat-eye and tiger eye gemstones.
Chameleon cat-eye gel polish is the kind of magnetic polish that has two colors in one bottle. The colors shift and you get a beautiful gradient effect.
Cat-eye gel polish can be used as a standalone gel nail polish over a regular clear gel base coat. Then you get the look of a chatoyant gemstone.
It can also be used over 1-2 layers of black gel nail polish to get a deeper, more saturated color and tiger eye gemstone look.
You don’t need to go to a salon to get this look. It’s not that hard to re-create at home with the help of the best cat-eye gel nail polish brands and simple step by step instructions.
Let’s jump right in!
|Modelones||A cute gift box with 2 chameleon color polishes, 1 black polish, base coat, glissy and matte top coats, and a magnetic stick.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Mizhse||5 color polishes, 1 black one, 2 magnetic tools.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Meet Across||6 pastel colors with shimmer. Comes with 2 magnet tools.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Allenbelle||6 highly-pigmented gemstone colors with a magnetic stick.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Beetles||Set of space/galaxy themed polishes, including magnetic, color-changing, glitter, and black ones, plus a magnetic stick.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Makartt||A lovely gift box with 5 chameleon polishes, 1 black polish, base coat, top coat, 1 magnetic stick.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Gellen||6 polishes with 2 magnetic sticks.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Born Pretty||6 chameleon gels that come in jars instead of bottles.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Megior||4 deep hues and 2 glitters.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Maychao||6 highly-pigmented colors with glitter. Look good even without any black polish underneath.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Mobray||6 cool shades in a pretty gift box.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Ideal Swan||11-piece magnet tool set||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Born Pretty||Regular magnetic cat-eye nail polish. Non-gel.||CHECK ON AMAZON|
Best magnetic chameleon cat-eye gel nail polish
Modelones 9D Galaxy Chameleon Cat-Eye Gel Nail Polish
Modelones is one of the leading manufacturers of polygel and gel nail kits.
They sell their sets in lovely packaging, so these sets make a great gift.
This cat-eye kit contains a set of polishes and other products.
Modelones kit is packaged in a cute orange gift box and comes with everything you need to create cat eye nails.
It contains 2 chameleon 9d cat-eye gel nail polish bottles and one magnetic stick.
These polishes are called chameleons because they shift between two colors. The pairs of colors are: purple/blue, pink/peach.
Modelones set also comes with a base coat, two kinds of top coat: a glossy one and a matte one, and a black gel nail polish.
The black gel polish serves as an underlay for the magnetic color polish.
The manufacturer recommends applying the black gel nail polish in 2 thin layers and curing each layer separately.
And after that, you can apply the magnetic polish and use the magnet tool before you cure it.
The only downsides are that 2 polishes are not much to choose from, and these polishes are a bit thick. So they may be not too easy to apply if you’re a complete beginner.
MIZHSE 9D Chameleon Cat Eye Gel Nail Polish
This Mizhse set includes 5 bottles of magnetic 9d cat eye gel nail polish, one bottle of black gel polish for the underlay coating, and 2 magnet tools: a simple magnet and a double-headed magnet.
The base coat and the top coat are not included. You’ll have to buy them separately.
Also, none of the kits I’ve reviewed for this article contain a UV light. You’ll have to purchase the lamp separately too.
The 5 colors that come in this set are really pretty chameleon ones: blue/turquoise, pink/peach, blue/lilac, purple/lilac, and green/lemon yellow.
The colors look really vibrant and gorgeous.
2 magnets are included for creating various effects. For example, you can hold both magnets against two sides of the nail for making waves.
The manufacturer claims that these gel polishes are low odor and non-toxic.
The black polish requires two coats. But the cat-eye effect polishes by Mizhse are pretty thick and provide good coverage in one coat.
The only downside is that the black polish is runny and takes a bit longer to cure than black gel polishes from other brands.
You may have to use a more powerful lamp or switch to another black gel polish.
The chameleon polishes cure very fast.
