12 Best Nail Polish Brands
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Finding The Best Nail Polish
Painting your nails can be a therapeutic experience. It gives you the chance to spend time with yourself or friends, all while expressing yourself with fun colors and cute designs. Whether you’re painting your toes or fingers, there’s nothing quite like the nostalgic feeling and self-care treatment.
But do you know what’s not therapeutic? Chipped nails, goopy polish, and money wasted on expensive salon appointments. So, it only makes sense to find your favs at the best nail polish brands.
That being said, the industry has exploded. There’s so much to choose from in terms of colors and finishes, from all types of companies and stores. Below, we’ll give you our list of the best nail polish brands, as well as everything you need to consider so you can find the perfect products for your claws.
12 Best Nail Polish Brands
Tenoverten was founded just over ten years ago by Nadine Abramcyk, Adair Ilyinsky, and Jaclyn Ferber. The trio sought to create a salon that made nail care feel luxurious and welcoming. They wanted to bring focus to “formulas that cleanse, nourish, color, and gloss, all without harmful ingredients.”
They ended up opening a salon in NYC, focusing on those perfect ten nails and created a personalized, unique experience. The brand’s polishes and at-home care kits strive to recreate the same feeling, with plenty of shades for all different aesthetics, though the packaging itself has a minimalist yet luxurious look.
On top of all that, the brand has 10 clear commitments to people and the planet with a collection of healthy, cruelty free ingredients and safe formulas. They’re free of harmful chemicals and instead provide nails and fingertips with necessary nourishment.
All Tenoverten nail polishes retail for only $12 a piece, while other essentials range from $10–$180.
- Wide variety of nail polishes as well as nail and cuticle care essentials, kits, and sets
- Plenty of different shades and colors to choose from, from bold to neutral
- Minimalist and elevated aesthetic
- In person salon in New York
- Sheer and opaque finishes available
- Consciously formulated
- Eight-free, vegan, and cruelty free
2. Deborah Lippmann
Founded in 1999 by its namesake, Deborah Lippmann is all about long lasting lacquers. It only makes sense, since the one and only Deborah Lippmann is known for being a celebrity manicurist.
After years in business, she chose to create her own collection to emulate her techniques and reflect what was missing from the market: “a diverse range of nail colors and luxury care products.”
Repped by the most popular actresses like Reese Witherspoon and Kate Winslet, it’s clear that this brand made a splash in the world of high quality polishes. The variety of finishes and colors is most well known for having a long lasting finish while being super easy to use and affordable.
On top of all that, the products are free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, dbp, and camphor, and they are not tested on animals. All Deborah Lippmann nail polishes retail for $20, while tools and extras can cost up to $35.
- Inclusive range of self care essentials from nail care to skincare and lip balms
- Comprehensive how-to guides for the perfect mani-pedi
- Range of bold and classic colors
- Variety of finishes from shimmery to matte to glittery to glossy
- Easy to filter based on color or finish
- Cruelty free
- Free shipping on all orders
A cult favorite in the world of nails, OPI was founded by George Schaeffer in 1981. Today, the brand is a division of Wella Operations US LLC and focuses “on providing high-quality products and services with a focus on industry safety and innovation.”
That being said, the polishes come in a vast range of different colors and finishes for every aesthetic, from bold and sparkly to neutral and sheer. The formula is specifically designed to be safe to use while being lightweight, opaque, long lasting, and durable.
Today, the brand is available in over 100 countries, thousands of salons, and just about every drug store you could think of. It also carries a professional line of products to create a well rounded salon experience. On top of that, it has partnered with multiple different charities to give back after all its success.
With over 240 shades and finishes to choose from, OPI nail lacquers retail for $12.
- Vast collection of different nail polish colors and finishes for every event
- Easy to shop nails by occasion (interviews, weddings, etc)
- Nail care products also available
- Extra savings for professionals
- Long lasting and chip resistant formulas
Another well known brand on our list that was also founded in 1981, Essie was brought to life by Essie Weingarten who had a vision “to help women feel special and to give them the perfect manicure.”
With that in mind, Essie decided to create 12 bold yet timeless shades, some of which are still in the collection today. Things snowballed from there as the collection grew to base and top coats, was worn by celebs, and expanded globally.
With thousands of different colors over the years, featuring forever colors and trendy options, Essie has continuously won over the hearts of professionals, DIYers, and fashion icons and influencers alike.
Depending on where you shop, Essie nail lacquers retail for $8–$12.
