10 Best Nail Polish Brands

10 Best Nail Polish Brands

19
Hours
Researched
330
Products
Evaluated

After 19 hours of research evaluating 330 products, we picked Essie as our top choice.

Let's face it, ladies. Many of us change our nail color almost as often as we change our clothes. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to get a long-lasting manicure without shelling out $30 to $60 each time?

You can now give yourself an at-home manicure anytime you please without worrying about immediate chips or nicks.

Here's the deal:

Unfortunately, there are literally thousands of nail polish brands. What does that mean for you? Be prepared to spend hours sifting through nail polish at your local CVS or Ulta next time you decide to treat yourself to a new polish.

Want to know the best part?

In order to save you some major time we've done the work for you--sifting through it all to create a list of the best nail polishes available.

Whether you're looking for a show stopping color, a long lasting polish, or something that will help your nails grow longer and stronger, we promise our list has something for you.

As an added bonus, if you're looking for the perfect lipstick or bronzer to go with your fierce new claws we've got you covered there too. 

Why trust us: Faveable has spent thousands of hours researching, interviewing experts, and testing products to come up with carefully selected lists trusted by millions of consumers since 2013.

10 Best Nail Polish Brands

  • 10. NYC
  • 9. Red Carpet Manicure Color Dip Nail Kit
  • 8. Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Nail Enamel
  • 7. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel
  • 6. OPI Nail Lacquer
  • 5. Zoya
  • 4. Deborah Lippmann
  • 3. Smith & Cult
  • 2. Nails Inc. Gel Effect
  • 1. Essie

Best Budget Nail Polish

#10

NYC

Best Budget Nail Polish: NYC
Features
9.5
Shades
9.5
Long Lasting
9.5
Value
9.5
Overall
95%
95 % Editor Score
82 % User Score
846 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Price tag under $2
  • Lasts longer than one would expect for a budget nail polish
  • Quick drying

While this budget polish is primarily advertised for its ability to dry quickly, we cannot get over how long the polish stays put without chipping. Add to that the amazing price and trendy range of colors and you've got yourself quite a deal!

Unfortunately this polish is not super pigmented, so it may take several coats to reach your desired color.

Expert Ratings

Features

9.5 / 10

In addition to being budget friendly and long lasting, this polish dries in a New York minute (and we can attest to that). It goes on smooth and lasts for days. Oh, and you can buy it for under $2. Who doesn't love that?

We have to give an honorable mention to Wet and Wild Megalast Nail Color as a close second for the best budget nail polish. While it comes in an adorable bottle and features a square brush for easy application, we found this polish to be a bit goopy taking way too long to dry--which is why we ultimately went with NYC as the best budget option.

Shades

9.5 / 10

A lot--over 100 to be exact! We were also surprised by how much we loved the range of colors, expect fashion-forward shades that you would see in the most expensive of nail polish lines. Personally, we're big fans of Park Avenue and Full Metal Jacket, but regardless of what you're looking for NYC offers something for everyone. 

Long Lasting

9.5 / 10

Lasts for days without chipping, even through constant hand washing.

 

Value

9.5 / 10

Unreal! Pick up a bottle (or 10) at your local CVS or Walgreens for under $2!

Overall Editor Score

9.5 / 10

Best Manicure Color Dip

#9

Red Carpet Manicure Color Dip Nail Kit

Best Manicure Color Dip: Red Carpet Manicure Color Dip Nail Kit
Features
9.0
Shades
9.0
Long Lasting
9.5
Value
9.5
Overall
93%
93 % Editor Score
84 % User Score
670 Bought

Why People Love it

  • 21 shades to choose from
  • Easy to apply
  • Gentle and non-suffocating on nails

Now, if you're a nail polish newbie, this may not be the option for you. However, if you're interested in stepping outside of your nail enamel comfort zone we highly recommend this dip kit.

A bit overwhelming and may take some time to get the hang of.