Meet Across Smoothies Set
This set comes in a nice-looking box. It contains 6 bottles of beautiful magnetic gel nail polishes in pastel colors with shimmer.
The colors are light gold, silver, pastel pink, lilac, mint green, and baby blue.
They are not chameleon gel polishes, they only come in one hue. But the shimmer in them really makes them shine.
Black gel nail polish is not included in this kit.
But most magnetic polishes don’t even need a black gel layer underneath and Meet Across ones look great on their own.
The colors are very pretty and delicate, they resemble pastel desserts. That’s why the set is named Smoothie.
This Meet Across set comes with two magnetic tools but without the base and the top coat.
Allenbelle Cat Eye Gel Polish Set
Allenbelle set consists of 6 bottles of cat eye gel polishes in very dark, deep, and pigmented colors.
These beautiful colors really look like gemstones. You get sapphire blue, garnet red, amethyst dark purple, dark turquoise, tourmaline-like dark pink, and gold/brown color that looks exactly like a tiger eye gemstone.
These dramatic colors are a great choice for Christmas and for the fall/winter season.
Allenbelle polishes create a really bright and glossy finish on your nails.
They also offer full coverage with 2 coats without any streaks or see-through patches.
All the polishes in this set work really well without any black polish underneath.
The black polish is not included.
But you get a magnet tool stick together with this kit.
Beetles Milky Way Glitter Gel Nail Polish Set
This Milky Way 6-piece set by Beetles contains a variety of polishes.
They are all space/galaxy themed so they come in a cool blue/turquoise/purple range.
Only 2 polishes in this set are magnetic. One is a chameleon polish that changes between turquoise and purple and the other is a monochromatic cat eye polish in purple.
The Milky Way set also contains a black gel nail polish that you can wear as a standalone product or conveniently use under the magnetic polishes.
In addition to that, you get a purple polish with chunky glitter in several colors and a temperature-activated mood changing gel nail polish. It changes color from white to turquoise according to the temperature of your fingers. This polish contains a shimmer.
And the last one in the set is, as the manufacturer describes it, Phantom Chameleon gel. But it’s not magnetic. It’s a blue glitter polish with a slight purple sheen.
All the polishes are a bit sheer. So you need to apply 2 coats for them to look good.
The set comes with a magnetic stick for cat eye polishes, but no base coat or top coat is included.
All Beetles gel polishes are non-toxic (they have a special certificate and are 9-free) and low odor.
The manufacturer states that they can last for up to 3 weeks.
Makartt Chameleon Cat Eye Gel Polish Set
Makartt sells their cat eye gel polish set in a lovely gift box so you can also buy it for a friend or a loved one.
The set contains 5 cat eye gel polishes, 1 black gel nail polish, base coat, top coat, and comes with a magnetic stick tool.
The polishes are chameleon ones and shift colors between orange and yellow, purple and pink, blue and purple, turquoise and orange, and green and brown.
The deep colors look good on a black background. So I recommend using them over the black polish that they come with.
The black polish is highly pigmented and looks nice even if you apply in one coat. It takes about 60 seconds to cure under a 36W LED lamp.
Makartt polishes are cruelty-free and low odor too.
Gellen Magnetic Gel Nail Polish Set
Gellen set consists of 6 gel nail polish bottles and comes with 2 magnetic sticks.
The colors are: red, dark pink, purple, blue, turquoise, and neutral beige/gray.
They don’t have a second undertone so they are not chameleon.
No base coat, top coat, or black gel polish included.
The colors aren’t named on the packages, they only have numbers. So you may need to open every bottle one by one to find the color that you need.
Gellen polishes are non-toxic and low odor as well.
The company claims they are environmentally friendly and can last for up to 3 weeks.
Born Pretty 9D Cat Eye Gel Polish Set
This Born Pretty set contains magnetic cat eye gels.
They are thicker than gel nail polishes but you can apply them in the same way as gel polishes and cure them under a UV/LED lamp.
