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8 best nail polish brands
Find that perfect shade without leaving your house.
Wave away chipping, fading and broken nails for good.
While carrying out your plan for world domination, you shouldn’t have to worry about nails that chip right after you paint them. These brands have a strong reputation with beauty editors, makeup junkies and online reviewers for making nail polish — including lacquer and gel formulas — that stays long after you slap it on.
Essie is one of the biggest nail polish brands in the game because its colors capture the zeitgeist. Of course, its lacquer is long-lasting and highly chip-resistant, which is why you’ll find it for sale at most nail salons.
Its website has a virtual try-on feature that lets you see how different colors will work with your skin tone.
Orly’s bottles hold 20% more polish than Essie’s, so even though it’s a bit pricier, you’re getting more bang for your buck. We also love that Orly’s pigments are cruelty-free, vegan and made without harmful chemicals.
If you prefer gel polish over traditional lacquer, pick up a mini gel lamp from Orly for just $25 and get free shipping when you add a bottle of gel polish to the order.
This professional nail care brand puts out collections of color like a fashion label, complete with editorial campaigns and inspirational videos you can watch on its website. The nail polish should last at least a week. We’re obsessed with the super shiny finish.
God bless Sally Hanson for making budget-friendly nail polish that works for girls on the go. We keep a bottle of Insta-Dri nail color on hand for last-minute touch-ups when we’re already running late — it really does dry within a minute — and a bottle of Miracle Gel Nail Polish for weekends when a trip to the nail salon just ain’t gonna happen.
If you’re trying to avoid freaky chemicals, check out its Good.Kind.Pure line of vegan, plant-based polish that eschews 16 potentially toxic ingredients.
Ladies who love luxury should think about splurging for a bottle of this iconic polish. Put on Breakfast at Tiffany’s, pour yourself a glass of wine and give yourself a brand-name manicure for the ultimate upscale self-care.
Its base coat — aptly named La Base — can help correct nails with uneven color (we’re looking at you, weirdly yellow toenails). An infusion of vitamin E and argan oil is meant to strengthen dry or brittle nails.
Morgan Taylor’s polish is fabulous, but its care products are what get us really excited. Stock up on formulas like Need For Speed (a fast drying top coat) and Go Ahead and Grow (nourishing base layer FTW) to elevate the quality of your DIY mani-pedi.
Gel Lab Pro Nail Polish
Here’s another stellar option for ladies who love gel polish but don’t love the damage it can cause to your nails. Deborah Lippman’s Gel Lab Pro collection creates the effect of gel nails — high shine, high durability — without the specialized lamps or tools.
This polish is infused with ingredients like green tea extract, keratin, evening primrose and more to nourish and protect nails as you wave your way about town.
This thick, ulta-shiny polish is free of toxins and goes on like… yes, the spreadable dairy product we all know and love. The curved applicator brush hugs your nails exactly like they’re meant to be hugged, and bamboo extract helps strengthen those tips.
Shock-resistant polymer technology will keep your nails from chipping. Delish!
What’s the best nail polish for kids?
Many nail polish companies use toxic ingredients in their formulas, including harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, xylene, camphor, dibutyl phthalate and others. While the risk for adults is more minimal, since we’re less likely to chew on our nails all day long and won’t be tempted to lick the applicator, some parents prefer to buy nontoxic nail polish for their kids.
Our favorite nontoxic nail polish for the little ones includes:
- Ella + Mila
- Kid Licks
- Suncoat Girl
- Piggy Paint
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