Expert Ratings

Features

9.0 / 10

So what's included in this kit? To put it short, a lot. You will receive a brush restorer, top coat, activator, base coat, and nail powder. As complicated as it seems, this kit is actually really easy to use and will produce intense, vibrant colors with every application.

Shades

9.0 / 10

Although the kit only comes with one color, there are a wide range of flawless colors available.

 

Long Lasting

9.5 / 10

If you do it right, a dip manicure could last for up to 21 days (wow!).

Value

9.5 / 10

Don't let the price intimidate you while it is the most expensive product on our list you get a lot of bang for your buck. If you're up for the challenge, we highly recommending giving this product a try.

Overall Editor Score

9.3 / 10

Best Drug Store Nail Polish

#8

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Nail Enamel

Best Drug Store Nail Polish: Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Nail Enamel
Features
9.0
Shades
9.0
Long Lasting
9.0
Value
9.5
Overall
91%
91 % Editor Score
86 % User Score
640 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Life-resistant wear; will stay put for nearly 5 days
  • Flawless, salon quality color
  • Longwear nail enamel with a gel-like shine

We at Faveable think this ColorStay nail enamel brought to you by Revlon is the perfect everyday nail polish. While it won't last as long as many of the other polishes on our list, it can be purchased just about anywhere for right around $7. Super affordable and super stylish. Who could say no to that?

Not as thick as most gel polish and you'll be lucky if you get it to last a full week without chipping. But you get what you pay for, right?

Expert Ratings

Features

9.0 / 10

The Revlon ColorStay formula is rich, but not clumpy, and a single layer is enough for full coverage. However, you can always opt for two layers if you prefer a shiny finish--that may score you an extra day or two without any chipping as well.

Additionally, the wide angle brush coats nails from base to tip for perfectly smooth, bubble-free application.

Shades

9.0 / 10

Revlon ColorStay is available in 30 easy to remove shades in vivid, brilliant colors. If you're looking for the perfect year round color we highly recommend the Queen of Hearts. It's a deep mulberry that would make for the perfect pedicure on any skin tone.

 

Long Lasting

9.0 / 10

Although not the longest-lasting polish on our list, Revlon ColorStay is super durable yet still easy to remove. Still expect around 5 days of chip-free wear. Not too shabby!

 

Value

9.5 / 10

At $7.99 this is one of the least expensive nail polishes on our list--and at that price like that you can afford to buy one in every color!

Overall Editor Score

9.1 / 10

Best Gel Nail Polish

#7

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel

Best Gel Nail Polish: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel
Features
9.0
Shades
9.0
Long Lasting
9.5
Value
9.0
Overall
91%
91 % Editor Score
87 % User Score
623 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Over 45 shades available
  • In-home gel manicure made easy--no light needed!
  • Phenomenal price point

A gel manicure from a polish you can pick up at the drug store? Who knew! While CND Vinylux was a close second in the best gel nail polish category, we ultimately went with Sally Hansen Miracle gel for a few reasons. Not only did we find the Sally Hansen polish formula a bit thinner for smoother application, but Sally Hansen held up nearly a full 10 days without chipping, compared to the 5 or 6 days most reviewers seemed to get from CND Vinylux.

Some reviewers report that this polish dries a bit thick and dings/dents easily.

Expert Ratings

Features

9.0 / 10

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is the only true 2-step gel manicure with no UV or LED light needed; Over 45 shades. This polish is also super pigmented, so one coat will almost always do the trick for a full-coverage finish. Additionally, expect soak-free removal that won't damage your nails like a gel manicure at the salon will.

 

Shades

9.0 / 10

Sally Hansen currently offers over 45 colors to choose from. While that may not be as many as the other brands on our list, the colors that are available are super trendy--we especially love Tea Party and Little Peony.

 

Long Lasting

9.5 / 10

Sally Hansen claims this polish will last up to two weeks, but we would say it's closer to 9 days with no chipping. Still, nothing to scoff at.