However, they have less odor than gel polishes. So if you are sensitive to chemical odors then this set would be a great choice for you.
The gels come in jars. Unlike polish bottles, they don’t have a brush inside, so you’ll need to get it separately.
The jars are pretty small so the gels run out pretty quickly.
The set includes 6 chameleon gels.
Three of them shift between yellow and other colors: pink, red, and green.
Another one shifts between yellow-green and turquoise.
The fifth one is blue/purple.
And the last one shifts between 3 colors: green, blue, and purple.
These gradients look like Aurora Borealis against the black polish background. Really pretty, as the name suggests.
Megior Magnetic Gel Polish Set
The manufacturer promises that their products are non-toxic and are made of natural resin.
This Megior set comes in 6 beautiful colors. Including 4 deep hues: red, purple, blue, and green. And 2 glitters: gold and copper.
Each color only comes in one hue and shifts between the light and dark shades of the same color.
So this is not really a chameleon cat eye gel polish.
The kit also contains a magnetic stick.
You can apply this polish directly over the base coat, without any black polish underneath. Just paint it on in two layers for a better effect.
You will need to buy the base coat, the top coat, and the black gel nail polish separately because they’re not included.
Maychao Magnetic Gel Nail Polish Set
This set comes in 6 deep pigmented colors with shimmer: dark red, emerald green, royal blue, dark purple. Including two lighter colors: coral and gold.
The colors are perfect for the winter and the holiday season. They shift between the lighter and the darker shades of the same hue. There is no chameleon color shift.
These cat-eye polishes actually look best without black gel nail polish underneath. So this set doesn’t contain it.
Nor does it contain the base coat or the top coat. But any gel base and top coat will do.
But it comes with a simple magnet tool.
The manufacturer recommends applying the polish in 3 layers to get the full deep color effect.
The downside of this set is that it doesn’t have color labels on the bottles. So you’ll have to open each one to find the color that you’re looking for.
Mobray Magnetic Gel Nail Polish Set
This set comes packaged in lovely little bottles in a very pretty box.
So it would make a nice budget-friendly gift.
There are 6 popular colors in cool shades of blue, green, and purple, with a magnetic stick that comes inside the box. The colors don’t shift between two hues.
Black gel polish, base or top coat are not included.
The manufacturer promises that the polish would last for up to 40 days! But I think this is too much.
I wouldn’t recommend wearing any gel polish for such an extended period of time anyway.
A downside of this set is that all the small bottles look the same so it’s difficult to distinguish the colors and you have to open the bottles to find the color you need.
How does cat eye gel nail polish work?
Cat-eye gel nail polish is a magnetic gel nail polish that contains special iron particles that react to a magnetic tool and create a beautiful chatoyancy or silk sheen effect.
This is the same optical banding effect that you can see in the cat-eye and tiger eye gemstones.
While the polish layer is still liquid, you can hold a magnet tool over the nail plate. This brings some of the magnetic particles up to the surface and creates a beautiful pattern that resembles a gemstone with chatoyancy.
And the effect stays when you cure the polish and it hardens.
Do I need black gel polish underneath the cat eye gel nail polish?
If you want your nails to look like beautiful tiger eye gemstones then you need to use black gel polish underneath your magnetic polish layer.
The effect really looks more dramatic against the black gel polish underlay.
Black polish is very pigmented and sometimes one coat of it is enough.
You can apply 2 coats of black gel polish for better coverage without any see-through spots.
Cure each layer of black polish under the lamp before you begin applying the cat-eye polish.
While black is the most common background color, you can use other colors as the underlay for the magnetic cat eye gel nail polish.
And, of course, all magnetic gel nail polishes can be used without any black color underneath.
Just apply it as a color coat, in 2-3 layers over the ordinary clear gel base coat, curing each layer separately.
Use the magnet tool on the last, top layer before you cure it.
The polish will look lighter and more delicate that way.
Chameleon cat eye gel polish effect
All cat eye gel polishes have a lovely color shift effect. Usually the color shifts between two shades of the same hue, like dark red and light red.