- Wide variety of iconic nail colors, limited edition options, and more for every aesthetic
- Range of different benefits like quick drying or salon gel finish
- Easy to shop by color and finish
- Tips and trends from pro manicurists available
- Widely available at salons and retailers
- Vegan and eight-free
5. Sally Hansen
Founded in New York in 1946, this brand was founded by Sally Hansen herself, who believed in independence and female power, and has since become loved worldwide for its collection of shades and finishes as well as its commitment to constant innovation.
It first launched with only two products, both designed to create the nails of your dreams. Today, the brand is best known for its Miracle Gel, which provides a thick, shiny, gel-like finish that is long lasting and ultra durable.
Sally Hansen products are designed for people who love self care. That’s why it provides products that go beyond nails, including tanning, hair removal, and beauty tools. The idea is simple: we find power in taking care of ourselves, and we love to do it.
Committed to providing high quality products at an affordable price, Sally Hansen polishes cost between $3–$15.
- Vast collection of 500 different shades with different finishes and benefits to suit every nail’s need
- Nail care necessities also available
- Carries a vegan, plant-based, 15-free nail polish collection called GOOD.KIND.PURE
- Nail how-to guides available
- Readily available at most retailers
6. UN/DN Laqr
When it comes to trending colors and super bold patterns, UN/DN Laqr is your one-stop shop. The brand was founded by the one and only Machine Gun Kelly, so it only makes sense that the focus should be on self expression, creativity, and making bold moves.
Stating that “I can express myself one way today and do it all again tomorrow with something different,” MGK clarifies that power of nail polish: it’s a way to reinvent yourself, to be who you want to be, to continue to change every single day and reflect those changes in the colors and designs you choose to wear.
That being said, the brand is most well known for its eclectic collection of polishes that feature unique finishes from chrome to matte to ultra glossy in a variety of shades that feel powerful and reflect the passion of the hands that wear them.
UN/DN Laqr polishes start at $18, though kits and sets can total $86.
- Unique collection of polishes and finishes
- Focus on creativity and self expression
- Singles and sets available
- Easy to shop by look, color, or finish
- Ultra pigmented colors
Born from the great mind of Harry Styles, the 1D star famous for wearing stunning hues and lacquers on the daily, Pleasing is all about easy on the eyes (just like the man himself) colors, soft pigments, and self expression.
Launched late in 2021, the collection currently includes four essential nail polishes, as well as a few skincare products and apparel. Each polish has a pearly, “pleasing” finish that is ideal for mixing and matching to create endless combinations.
This brand is not just designed for Harry Styles fans–the goal is really quite simple: “to bring joyful experiences and products that excite the senses and blur the boundaries.” This means the polishes are designed to be worn on any hand, at any time, for any reason.
The products are also sustainably made, with a focus on using healthy and safe ingredients as well as recyclable and compostable packaging. Polishes retail for $27 each, or the set of four costs $87.
- Unique collection of polishes and other self care essentials
- Soft and simple, easy to wear shades
- Biodegradable formula made with sustainable, plant-based solvents
- Vegan and cruelty free
- Free shipping on all orders over $75
Born from the need for innovation, Nails.INC came to be in 1999. Essentially, Thea Green sought a company that provided high quality nail polishes and a speedy manicure in one place and couldn’t find it, so she created it herself.
With a focus on being fully vegan using a range of plant-based ingredients, this brand offers a wide variety of nail colors and finishes available in singles or sets. The color options means there’s something for everyone, with endless possibilities for looks and designs.
While this brand has been worn by many celebs and featured in plenty of magazines, Nails.INC is most well known for its high quality formulas and durable finishes, all while being crafted from plant-based ingredients.
At an affordable price with quality formulas, Nails.INC polishes retail between $10–$30.
- Wide variety of nail polishes in different finishes and colors
- Available in singles or sets
- Vegan and cruelty free
- Plenty of sales and coupons
- Sister brand to INC.redible Cosmetics
- Free delivery on orders over $80
9. Smith & Cult
With a collection of products designed for a full self care routine from eyes, lips, and face to nails, Smith & Cult was founded in 2014 by Dineh Mohajer. The brand was actually technically created by accident as Mohajer had initially been a pre-med student in So Cal who spent her evenings mixing nail colors for fun.
She originally used the mixtures to start popular and fun makeup and nail polish line Hard Candy. With the origins of Hard Candy in mind, Smith & Cult became a more mature and timeless option with a focus on being truly yourself and finding a way to express that through makeup and nail polish.
Today, the brand is most well known for its commitment to creating a beauty revolution with a collection of trendy yet timeless options, including its list of lacquers. Each polish is crafted with the world in mind, being 8-free, vegan, and cruelty free.
Smith & Cult polishes start at $18, while sets retail for up to $63.