Value

9.0 / 10

 Under $10 for a gel manicure? We'll take it! Though, do be aware you need to purchase a top coat in addition to whatever colors you select, so be sure to factor that into the price as well.

Overall Editor Score

9.1 / 10

Best Winter Nail Colors

#6

OPI Nail Lacquer

Best Winter Nail Colors: OPI Nail Lacquer
Features
9.5
Shades
9.5
Long Lasting
9.5
Value
9.5
Overall
95%
95 % Editor Score
89 % User Score
642 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Lasts a full week without chipping
  • Deep hues and cool neutrals perfect for fall and winter
  • Available in over 200 shades

As one of the most popular brands in the industry, it should be no surprise that OPI ended up at the top of our list. With an extensive range of colors/textures and a superior formula that will last for nearly a week without chipping, OPI is the go-to brand for nail polish.

Some users report quality control issues with certain bottles of polish being incredibly thick and clumpy. And even if you do get a good bottle, use it up fast because this polish dries up quickly.

Expert Ratings

Features

9.5 / 10

OPI is one of the most sought after brands in the industry. The width of the square brush makes for a smooth and easy application--the darks go on evenly and the sheers don’t streak. Additionally, the OPI formula dries quickly and is created to be formaldehyde-free, which is always a good thing.

Shades

9.5 / 10

Available in more than 200 shades, there’s an OPI color for everyone! OPI is known for their elegant classics as well as deep, cool shades--perfect for fall and winter. Lincoln Park after Dark is for sure one of our personal faves, but users also have a lot of love for Hot & Spicy, Midnight in Moscow, and Pale to the Chief. Also, if you're looking for something to help strengthen and grow your nails, OPI's Nail Envy Nail Strengthener provides maximum strengthening with hydrolyzed wheat protein and calcium for harder, stronger, natural nails in as little as three weeks. 

 

Long Lasting

9.5 / 10

OPI’s heavily-pigmented Nail Lacquers are long-lasting and chip-resistant, with remarkable staying power providing up to seven days of wear time.

 

Value

9.5 / 10

At $10.50 per polish, OPI is definitely in the mid-range of polishes on our list. Although not the cheapest, just over $10 per polish sure beats what you would shell out for that weekly manicure.

Overall Editor Score

9.5 / 10

Best Vegan Friendly Nail Polish

#5

Zoya

Best Vegan Friendly Nail Polish: Zoya
Features
9.5
Shades
9.5
Long Lasting
9.0
Value
9.5
Overall
94%
94 % Editor Score
91 % User Score
707 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Select from over 40 runway-inspired shades
  • Vegan friendly
  • Longest lasting 5-free formula

Excellent color selection, no-chip formula, and vegan friendly - seriously, what more could you ask for? Zoya polishes have a lot to offer and do so at an amazing price point.

Due to the fact that this is a 5-free polish, the formula can be a bit temperamental when it comes to chipping. 

Expert Ratings

Features

9.5 / 10

Zoya is known as being the healthy color of fashion, offering the largest selection of 5-free shades absent toxins such as formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, dibutyl phthalate and camphor. 

 

Shades

9.5 / 10

Zoya offers over 400 (yes, 400) runway-inspired shades from deep darks to light neutrals. Reviewers agree that Zoya offers some of the best nail polish colors on the market. As hard as it is to select just one, we've gotta say Talia is one of our current favorites. 

 

Long Lasting

9.0 / 10

As we mentioned above, due to the 5-free formula, Zoya polishes may be more prone to chipping then their less environmentally friendly counter-parts. Now, don't get us wrong, Zoya will still last over a week with very minimal chipping, but since it is a 5-free formula this polish is more prone to tiny chips here and there.

Value

9.5 / 10

At just $9 this polish is a pretty average price point compared to the other polishes on our list. Add to that the amazing color selection and long lasting formula and you've got yourself the all-around perfect polish.

