The Best Nail Polish Brands to Keep On-Hand for Home ManicuresWhen it comes to scoring a totally amazing mani, the actual polish used is just as important as the polishing technique.
In other words, no matter whether you’re a nail painting novice, an expert DIYer, or like to BYO polish to the salon, picking the right formula is essential.
(Because if you’re anything like us, there are few beauty issues more stress- and anxiety-inducing than a chipped manicure.)From affordable drugstore options to splurge-worthy buys—and with shades to fit every preference—here are the best nail polishes for all of your mani and Pedi needs.
Why Trust Byrdie
Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there.
She has her nails polished 99 percent of the time and has used the majority of the polishes on this list at some point or another (though Essie remains her all-time favorite).
Bring the nail salon home with this convenient kit, a one-stop shop for amazing nails.
There’s also the polish to mention. You get to pick any six shades from the brand’s wide selection, all of which are 7-free.
There’s also a polish remover included, plus all the tools you need. But perhaps our favorite part? Their unique “Poppy” tool.
The tool is a universal polish handle that attaches to any cap and makes it legitimately possible for anyone to paint their own nails.
Fan of doing your own gels at home? Each of these two-polish sets from Pear Nova contains one of the brand’s best-selling gel shades, bundled with the matching classic polish to use on your toes.
Our favorite is Hustle + Glow, a sparkling bronze that catches the light like no other. However, the brand offers a range of nudes and brights, as well.
How We Researched & Tested
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, and shade range.
or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. Our team also incorporated their own personal experiences testing products in their own lives.
We then used these insights from our research and testing to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.
Do nail polishes expire?
“If unopened, nail polish can last for several years, especially if kept in a cool, dark place,” explains Saunders
How many coats of nail polish should you apply?
Kyees says one layer of base coat, two coats of polish, and a layer of top coat are best.
How do you remove nail polish?
Kyees says either non-acetone or acetone-based removers will work well on regular nail polish. Soak a cotton ball in the remover, then press against the nail for a few seconds before wiping it away.
If your tips are in need of some serious TLC, most manicurists will usually recommend that you skip polish for a little while and instead load up on hydrating cuticle oil. But if bare nails just aren’t your thing, reach for this formula.
MEET THE EXPERT
This may seem obvious, but it really is the first thing most people think about. Consider what looks good on your skin tone, what matches your clothing, and, most importantly, what colors just make you feel good, says Kyees.
Besides the hue, Saunders suggests taking into account the ingredients. More formulas today are omitting more potentially harmful chemicals. You can also consider things like whether or not it’s environmentally friendly and the company’s ethics, she says.
How long do nail polishes last?
“In my experience, a polished manicure should last without chipping anywhere from five to seven days,” says Saunders. “The durability of nail polish depends on two factors—the quality of ingredients and how often you open the bottle,” she adds.
Unlike many other cosmetics that have a history of hundreds or even thousands of years, nail polish (or lacquer, or enamel) is almost completely an invention of twentieth-century technology.
There is no single formula for nail polish.. These basic components include film-forming agents, resins and plasticizers, solvents, and coloring agents. The exact formulation ofnail polish, apart from being a corporate secret, greatly depends upon choices made by chemists and chemical engineers in the research and development phase of manufacturing.
plasticizer. Butyl stearate and acetate compounds are perhaps the most common.
Early methods of making nail polish used a variety of methods that today look charmingly amateurish T
Subjective testing, where the mixture or Objective, laboratory testing of samples, though more time-consuming, is also necessary to ensure a usable product. Laboratory tests are
Perhaps the major problem with nail polishes—from the consumer’s point of view—is the length of the drying time.
along with others that are still being developed, may result in marketable products.