I ask people all the time: what are the best nail polish brands?
I ask my manicurists, my friends, the lady behind the counter at Macys [tried a Walgreens gal one time but that was a waste of my time!].
What do they all tell me about nail polish – Everything and nothing! Everybody has their favorites, and are motivated by different factors. My manicurist is into the latest trendy items that she can charge more for, or getting a great bulk discount on a shipment of nail polish…Macy’s provides a bit more objectivity – but not much, as their counters are organized by brand, so the person working behind the L’Oreal counter of course is convinced L’Oreal is the best brand.
What makes a nail polish bad, good, or great? Well, for me, it boils down to this:
- Durability - my nail polish has to last at least a week, and preferably 2-3. I’ve only reliability gotten 3 weeks when using a nail gel or shellac treatment.
- Color Selection – I want a wide variety of colors and they shouldn’t fade or otherwise discolor.
- Good to my nails – The nail polish I pick must treat my nails right – not dry them out, cause weird redness, irritate my cuticles or skin around the nail, etc.
- Works for a home manicure -I don’t want to always have to have my nails done professionally – its expensive and in an emergency [9pm on a Friday night before a big party] it isn’t an option.
- Nail polish ingredients - I never used to worry about this, but lately I’ve been looking at organic nail polishes, or even just seeing what noxious chemicals are in some of them, and if there are alternatives that look just as good. Not fixated on this yet, but it’s starting to make me look closer at nail polish ingredients.
- Polish application – how does the nail polish go on – is it smooth, or gloppy, or runny, does it dry evenly [heck does it dry at all? ]
- Price - ok, so I put this one last. I don’t want to pay $50 for a bottle, but honesting a few dollars difference isn’t as important as the above criteria for nail polish.
- Nail polish reviews – It’s hard for me to find good, objective nail polish reviews. Honestly – I rely on my friends or even strangers if I see their nails and want to learn more about what they used.
So what are the best nail polish brands? All of them depending on what is important to you
Here are some of the top ones I used – I don’t stick to one polish brand religiously, as often I want to mix it up and try new styles, colors, etc. [a good example of this is grabbing a bottle of Nail Crackle polish when it came out!].
Popular Nail Polish Brands:
- OPI Polish – Does this brand chip the least? Lots of love for OPI Nail Polish online and with my friends. overwhelming positive reviews on many sites like Amazon etc. It feels like one of the top contenders in terms of quality, ease of application, color selection, and durability from chipping, fading, and cracking nails.
- Chanel Polish – Lots of noise on the web about chipping. I’ve not tried this one so can’t comment personally.
- Essie Polish - mixed reviews in my experience. Some only buy Essie, and others won’t touch it!
- Revlon Polish - very mainstream and easy to find polish. Generates an amazing amount of positive feedback and priced reasonably well.
- Maybelline Polish - does it chip to quick? Some people think so…again very mainstream and easy to find polish
- China Glaze Polish – very popular and considered high end. Are their polishes always same consistency in terms of apply them – not too runny? Seem to be progressive in coming out with new styles and colors, and lately some focus on nail polish ingredients.
- Sephora - lots of feedback on the web about it being “goopy”. However, definitely positioned as a high end nail polish.
- CoverGirl – Been around since 1960. Says something about they know what they’re doing! Widely available in drug stores and department stores. Many women seem to like this nail polish although not clear if their expectations are low given price? Who knows – what do you think?
One problem I have is sometimes someone will hate a brand of nail polish, and then i ask how they applied it I cringe at their lack of doing a proper conditioner, then base coat, then top coat…so always double check assumptions when someone tells you about their favorite nail polish brand, or their worst.
I’ve off to try some new brands now
PS. Although I didn’t write about it above, here is some info I found useful on Sally Hansen polishes:
- Sally Hansen – Free Nail Polish | Her Beauty Samples – vicki.jpg Free Sally Hansen – Diamond Strength Nail Polish: Finding the right Nail Polish is as easy as choosing the right brand. This can get extremely expensive, especially with all the designer brands out there. …