Overall Editor Score

9.4 / 10

Best Summer Nail Colors

#4

Deborah Lippmann

Best Summer Nail Colors: Deborah Lippmann
Features
9.5
Shades
9.5
Long Lasting
9.5
Value
9.5
Overall
95%
95 % Editor Score
93 % User Score
773 Bought

Why People Love it

  • 7-free formula, vegan, and not tested on animals
  • Polish will stay put for up to 10 days
  • Over 100 fashion forward shades to choose from 

Who is Deborah Lippmann, you ask? Well a manicurist to celebrities from Julia Roberts to Lady Gaga of course! With a resume like that you can only imagine how good this product is, and we guarantee this polish does not disappoint.

While $18 for one polish isn't cheap, the biggest complaint seems to be that the colors are a bit sheer and require numerous coats to reach desired opacity.

Expert Ratings

Features

9.5 / 10

All Deborah Lippmann polish is formulated to be 7-free, vegan, and, of course, never tested on animals. The formula is thin and silky and the bottle/brush design prevents the polish from going on too thick. Additionally, this luxurious polish is quick drying, highly pigmented, and goes on smooth for a natural, creamy finish. 

Shades

9.5 / 10

Choose from over 100 of Deborah Lippmann's beautiful bright and airy shades, perfect for summer. Fashion is our Deborah Lippmann color of the moment, which is a gorgeous taupe that flatters all skin tones.

Long Lasting

9.5 / 10

One reviewer said she gave herself a Deborah Lippmann mani that lasted for 10 days. 10 whole days! Can you imagine? An at-home manicure with that kind of staying power totally justifies the $18 price tag if you ask us.

Value

9.5 / 10

Like we mentioned previously, $18 for one polish is a bit steep. However, given the fabulous shade range, the environmentally friendly formula, and the phenomenal staying power, we highly recommend giving this polish a try.

Overall Editor Score

9.5 / 10

Best Luxury Nail Polish

#3

Smith & Cult

Best Luxury Nail Polish: Smith & Cult
Features
9.5
Shades
9.0
Long Lasting
9.5
Value
9.5
Overall
94%
94 % Editor Score
95 % User Score
978 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Color stays put for an entire week
  • Adorable packaging
  • 28 on-trend colors currently available

While Smith & Cult polish is not cheap, the quality is top-notch and the longevity of wear is unreal. Though Butter London's Patent Shine 10X Lacquer came in at a close second as best luxury nail polish, the 8 to 10 day staying power of Smith & Cult polish just cannot be denied.

The price. $18 for one polish? Ouch. Also, we would love to see a few more shades added to the mix.

Expert Ratings

Features

9.5 / 10

We love this polish for so many reasons we don't even know where to begin! Not only does the brush provide full-coverage with every use, but it's super easy to use and makes painting your nails a breeze. Additionally, the formula is free of formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde resin, and camphor. And that feels good too, right?

As an added bonus, the chic, Instagram worthy packaging will look gorgeous on any vanity or make-up stand. We guarantee that alone will make you want to purchase more than one shade!

Shades

9.0 / 10

Unfortunately, Smith & Cult polish is currently only available in 28 different colors, but they shades that are available are totally on point. Do keep in mind new colors are being added regularly as well, so chances are that range of colors will continue to grow. 

Of course we've gotta throw in a plug for our favorite color. Though they're all gorgeous, we're partial to Suburban Warrior in all its opaque, watermelon glory.

 

Long Lasting

9.5 / 10

Now this is where Smith & Cult polish really shines. Expect your manicure to stay pristine for an entire week, even through dish washing, swimming, furious typing or phone scrolling. 

Value

9.5 / 10

Now we didn't award this one best luxury polish for no reason. At $18, this is one of the most expensive polishes on our list. However, with the quality of formula and long-lasting manicure it provides, we 100% believe this product is worth the investment.

