Nail Polish Product Review

When you're shopping for nail polish, it's easy to get drawn in by all the eye-catching store displays. Who can pass up neatly stacked towers of tiny shimmering multi-colored bottles of fun? You might be tempted to buy one of each. But all nail polishes are not created equally, and there's no point spending your money on a product that won't yield the desired results.


Which brands or formulas of nail polish to buy depends on what you need. If you're a fan of color variety, you'll want a brand that offers a wide spectrum of shades to choose from. If you love to be on top of fashion trends, you can stick with brands marketed to a hip young demographic, and that offers up-to-the-minute colors and styles. Some shoppers are very interested in nail health, in maintaining the strength and beauty of their natural nails for as long as possible. If that's you, you should lean toward products that focus on overall nail care, not simply quick color fixes.

Some nail polish basics:

  • For daytime, neutral, subtle colors work best.
  • If you're going out for the evening, pick more dramatic, deep colors, or those with added shimmer.
  • Apply polish in thin layers, allowing the coats to dry between applications. Applying polish too heavily can make it dry slowly, smudge, and ruin your manicure.{relatedarticles}
  • Manicures aren't just about the nail polish. Remember the base coat and topcoat, which help the nail polish to go on smoothly and last longer. Any nail polish will look better on well-shaped nails. Pick a style that complements your hand and finger shape, and don't forget to care for those cuticles!
  • If you want to do something different, you can try the new matte finish nail polish. It's comparable to "flat" wall paint, and gives nails an edgy, interesting look.
  • When deciding on colors, you should take your skin tone and clothing choices into consideration, but above all go with your gut. Sometimes there's a nail color you simply have to have.

Nail polish is most easily evaluated by brand, since each brand has its own marketing image and specialty. Not every nail polish from a well-known maker will live up to your expectations; you need to shop around to find out.

Sally Hansen

Sally Hansen has been a leading nail care company for decades. They've done a great job updating their image and moving with the times, offering a wide range of nail and hand care products many women wouldn't do without. Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Natural is a nice all-around product. If you're trying to grow your nails, Hard As Nails can help by providing your nails with strength and protection. Some people like using it as a base or topcoat along with their nail color, or it can be used alone. It has a subtle, clear-pink tint that gives your natural nails a healthy glow.

A French manicure can be tricky when you do it yourself. Creating a perfectly natural-looking and uniform set of white tips (especially when you have to use your non-dominant hand) can be pretty frustrating. Enter Sally Hansen French White Tip Nail Polish Pen. This innovative product is designed to simplify the process of drawing on French tips with a unique pen that evenly dispenses polish in the correct amount. While not all consumers find using the pen to be as easy as advertised, they agree that using this product beats drawing French tips the old fashioned way.



OPI is one of the most glamorous, trend-setting nail polish brands in the world. It offers a mind-boggling array of colors and finishes, and is closely associated with Hollywood and high fashion. OPI Nail Lacquer is a deluxe nail polish favored by professional manicure salons. It features an extra-wide brush that makes application smooth and flawless. According to consumers, the only real drawback about OPI products is the cost; the prices are quite high compared to bargain drugstore brands. This, however, is definitely a case of "you get what you pay for". If you feel like splurging on a nail polish that makes you look and feel like a star, OPI is the brand to choose.


Maybelline understands that women are pressed for time and always on the run, so they've created products that get the job done quickly and stay gorgeous all day long. Maybelline salon expert nail color features a professional-style brush that makes for a neater application. It also contains calcium and iron for long-lasting wear and durability. This product is a good value.

Maybelline Express Finish nail polish claims to dry in just 50 seconds. While many users found that actual drying time was around 90 seconds, most were happy with the final result.

Wet n Wild

You see it in discount stores all the time. You probably used it when you were a teenager. It costs around a buck. Don't let any of these facts dissuade you from giving Wet n Wild nail polish a chance. It comes in a wide variety of fashionable colors, and lasts a surprisingly long time.



L'oreal Paris Pro Manicure nail polish boasts a unique no-streak flat brush and a polish formula that contains no formaldehyde or toluene, or phthalates. It's a good product to look into if you're interested in a healthier manicure. Consumers' biggest complaint? Peeling. This product doesn't seem to have quite the same longevity as comparable brands.

Cover Girl

Cover Girl Boundless Color allows the user to exercise her creativity. This line features creamy solid color base coats and shimmery, glitter-flecked topcoats you can wear alone or mix and match for fun effects.

Cover Girl Continuous Color is another option from this company. As the name implies, it's designed to last a long time, and comes in some very eye-catching, glossy colors. It's also a terrific value from a brand you can count on.