#Nails

The 13 Best Nail Polish Brands According To Reviews

by Sidney Burds

The 13 Best Nail Polish Brands According To Reviews
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Whether you switch your nails according to your outfit, day of the week, or the seasons, there’s nothing like finding a polish that checks all your boxes. The best nail polishes land somewhere between the perfect price, formula, and presentation.

 

While you might not have the time or budget to try them all, we’ve done the research, read the reviews, and given a few a go ourselves to help you decide your next passion polish. Take a look below to find your new favorite brand, and maybe try some nail art while you’re at it.

 

Woman's hand fanned out over a variety of Essie nail polishes

 

 

1 of 13 Image Credits: Target

Best Overall

Essie Nail Polish

Price:$6.59

We’ll make a bet that nearly every salon you’ve ever been to has had Essie nail polishes on hand. The quality is consistent, the price is great, the brush creates long, smooth strokes, and the color options are a plenty. Add a couple to your shopping cart for a mismatched nail look the next time you paint them. It’s a simple DIY with big impact!

What Reviewers Are Saying:

“Yes! Essie changed their brush and it's amazing. I have been using Essie for years and it was a standard brush in the bottle. But they re-designed it recently and it's wider and flatter now. I can paint my nail in one wide stroke without getting polish on my skin. It's amazing! And the 'toned down' color is fantastic. It's more of a grey/slate color but has a blue undertone. I only had to use one coat! I'm shocked--and very pleased.”

2 of 13 Image Credits: Sephora

Best Gel

Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro

Price:$20.00

Tired of cheap nail polish chipping the following day after a fresh paint job? Us too. If you’re the type of girl who works with her hands, be it typing, cooking, weight lifting, whatever(!), you need a tough gel nail polish. Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro is just the brand. The brush features 320 bristles so you can apply this at-home formula with ease. Say goodbye to brittle manis forever.

What Reviewers Are Saying:

“As a nurse who works in a hospital, nail polish is frowned upon because it chips, plus polish won't last a full shift with the hand sanitizer. I found that this polish can stand up to three shifts (a week of work) and only starts to fade on the tips but doesn't actually chip.”

3 of 13 Image Credits: Nordstrom

Best Long-Lasting

Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour

Price:$28.00

You spent the time removing chipped polish, clipping, filing, and painting your nails, only to have them chip the second you pick up your bag on the way out the door. Save your time and make your hard work last with a long-wear nail polish by Chanel. Yes, it’s expensive, and that’s because it’s filled with bioceramics and ceramides that nourish and strengthen your nails over time. This product will bond to your nails like no other, just two thin, even coats, a glossy top coat, and you’re done!

What Reviewers Are Saying:

“I own quite a few bottles of le vernis, from nudes to reds to seasonal collections. I am never disappointed with the color and long wear. Chanel really nails it.”

4 of 13 Image Credits: Amazon

Best Color Selection

OPI Nail Lacquer

Price:$10.50See Reviews

Coming out with new collections constantly, OPI has undoubtedly every shade you could possibly imagine. While the temporary collections are while supplies last, they still have a number of classic shades that they continue to make. One of them is a personal fave: Russian Navy. It’s a deep, inky blue that we've bought on multiple occasions.

What Reviewers Are Saying:

“Like most women, I have tried a LOT of nail colors throughout the years. All varying in price, quality, and color. From department stores, specialty stores, hair salons, spas, and drug stores. Even brands in other countries. I have tried many. OPI is one of the best I have ever used. True to color, great price, available on Amazon Prime for two day shipping, and it stays on longer than any other brand I have every placed on my toes and finger nails (tied in quality with a department store brand that costs at least twice the price). So if you guys and gals want an excellent nail color with a wide range of shades, and a great price, I highly recommend OPI. I have purchased many different shades and they are all true to color. The base and top coats are wonderful, as well.”

5 of 13 Image Credits: Target

Best Cheap Option

Sinful Colors Professional Nail Polish

Price:$1.99

Talk about inexpensive! If you’re not looking to spend a lot, maybe you just want a color for a one night occasion, or testing out a trending shade, Sinful Colors is the affordable way to go. This brand has an expansive collection of colors that cost less than your order at Starbucks. While the cost is low the quality is high. You won’t have to apply layer after layer, as each shade is surprisingly opaque.

What Reviewers Are Saying:

“This color is so pretty! I love purple and lavender, so I buy as many different shades that I find. This is a pretty pastel shade of lavender. It goes on smoothly and dries pretty quickly. I applied a double coat to help it last longer on my nails. I'm very happy with it and I do recommend it. The price was also very good.”

6 of 13 Image Credits: Ulta

Best Drugstore

China Glaze Nail Lacquer with Hardeners

Price:$3.75

We are big fans of China Glaze, using it again and again when in need of a fun new color, but not yet ready to commit to a higher end nail lacquer of the same shade. What initially was a purchase of price, has now become a genuine love affair with this brand. The lacquer has professional-level enamel and a balance of polymers and resins making it last long.

What Reviewers Are Saying:

“I recently decided to splurge and buy a more expensive nail polish. After trying to decide between another top selling brand and China Glaze and after reading many reviews here on Ulta, I decided to get China Glaze Ruby Pumps. The formula is totally chip resistant, the polish goes on smooth and for this particular color I needed only two coats to achieve the opaque shimmery color that is seen in the bottle. It's very long lasting which is perfect for a mom on the go who doesn't have the time to do her nails often and doesn't want them to chip quickly. The wand is short for better control and the brush isn't too thick and isn't too thin. The cap is easy to grip and the bottle doesn't tip over easily. The only downside to this product is the smell, it is very strong so make sure you open it in a well ventilated room, other than that this product is perfect for almost everyone.”