Overall Editor Score

9.4 / 10

Longest Lasting Nail Polish

#2

Nails Inc. Gel Effect

Longest Lasting Nail Polish: Nails Inc. Gel Effect
Features
9.5
Shades
9.5
Long Lasting
9.5
Value
9.5
Overall
95%
95 % Editor Score
96 % User Score
955 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Expect over a week of wear
  • Reasonable price for a long-lasting polish
  • Over 150 salon quality shades to choose from

If you aren't familiar with this U.K. brand you're not alone. Though Nails Inc. has been around for nearly two decades, you won't be able to find this amazing product at Ulta or Sephora. However, don't let that deter you from giving it a try. Our friends at BuzzFeed agree that this show stopping polish is completely underrated and deserves on spot in every nail polish collection.

Like we mentioned previously, you aren't going to be able to find this stuff at your local beauty store. So online may be your only option for purchasing.

Expert Ratings

Features

9.5 / 10

Nails Inc. has perfected an award winning Gel Effect formula that offers customers a great alternative to the professional Gel manicure--creating the same high-gloss and plumped finish you would get at a salon without the need for UV. This polish has been a go to in the U.K. for years, and we at Faveable think it's about time to make this brand a nail polish staple in the U.S. as well.

Shades

9.5 / 10

Nails Inc. offers a wide range of colors in a variety of collections and finishes, 150 to be exact, so regardless of what you're looking for Nails Inc. is sure to have something for everyone. Reviewers just cannot get enough of the best-selling shades Porchester Square and Mayfair Lane. Our personal favorite, however, happens to be the Matcha polish in Gloucester Crescent.

 

Long Lasting

9.5 / 10

this is truly one of the longest lasting polishes on our list. When the folks at Fashionista conducted a test to determine which polish lasted the longest without chipping, Nails Inc. reigned supreme outlasting even the high-end products. That alone should be reason enough to give this polish a try!

Value

9.5 / 10

At $15 this polish is a bit pricier than some of the other products on our list, but we think $15 is totally reasonable for a polish that will last well over a week sans chipping.

Overall Editor Score

9.5 / 10

Best Nail Polish Overall

#1

Essie

Best Nail Polish Overall: Essie
Features
9.5
Shades
9.5
Long Lasting
9.5
Value
9.5
Overall
95%
95 % Editor Score
98 % User Score
2,377 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Over 100 fabulous colors to choose from
  • Sold just about everywhere
  • Buy it for under $10

The Essie brand has been around for a long time so it's no wonder why people just cannot get enough of this nail polish. Don't just take our word for it though, Essie has also been voted a top nail color by Total Beauty, Cosmo, Glamour, Instyle, and Allure - just to name a few.

Some reviewers complain that the formula is a bit thin and watery, but Essie has seemed to answer the call and improved their formula in recent years.

Expert Ratings

Features

9.5 / 10

Essie's exclusive award winning formula provides flawless coverage with a classic, chic, elegance that is perfect for any occasion, from a special night out to everyday wear. As an added bonus, Essie nail polishes are DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde free. Also, this polish dries quickly, which is a huge plus!

Shades

9.5 / 10

Known as the ultimate color authority, Essie offers a range of over 100 colors in up-to-the-minute colors with the most fabulously, whimsical names. Although Essie offers shades perfect for any season and occasion, our personal favorite (and the favorite of millions of women on Pinterest) is Angora Cardi. It's a beautiful, deep rose color that's totally versatile and can be worn all year long.

Also, if you're looking to smooth imperfections or hide discoloration, Essie also offers a Ridge Filling Base Coat that works wonders on damaged nails. Try one coat to even out your nail surface beautifully or two coats to create a sheer, pearly look.

 

Long Lasting

9.5 / 10

One of the biggest reasons we selected Essie as the best polish overall is due to its outstanding durability and chip-resistant formula. Sure, it's no no-chip manicure, but it will last for a solid week with little to no chipping.