- Variety of uber pigmented polishes in a range of essential shades in finishes from glitter to semi-sheer
- Makeup for eyes, lips, and face also available
- Luxurious and high quality packaging
- Long lasting, high quality finishes
- Vegan and cruelty free
- Free shipping on orders over $35
10. Olive & June
When it comes to a full self care routine, Olive & June has it down pat with their selection of nail care mani-pedi necessities. The brand was founded in 2013 by Sarah Gibson Tuttle in Beverly Hills, California.
The company initially set out on a mission to elevate the salon experience with affordable prices, but has since expanded to do the same for those who prefer to DIY their nail looks. With polishes for everyone, the brand operates with one clear goal in mind:
“We believe no matter who you are, where you live, what you do, or what you wear, you can have a perfect manicure that makes you feel like your best self.”
Today, the brand carries a wide collection of polishes that feature all different colors and finishes, making them ideal for mixing and matching to create whatever final look you’re going for. Plus, it brings the salon straight into the home with its nail, hand, and foot care essentials.
Olive & June products range in price, with single polishes retailing for $8 while press on sets can cost $40.
- Vast collection of polishes, press on nails, and nail care essentials
- Wide range of different colors and finishes to choose from
- Nail systems, kits, and sets available
- Affordable prices
- Plenty of coupons and savings available
- Free shipping on orders over $45
LeChat doesn’t have your tongue–it has your nails. With a collection of lacquers, glitters, and acrylic nail kits, this brand has everything you need for at home, DIY nail art. The brand was founded in 1993 by Newton Luu, who created the Powder Gel System, and Jackie Truoung.
The brand initially started out with a focus on providing professionals with innovative products designed to make nail care and salon visits more luxurious and unique. Today, the products are available for all shoppers, with a focus on the acronym behind the name: Learn, Experience, Create, Help, Achieve, and Teach.
With a focus on innovation, the brand provides the newest and trendiest shades and finishes, while still offering classic colors and options for a complete look. LeChat classic nail polish prices start at only $5 while specialty colors retail for up to $15.
- Polishes and lacquers in a variety of shades and finishes as well as essentials for acrylics, powder nails, gel nails, and more
- Innovative systems and polishes
- Provides a realistic salon experience
- Tutorials available
- Discounts for professionals
- Free shipping on orders over $150
JINSoon was founded by Jin Soon Choi herself, who moved from Korea to NYC in 1991 and quickly began working in nail salons. After realizing that there was little time between clients, let alone to see clients, Jin decided to go off on her own and create a more personal, unique salon experience.
She quickly became the go-to manicurist for celebs, photoshoots, and models and decided to open her own salon in 1999. With Sarah Jessica Parker as the first client, the shop was off to a wonderful start and only flourished from there.
Since then, the brand has grown and continues to expand, now selling polish for at-home shoppers and nail lovers. All of the polishes are completely vegan and cruelty free, as well as being free of harmful chemicals and toxic ingredients.
On top of that, the brand is known for its high quality, chip resistant formula. Plus, many of the shades are named after models that Jin worked with on the regular, adding a unique and interesting touch to every polish.
With a variety of single polishes, unique collections, and sets, JINSoon prices range from $16–$42.
- Large variety of nail lacquers and nail care essentials
- UV filter to protect color
- Durable, ultra shiny finishes
- Vegan and cruelty free
- Spa locations in New York
- Free shipping on orders over $30
Which Nail Polish Brand Lasts the Longest?
It’s tough to say which of the best nail polish brands last the longest, as this tends to be a personal experience and preference. But, a few do offer polishes specifically designed for a long-lasting finish, whether it’s a top coat or the color itself.
And, it may be safe to assume that cult favorites like Essie, OPI, and Sally Hansen carry polishes that are long lasting. The three brands have had years to perfect their formulas. Not to mention, they are backed by large followings and receive glowing customer reviews.
Plus, these brands are all easy to find in stores and shops. So if you’re looking for a salon quality finish at an affordable price, you’ve met your match!
What is The Most Famous Nail Polish Brand?
We’ve listed the best nail polish brand, but which one has earned the most followers, making it a household name? While OPI and Sally Hansen are close seconds, Essie takes home the gold, having earned over 2.1 million followers on Instagram and 3.4 million likes on Facebook.
This brand can easily be found in any salon, store, and on the nails of your fav influencers and even nail art pros. The selection of finishes, shades, and textures means it has everything in terms of timeless and trendy options, also earning it the spot of most famous nail polish brand.
What is The Healthiest Brand of Nail Polish?