7 of 13 Image Credits: Nordstrom

Best Splurge

Christian Louboutin Nail Colour

Price:$50.00

Decadent and oh-so fabulous, you can’t help but stare in awe at this Christian Louboutin polish. Yes, the price is the same as a whole Naked Decay eyeshadow palette. But let us tell you it’s worth every penny. It has a 4-and-a half star review average on Nordstrom with over 100 reviews. The brush is a custom-designed, patented triangle brush that glides across your nail surface with ease. Each stroke leaves a deep, glossy finish. We will forewarn you, it’s hard to pick just one shade to take home.

What Reviewers Are Saying:

“These polishes are the best. Long wearing, they do not chip. You only know you need a manicure when your nails grow out. Easily lasts two weeks. And I dig in the flower beds, clean house and groom our standard poodle and Great Dane. Highly recommend any color.”

8 of 13 Image Credits: Amazon

Best on Amazon

Gellen Gel Polish Set

Price:$17.99See Reviews

Amazon is filled with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of products. So, it’s a pretty big deal to nab the number one spot like Gellen nail polish has! Over 1,000 reviewers have left an average of 4 stars for this brand, with some of their main points being that it is easy to remove, a great value, long-lasting, easy to apply, and has a great overall presentation.

What Reviewers Are Saying:

“I have only tried the rosey blush color but I love it. Application was super easy and I only needed 2 coats. This was my first time doing a DIY gel manicure and it has lasted exactly a week so far with zero chips! Still super shiny as if I did my manicure yesterday...this includes taking care of three children, giving baths, showering, washing dishes, laundry, etc. I used the Aimeili base and top coat with a UV light.”

9 of 13 Image Credits: Ulta

Best Non-Toxic

Butter London Nail Lacquer

Price:$18.00

Even though your nails might seem like they have a hard tough barrier against the environment, they soak up what’s laid on top of them just like your skin. Butter London takes this into account with their non-toxic polish, made without formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, DBP, toluene, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, or TPHP. Instead, it contains innovative ingredients like bamboo extract to protect, smooth, and strengthen your nails.

What Reviewers Are Saying:

“I've been buying Butter London nail polish for a while now. I love the way it glides on and the long lasting wear. This color is especially fun! I find myself using it repeatedly.”

10 of 13 Image Credits: Sally Hansen

Best No Chip

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel

Price:$9.99

Nail chips got ya down? No more! Sally Hansen’s gel polish achieves the salon look, but with the at-home work and price. No UV/LED lights needed for this two-step process. No base coat needed either, just apply two coats, dry, then add one coat of the Miracle Gel Top Coat. Save your time, money, and chipping woes! 

What Reviewers Are Saying:

“This is an amazing product. I no longer purchase any other kind or brand of nail polish anymore. There are so many color choices, filters and finishes to chose from. I have so many of these now! I read a lot of the reviews about this item after I had bought and used these, and I believe the issues to be due to applying errors. I had run into some of those issues myself until I realized this is supposed to be applied in thin layers and that fixed a lot of the issues that the bad reviews were about. I definitely recommend getting these.”

11 of 13 Image Credits: Sephora

Best for Nail Growth

Nails Inc. NailKale – Superfood Base Coat

Price:$15.00

Wonder how some ladies always seem to have naturally long, thick, healthy nails? While genetics may be playing a part for some, others probably participate in a bit of nail self care. If you’re looking to ditch acrylics for some natural claws use Nails Inc. NailKale. It’s a powerful nail treatment that has keratin to harden and stimulate nail growth, hydration, and barrier protection. Plus, the finish is a pretty, high-gloss clear coat.

What Reviewers Are Saying:

“I've always wanted to have long beautiful nails. But for as long as I can remember, my natural nails have been brittle”

“spitting and breaking constantly no matter what I did to try to encourage health. I tried NAILSINC Nailkale and saw immediate results. No more acrylics for me! Not only do my nails not split anymore, but they seem to be growing so much more quickly. This stuff is seriously no joke! I reapply once a week or so if I decide to change polish colors. For the first time ever though, my natural nails are a beautiful length naturally without the damaging chemicals from doing my acrylics.”

12 of 13 Image Credits: Target

Best Vegan

Ella + Mila Nail Polish

Price:$10.49

A newer brand on the market that’s quickly gaining traction, Ella + Mila is a nail lacquer line that was born with the idea to be high-end and eco-friendly. This nail polish is a seven chemical-free product, PETA-certified, made in the USA, and available at Target. We know what we’re tossing in our red carts during our weekly errands run.

What Reviewers Are Saying:

“I tried this polish (color - Pinktini) because it does not contain many of the toxic chemicals found in other polished. I put on a base coat (different brand) and two coats of polish. It went on easily and dried in a reasonable amount of time. I was pleasantly surprised that it lasted six days without chipping, which is better than other brands I have tried. I would recommend it and will buy it again when I need nail polish.”

13 of 13 Image Credits: OPI

Best Fall Colors

OPI Scotland

Price:$10.50

We know it’s still summer, BUT if you’re eager for the next season you’re going to love these shades from OPI’s latest collection themed Scotland. Inspired by the fall foliage, rich patterns and prints, and green hills, this nail collection features rich autumnal shades. In true OPI fashion, each shade comes with amazing names like ‘Things I’ve Seen in Aber-green’ and ‘Nessie Plays Hide & Sea-k’.

What Reviewers Are Saying:

“Love the new collection, specifically "You've Got That Glas-glow" perfect warm neutral for medium skin tones. It's the best for this in between summer and fall time period. Can't wait to break out vampy "Good Girls Gone Plaid" once the weather cools a bit more!”