 

Value

9.5 / 10

Not the cheapest on our list, but at a price of $9 a polish you can afford to buy a whole range of colors! Much cheaper than a no-chip manicure and much gentler on your nails as well.

Overall Editor Score

9.5 / 10

Faveable Ratings: 10 Best Nail Polish Brands

10 Best Nail Polish BrandsFeaturesShadesLong LastingValueOverall
Essie Thumbnail
Best Nail Polish Overall
#1Essie
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.5
95
Nails Inc. Gel Effect Thumbnail
Longest Lasting Nail Polish
#2Nails Inc. Gel Effect
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.5
95
Smith & Cult Thumbnail
Best Luxury Nail Polish
#3Smith & Cult
9.5
9.0
9.5
9.5
94
Deborah Lippmann Thumbnail
Best Summer Nail Colors
#4Deborah Lippmann
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.5
95
Zoya Thumbnail
Best Vegan Friendly Nail Polish
#5Zoya
9.5
9.5
9.0
9.5
94
OPI Nail Lacquer Thumbnail
Best Winter Nail Colors
#6OPI Nail Lacquer
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.5
95
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Thumbnail
Best Gel Nail Polish
#7Sally Hansen Miracle Gel
9.0
9.0
9.5
9.0
91
Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Nail Enamel Thumbnail
Best Drug Store Nail Polish
#8Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Nail Enamel
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.5
91
Red Carpet Manicure Color Dip Nail Kit Thumbnail
Best Manicure Color Dip
#9Red Carpet Manicure Color Dip Nail Kit
9.0
9.0
9.5
9.5
93
NYC Thumbnail
Best Budget Nail Polish
#10NYC
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.5
95

Faveable Expert Tips

NAIL POLISH BUYING GUIDE

From hands to toes, beauty should never be underestimated. Taking care of your nails must be a habit beyond the one-time, perfect manicure. Whether it be for a romantic dinner or a professional meeting, neat nails show elegance.

Just like lips, nails are very seductive, and most men consider girls with nails done hot and sexy. Emma Watson claimed, “I don't have makeup on all the time, but when I want, I have fun with my friends choosing clothes and putting nail polish on.” If you are like Emma Watson — and cannot live without nail polish — then keep on reading.

In this guide, we provide tips to help you take care of your nails, choose the best colors, and how to get the best manicure. 

Healthy food for strong nails

If you want healthy, pink nails, there are a few tips to follow which start from your food diet. Healthline recommends eating 8 vitamins and nutrients to get stronger nails.

Consuming biotin, a water-soluble type of vitamin B, may reinforce brittle nails. Examples of biotin-rich food comprise of egg yolk, nuts, seeds, salmon, avocado, and cauliflower.

Folate, or vitamin B9, is an important food complement for healthy nails also. Vitamin B9 may be found in green vegetables, peas, and lentils. 

Iron helps oxygen to circulate throughout your cells which may result in stronger nails. You may improve iron absorption to your body when eating spinach, oranges, and strawberries.

Magnesium improves nail growth, too. To add more magnesium to your diet, consume whole grains and quinoa, or buy magnesium tablets.

Be sure to incorporate a sufficient amount of proteins to your diet. Diversify your protein sources by adding eggs, dairy, and plant-based food to your meals for stronger nails.


Omega-3 fatty acids may help your nails grow faster and stronger, too. You may find omega-3 acids in most fishes like trout and sardines, as well as walnuts.

Deficiency in vitamin C may slow nail growth. As your body lacks vitamin C, your nails may appear brittle and pale. Add vitamin C to your diet by eating grapefruits or oranges every day.

You should also consume zinc daily to fight against the degeneration of your nail plates. Foods such as soy, eggs, chickpeas, and black beans contain enough zinc and should be added to your meals.

Daily habits for taking care of your beautiful nails

You don’t need to wait for your weekly manicure to take care of your nails. In fact, having neat, beautiful hands and nails require routine.