Chameleon effect is when the cat-eye polish shifts between two colors instead of just one. For example, between blue and purple, green and yellow, orange and red.
How to apply magnetic cat eye gel nail polish?
The application process of cat eye gel nail polishes is almost the same as when you apply any other gel nail polish.
First, you need to prepare the nail plate by pushing away the cuticles, filing the nails to your favorite shape, buffing the shine off them.
Then cleanse the nail plates with a nail cleanser.
After that, you can use a dehydrator and primer if you want.
The first step of any gel manicure is the application of the base coat in one thin layer. Cure the base coat.
Next goes the color coat.
If you’ve decided to use the black polish underneath your magnetic gel nail polish then apply it over the cured base coat in 1-2 thin layers, depending on the black product’s pigmentation and coverage. And cure each layer under the lamp separately.
If you don’t want to use black polish then just skip that step.
Now you’re ready to apply the magnetic polish.
But the first thing you should do before applying it is shaking the closed bottle really well.
This is necessary to distribute the magnetic iron particles evenly inside your polish bottle.
Paint this polish in one coat. If it provides good coverage you can leave it as is and use the magnet on this layer.
But usually, you’ll need 2 coats for the best look.
In this case, paint a thin ground coat and cure it.
After that, paint the second coat and make it a bit thicker. This is the layer you’ll need to use the magnet tool on before you cure it.
Hold the magnet tool over the uncured polish layer to create the cat-eye effect.
When you see the effect you want place the hand under the lamp to cure the polish.
After the cat-eye layer is cured, apply the top coat, like you normally do.
You can also add some embellishments or stamping art on top of the chameleon gel nail polish.
How to use magnetic tools for gorgeous effects?
Just hold the magnetic tool over the uncured cat eye polish layer for 10-15 seconds.
Hold the tool with the magnet facing the nail, just above the surface, as close as you can.
But don’t let the magnet touch the uncured polish coat and don’t press the tool into the nail. You may ruin your polish layer while it’s still soft.
After the desired effect shows up, immediately cure it under the lamp. For about 2 minutes using a UV lamp or for 30-60 seconds using an LED lamp.
If you want to create something more interesting than the ordinary chatoyancy banding effect you can use two or more magnets, or special patterned magnet tools for a variety of effects.
For example, you can create black hole, galaxy, wave, star, heart, and other patterns.
The magnets are always small, lightweight, and portable. So you can create professional-looking nail designs while you’re on vacation.
Ideal Swan 11-Piece Magnet Tool Set
Ideal Swan makes a great set of 11 powerful magnet tools with all the patterns imaginable.
Including heart, wave, star, chevrons, diamonds, horizontal stripes, diagonal stripes, cross, etc.
One of the tools looks like a pen. Use it to create the galaxy effect or any other free-form effect.
Can I use regular black polish with magnetic gel nail polish?
Some people use regular polish underneath the cat-eye gel one. But I don’t recommend doing that.
These types of products don’t match. And regular polish can shrink under the lamp when you are drying your gel nail polish layers. So your gel polish coating will lift.
You should either use gel nail products only or use a regular magnetic polish with a regular black one.
By the way, regular cat-eye polish does exist and is widely available.
For example, Born Pretty makes a set of high-quality ordinary magnetic polishes.
Born Pretty Ordinary Chameleon Magnetic Cat Eye Nail Polish
These polishes are really gorgeous chameleon type ones.
They come in 6 bottles. Each bottle contains a polish with 2 beautiful shifting colors.
The magnetic stick is not included. You can use any magnetic stick for nails. These sticks work both for magnetic gel polishes and for regular polishes.
How long does magnetic gel nail polish last?
It lasts as long as any other gel nail polish from the same brands, usually around 2 weeks
How to remove cat eye gel nail polish?
You can simply remove it by soaking it off, just like any gel nail polish.
I hope that this guide helps you choose magnetic cat eye gel polish with confidence. Have fun creating beautiful nails art with it.