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Which nail polish brand is best?

Want a fun nail polish for your next at-home manicure? Are you a professional manicurist searching for more beautiful nail polish shades and brands to add to your collection? No matter your situation, there are many different vibrant and fun nail polish colors and brands to choose from. Butter London Patent Shine 10x in Molly Coddled is a practical and beautiful shade with amazing wear and shine.

What to know before you buy a nail polish brand

Gel vs. traditional nail polish

There are benefits and disadvantages to both traditional and gel nail polish brands.

  • Gel nail polish brands typically wear longer than regular nail polish brands — about two to three weeks on average. This type of nail polish offers a professional salon-like shine and isn’t as prone to chipping or wearing away during traditional everyday activities. It comes in various stylish colors, from classic opaque to vivid shimmer. It’s worth noting that gel nail polish can take some time to apply due to the curing process, and it can be time-consuming and difficult to take off, because you can’t wipe the polish off with traditional nail polish remover. You need more tools with gel polish than with traditional polishes, and it can easily damage your nails, especially if they’re already thin and brittle.
  • Traditional nail polish brands are less expensive, simple to apply and remove and come in various finishes and colors, including matte. This kind of nail polish dries quickly, and you only need to air dry it rather than use UV light. Traditional nail polish brands come in more formulas, including fortifying, vegan and strengthening. On the flip side, the colors can look dull and flat, and some traditional polishes have a strong smell. They also tend to only last a few days to a week at a time, since they chip and fade easily.

Clean beauty

Beauty experts and lovers are more conscious now about the ingredients they put on their bodies, which is why many beauty brands, including nail polish brands, are providing clean beauty, vegan and natural products by leaving out the harsh chemicals and artificial ingredients.

If you’re worried about what you place on your body, look for a nail polish brand that’s labeled 10-free or clean. The term “10-free” refers to nail polish that’s free of the 10 most common chemicals found in polishes, including parabens, toluene, camphor, lead, formaldehyde, DBP, TPHP, formaldehyde resin, ethyl tosylamide and xylene.

Wear time

Think about the wear time you desire when choosing your nail polish brand. Gel nail polish brands usually last two to three weeks at a time on average, while regular nail polish brands last as little as a few days.

What to look for in a quality nail polish brand


Consider the shade you want when looking for a top-quality nail polish brand. You can locate nearly anything you want, including classic reds, light neutral tones and neon shades.


It’s important to search for a highly pigmented nail polish brand, so you don’t have to apply as many coats of nail polish. When you buy a highly pigmented nail polish color, you should only need to apply one to two coats of polish to achieve an opaque color.


There are many different nail polish finishes available, including cream, iridescent, glitter, sparkle, opalescent, shimmer, pearl and duochromatic, so you can find the finish that works best for you.

How much you can expect to spend on a nail polish brand

Nail polishes vary in price from about $5-$20, based on the features, quantity, ingredients and quality of the polish.

Nail polish brand FAQ

What is a Shellac manicure?

A. A Shellac manicure is almost the same as a gel manicure, but Shellac is actually the name of a specific gel nail polish brand. The two words have been used interchangeably over the years, and you need UV light for both types of manicures to cure the nail polish and harden it into place.

Can you use a gel top coat with regular nail polish?

A. Yes. You won’t get the same results with regular nail polish and it won’t last as long as gel nail polish does, but using a gel top coat with regular nail polish makes it easier to take off your polish after it starts to chip.

Are acrylic nails the same thing as gel nails?

A. Acrylic nails are fake nails that are set over your real nails. You add the nail polish for color after applying acrylic nails, but the whole process of applying the nails tends to lead to damage.

What’s the best nail polish brand to buy?

Top nail polish brand

Butter London 10x Molly Coddled

Butter London Patent Shine 10x in Molly Coddled

What you need to know: This nail polish is a practical and beautiful shade with amazing wear and shine.

What you’ll love: This nail polish is chip-resistant and will make your nails stronger and healthier. It boasts a long wear and a high-gloss finish and is versatile enough for different seasons, outfits and occasions.

What you should consider: This nail polish color might not be right for you if you’re not into the color pink.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top nail polish brand for the money

Orly Breathable Treatment Nail Polish

Orly Breathable Treatment & Nail Polish in Soul Sister

What you need to know: This nail polish blend is pigmented enough that you just need a couple of coats, and it nourishes and protects your nails while you wear it.

What you’ll love: This inexpensive, shimmery pink nail polish will truly make your nails pop. The product’s breathable formula comes with nail-enhancing oils and vitamins to keep your nails strong and prevent them from being damaged.

What you should consider: This nail polish might easily chip if you don’t use a top coat and a base coat.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Zoya Nail Polish in Delaney

Zoya Nail Polish in Delaney

What you need to know: This polish is the perfect color to add to your beauty collection if you love statement colors and purple shades.

What you’ll love: This deep and mysterious shade includes hues of green, blue, pink and purple in a metachromatic finish with a little shimmer. The long-wearing polish is free of dangerous chemicals, and the shades vary based on the lighting.

What you should consider: This bold polish might be too over the top for daily wear.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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