I’m a huge fan of nail polish and nail art, and in the last few years of trying different kinds, I’ve really “nailed” down some that I love (PUN TOTALLY INTENDED).
Of course the ones that you would suspect are high quality and long lasting – OPI, Butter London, and Orly are all great salon brands, but will definitely cost you a pretty penny (those range from $8 – $20 a bottle). Essie is another one that is usually rather expensive (around $7 a bottle) but I’ve found is not nearly as long lasting or high quality as the aforementioned brands, though they do have a great website for ideas and general nail care. But I digress…
Any who’s gotten a manicure knows that it takes several coats to make it look as good as they do. It’s so easy to do this yourself (I’ve pretty much completely quit getting salon manicures), but you just need to be able to put in the time for the drying. I always suggest doing your nails when you have a bunch of time doing something stable – be it blogging, reading, writing – anything where you might be doing one thing for a while and can reapply in between. That being said, here are your best options for the low cost with high result when it comes to nails.
1. The best low cost / drug store brand for my money right now is called Sinful. I’ve used this extensively and it lasts longer than most others from any drug store. And on top of that, they have a “Gel” version, called Sinful Shine with Geltech, which is even better. It lasts for at least a week, and it shines for that long too – people have actually asked me if I had gels put on at a salon when I’m wearing it. Both kinds have every color under the sun and the best part of all of this – regular sinful will run you $1.99 a bottle, and the Shine with Geltech is $2.99. Under $5 for 2 bottles of salon quality polish.
2. The second best low cost / drug store brand for my money is the Wet n Wild Megalast. These come in varying colors depending on the store, I’ve never seen as many in the same place as I have Sinful, but I usually buy whatever I see. The quality is the same though – can really last a full week without any chipping or fading, and the brush is AWESOME. It’s wide, and holds a lot of polish at once, which makes the whole process that much easier. This too will cost you between $2 and $3.
3. Finally, the best thing you can do to keep your polish perfect, shiny, and smudge free is a good quick dry top coat. NYC Color‘s In a New York Minute line “Grand Central Station” is the best thing on the market, and costs $1.72 a bottle. Anytime I see this, I buy three bottles. Its a great topcoat in itself and especially shiny, but is also quick dry, which means the whole process of multiple coats of polish takes literally half the time you think it would. I usually do two coats of a regular polish, one coat of this, and then another of the color. With “Grand Central Station,” it’s so much easier (and cheaper) than a great manicure should be.
Search on any of these polish’s websites to see where you can buy them in your area!