To make your nails shine, hydrate your hands every day with your favorite hand lotion, ensuring you massage gently all the areas around your nails, including cuticles.

Here are some home-made remedies you can use to vitalize your nails, protect them, and add a little touch of brightness.

Add some olive oil into lukewarm water and let your nails absorb the liquid. Studies claim that if you soak your nails into olive oil infused water each day for 5 minutes only, you may restore shine naturally within a week.

Coconut and almond oils reinforce nails and fingernails, and if applied regularly, can boost nail growth. Such oils are highly rich and can help achieve rapid growth and shine. Furthermore, coconut and almond oils prevent nails from breaking.

Borage oil is a common herbal treatment known for multiple health benefits including nail growth. Extracted from borage seeds, this oil contains salicylic acid, mucilage, omega-3, calcium, and magnesium, all perfect for nail strength.

Lemon juice may remove any white stains on your nails. Add a bit of lemon and vinegar in lukewarm water and dip your nails for a few minutes.

Whitening toothpaste can be used to exfoliate your nails and make them look brighter. Apply some toothpaste and brush your nails to get whiter, brighter nails.

Tips on choosing the best nail polish

You can choose a nail polish according to your skin tone and what you will be wearing. You may choose different nail colors to adapt to your style of the day. For example, if you attend a party, you might want glittery nails, but for work, you may prefer classic colors such as red or grey.

If you have light skin, opt for a nude or pinkish nail color to preserve the balance of your skin tone. Remember that dark skin doesn’t match nude shades.

If your skin tone is medium, you can be more creative and opt for darker and vivid colors such as bright red, light brown, or even red-orange.

For darker skin tones, experiment with deeper shades of blue or purple, black or dark brown, or even pink-red.

For any skin tone, pink, light pink, or dark pink may suit. Celebrate summer with light pink and winter with darker shades of pink.


For formal occasions, choose natural or bright colors. For example, if you attend a meeting with your boss or need to go to the doctor, pick up a neutral color. For a fashion show, be creative and add a touch of eccentricity with nail art or glamourous gel nail polishes.

A pioneering creative, Vivienne Westwood played with recycled nail art in her latest fashion creations.  For joyful parties, play with shades of blue, dark, and purple. For a romantic dinner, prefer dark or classic red to add a touch of sensuality.

French manicure, basic polish, gel and nail art — our ultimate manicure tips

For the ultimate treat, you can get a manicure, either at home or at a salon, from time to time. In this guide, we cover four types of manicures, and why we love them.

French manicure: a forever classic, you can’t go wrong with a French manicure. A common request at beauty salons, French manicure describes a light, pink nail base color with a white layer polish over the extremities.

Beautiful, classic, and trendy, this manicure is best for a preppy, glamorous look. Contrary to what most people think, the French manicure didn’t originate in France but in the USA. The term was first coined in 1978 by Jeff Pink, the founder of the well-known cosmetic brand Orly.

Yet, the practice was known earlier in the 1930s when Max Factor, a pioneer name in the cosmetic industry, invented this type of manicure for French women in Paris.

Basic polish: simple, efficient, and always chic, the basic polish manicure combines your favorite nail colors with the simplest technique. Lasting up to 10 days, unless you don’t take care of your nails, this manicure is convenient for everyday wear.

Choose the best shades according to your skin tone and the occasion. A basic polish manicure can be done from the comfort of your own home as it doesn’t require high maintenance (compared to nail art or gel manicure). Prefer a deep red classic for a week full of romances, or darker shades of grey for a busy week at work.


Gel manicure: Hard gel — or gel manicure — can be applied to natural nails or fake nails. A gel manicure can last up to one month. However, you will need the help of a nail technician, which may require up to 3 hours of preparation.

Although this type of manicure lasts longer, it can also damage your nails. Therefore, it’s best to do a gel manicure once in a while but refrain from overdoing it. Visit your favorite nail therapist to undergo gel removal and use lots of oils to rehydrate your nails afterward.  

