Friday, November 8, 2013

Battle of the Nail Polishes

Having quite an extensive collection of nail polish (100 bottles and counting), I thought it was high time to share with the rest of the world what I thought of all the different brands out there. I have picked six brands that I frequently reach for and which I have tried a range of colors and collections where I can confidently give an unbiased review on them. I have featured brands that are drugstore to high end and everything in between, and I'll be getting down to the bottom of whether it is worth it to splurge or whether you can get away with just dropping a couple of bucks. It should be noted that I always wear a base coat with all nail polishes (helps keeps those nails clean and healthy!), so I will not be able to comment on the staining factor.

First up is Savina Nail Color, which can be found at Nordstrom Rack for about $4. First impressions is that they clearly were going for a China Glaze knock-off, the bottle is roughly the same size and shape. There is a wide range of colors and they all apply fairly opaque with just two coats. I find the formula is fairly consistent amongst all the shades. Definite perks of this brand is that it is extremely quick drying and has a nice glossy finish to it. I do find that most colors apply darker than the bottle implies so that is something to keep in mind when selecting colors. The color lasted for about a week for me without chipping, so a pretty average length of time. All in all this is a decent bottle, nothing to write home about but still a good choice if you're looking for something quick drying with a lot of options.

Color Club
Next is Color Club, which I order off Birchbox for $8 a bottle. If you are looking for neon colors that don't require a white base to pop, then this is the brand you're looking for. They have beautiful neons and metallics that are true to color, what you see in the bottle is what you will end up with on your nails. While the colors are beautiful, I do find that the formula can be a little tricky to apply. These definitely need multiple coats to banish the brush strokes and create an even coat, but you need to wait for the layers to dry completely otherwise you will end up with lumps, especially with the metallics. These colors were not long lasting at all for me, they chipped after about three days. I still reach for these polishes those just because the color choice is fantastic and not something I can find in other brands.

Butter London
Butter London which I find at Peninsula Beauty, but can also be found at Nordstrom, Ulta and most other beauty stores, for about $14. This is definitely the priciest of nail polishes I have but I gave into the hype and just had to try them out. I have a huge love-hate relationship when it comes to Butter, you would think that paying so much for one bottle would buy you some consistency, it does not. Every single bottle seems to be a different formula so I would say it's not worth the heartache of potentially getting a horrible formula. Some of these apply just fine, quick drying and completely opaque with just one coat, others are a lumpy mess and a lot of them take multiple coats and will take literally a full day to dry. While there are beautiful colors and fun little bottles, I think I have finally learned my lesson about buying these. However if by some miracle you can achieve a perfect manicure with this, you will be rewarded with an extremely long wearing look, my record has been 3 weeks without a single chip.

Essie can be found at Target, most drugstores and beauty stores for around $8. This is my favorite brand of nail polish, period. There's a great range of colors and I find excellent consistency in the formula. A lot of these colors are beautiful with just one coat and they are quick drying to an even shiny finish. I love Essie because you can easily find it anywhere with a decent wear time of about a week and a half. Essie on my toes easily lasted two months without chipping which was amazing for a period in my life where I was really busy and changing the color on my toes was low priority. Definitely this is the polish I will suggest to everyone!

OPI Nail Lacquer
OPI is classic good polish that can be found in most beauty stores and department stores for around $9. While there isn't a wide range of bright neon colors in the collection, this is a great polish to use when looking for classic reds and neutrals, and their special edition collections does come out with some gorgeous colors. This polish is supremely consistent in formula and a leader in special effects polish such as shatter and liquid sand, with a large soft brush that makes it easy to apply polish in just 2-3 strokes. Most colors require only one coat and it dries pretty fast. These polishes last around 2 weeks for me and maintain a sleek finish the whole time. If there was more color choice this definitely would be in the number one spot for me.

L'Oreal Colour Riche Nail
Last up is L'Ore Colour Riche Nail which can be found in all drugstores, Targets and Walmarts for around $5. There is a great range of color that boasts a 10 day wear, but I find that it exceeds the 10 days and can remain flawless for up to 3 weeks. The colors are extremely pigmented and rich as the name implies, applying easily with just one coat. The brush I find is smaller than average so it does take a few extra dips in the bottle and strokes to cover the whole nail, but the color goes on smoothly and dries very quickly. Definitely a brand to consider that is fairly inexpensive and easily found all over the place.

So that rounds up my favorite nail polishes, I'm looking into trying out more China Glaze nail polishes as well as picking up some Zoya which is a brand I've never owned, look forward to a quick review about those when I pick them up.

What are some of your favorite brands of nail polishes? Any suggestions of what I should try? What are your experience with these brands?

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