Nail art: In Japan or in the UK, nail art has reached new heights. Known as the practice of applying a fake nail — or nail extension — with various drawings or accessories to natural nails, this type of manicure is popular among younger generations, looking for the craziest way of expressing themselves.

You can become extremely creative with this type of manicure, from drawing your newest art addiction, to dazzling stars and moons onto your nails. Check out these cool Picasso-inspired nail art for your inspiration or this romantic bridal nail art version.

The best nail polish removers

Choosing a good nail polish remover is important for keeping your nails healthy. Unless you choose nail art or gel manicure, you can easily remove your nail polish yourself, without the help of a nail technician.

There are two kinds of nail polish removers: acetone and non-acetone formulas. Acetone nail polish removers use more aggressive solvents — such as propylene carbonate and ethyl acetate — than non-acetones ones and may help remove stronger, thicker nail polishes or gel-based manicures.

Choose an organic, non-acetone based nail polish remover to preserve gorgeous nails for French or basic polish manicures.

You can buy a hydrating, acetone-free formula nail polish remover to remove nail polish quickly and easily. Most of the time, you’ll need cotton balls and your favorite nail polish remover. You can also try a nail polish sponge remover.

The Do's and Dont's for preserving healthy, lovely nails

Do's:

Eat well and stay healthy.

Try a variety of brands. Don’t stick to just one brand.

Explore different shades.

Let your nails breathe sometimes — with no nail polish.

Don’t forget to use a top coat to protect your nail polish and to make the color last longer.

Dont's:

Do not bite your nails.

Be careful when cutting your nails. Find your favorite cut and shape your nails accordingly.

Don’t use a nail remover, as you don’t want to add chemicals to your nails.

Give your nails enough time to dry after a manicure. Get your favorite magazines or books and read while your nails dry.

Matching lipstick with nail polish: the ultimate glamour ceremony

To achieve a super glam and chic look the way Natalie Portman or Juliette Binoche does, match your lipstick with your nail polish.

To preserve the aesthetics and the fashion codes, use the same shades on your lips and on your nails. For example, dark brown on the lips won’t match a dark grey on the nails.

With the recent red addiction fashion trend, explore different shades of red both on your lips and on your nails.

Remember that nude or natural nails are also trendy. If you want to give your nails a little break, alternate the manicure types, and in between, let your nails breathe.

In fact, British Vogue has mentioned naturally groomed nails as one of the most ultimate fashion Spring 2019 trends. Other trends include berry and Bordeaux color as seen in Tom Ford campaigns.

Chanel stated “the brighter, the better” fashion rule. Celebrity manicurist, Elle, mentioned 5 Neon Chanel nail polishes to try out this season.

She tells about the most iconic French fashion brand ‘Chanel's formula is 5-Free which means that each polish is without formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde resin, and camphor — ingredients that have strong odors, can trigger asthma and are known carcinogens.”

Whether you decide to pick up a Chanel nude shade or extravagant Tom Ford nail polish, you’ll stay elegant if you follow a daily care routine for your nails.

Final tips:

Stay hydrated and drinks loads of water every day to preserve general good health and beautiful nails. Follow the fashion trends of nail art on Faveable and feel free to comment about your newest nail creations below this post.

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Article Staff

Jenna is an Iowa native and former Chicago resident who is currently living her best life in the Tampa Bay area with her husband and fur baby. She has a BS in Political Science from the University of Iowa, as well a JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Jenna has a passion for running, brunching, home decor and, of course, her beloved Iowa Hawkeyes. When she isn’t writing, Jenna loves to read just about anything she can get her hands on.

Jenna covers everything from health and beauty to home and lifestyle, you name the product, she’s likely tried it. So if you’re looking for ways to beef up your beauty regimen or enhance your humble abode, Jenna is your go to girl.

Editor Jenna Holtz
Researcher Ronnie Langston
Art Director Cherry Barbacena

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