If you’re on the hunt for brands that focus on creating non-toxic and clean polishes, you’ll be happy to hear that a few options stick out in our list of the best nail polish brands. Here’s our top picks:
- Olive & June
Each of these brands offer a range of colors and finishes, plus they are formulated without any potentially harmful or toxic chemicals and ingredients. Nails.INC and Olive & June are both cruelty-free and vegan, while Pleasing carries a collection of polishes made from plant-based and vegan ingredients.
How to Shop The Best Nail Polish Brands
Now that we’ve shared our list of the best nail polish brands, it only makes sense to give you the scoop on all the details you should consider before making the final decision! Check out our tips below.
It’s always important to opt for a brand that is in line with your beliefs and values. This is especially important if you’re on the hunt for vegan and cruelty-free options, as well as plant-based ingredients. Brands should also have ethical and sustainable sourcing practices so shoppers know that their money is going to a good place.
That being said, all the companies in our list of the best nail polish brands are credible and ethical sources, clearly outlining their policies and values to make shopping super easy.
When you’re painting your nails, it’s not something you want to be doing on a daily basis. Polishes should be made from high-quality ingredients with excellent formulas to match. This means they ought to last at least a few days or a week, provide plenty of pigment, and never feel gloopy or messy.
You’ll be happy to know that all the options in our list of the best nail polish brands are made with quality ingredients and formulas for long lasting, stunning results.
Nail polish sets, travel bottles, and full size bottles all come with different quantities of polish. That being said, it’s important to consider the differences between brands and the amount of product you get for the price.
As we mentioned in our list of the best nail polish brands, a good formula is a necessity for beautiful, salon quality results. Another thing to consider is each brand’s approach to ingredients and whether or not they avoid toxic ingredients.
The formulas also shouldn’t be too thin or too thick—a ‘just right’ truly does exist. Different consistencies are ideal for different finishes. Jelly, sheer looks usually end up being thinner, while dark colors are usually a little thicker.
Depending on what you’re looking for, it’s important to find a brand that has an optimal color range. Some of the options in our list of the best nail polish brands carry a wide variety of colors for any and all aesthetics, while others focus more on niche palettes for shoppers who are on the hunt for a specific look or trendy colors.
You do a lot with your hands during the day and your polish shouldn’t lose its shine or chip off simply from frequent washing. The formulas need to be durable and long lasting so you don’t have to constantly touch up your nails or stress about what you’re doing with your hands.
The best nail polish brands carry plenty of different finishes, with options like matte, glossy, sheer, and sparkly. This way, shoppers can achieve a variety of different looks and use multiple polishes together to create an eye-catching design.
Additional Nail Benefits
While nail polishes already have the benefit of adding color and self expression to your hands, the best nail polish brands carry options that offer even more. Some polishes contain ingredients designed to strengthen and hydrate the nails, heal damaged nails, extend the lifespan of the manicure, and also prevent staining.
Nail polishes tend to range in price depending on the ingredients, the brand itself, and the different unique features offered. Polishes with trendy finishes and extra benefits tend to be a bit pricier, though high quality formulas tend to last longer since you don’t need to use as much to achieve the desired look.
What is 10-Free Nail Polish?
Having mentioned 3-free, 7-free, and 10-free a few times, you may be wondering what we’re going on about. Essentially, the best nail polish brands are free of at least 3 ingredients that have been branded as toxic. Here’s how each of the terms outlines commitments to safe formulas:
- 3-free: products are made without the three most toxic chemicals found in most nail polishes: formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate
- 7-free: made without the three ingredients listed above as well as formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, and xylene
- 10-free: polishes are made without all of the chemicals above as well as parabens, tert-butyl hydroperoxide, and animal by-products
All of these ingredients can cause skin irritation and/or are toxic if ingested.
Is Nail Polish Toxic?
If you’re wondering if nail polish is toxic, the short answer is no, nail polishes are not inherently toxic. And, as we mentioned, the best nail polish brands are 3-free and up to 10-free, meaning they avoid using any toxic ingredients.
That being said, some nail polishes can cause skin irritation, so it’s important to opt for brands that focus on using ingredients that are not toxic. Also, nail polish is toxic if ingested, so be sure to keep your fingers away from your mouth when painting, avoid chewing your nails, and always keep polishes out of reach of children and pets.
Which of The Best Nail Polish Brands Are Trending?
Having leafed through our list of the best nail polish brands, chances are you at least know of OPI, Sally Hansen, or Essie. As it turns out, there’s a good reason so many shoppers have carts overflowing with these polishes.
Well versed in the classics and the trends, these brands have it down pat when it comes to new releases, the coolest colors, and the most popular finishes and designs. No matter what you’re looking for, these three brands are on top of it and are sure to have the shades and textures that are poppin’ in the world of nails.
A good set of nails is about more than the color—it’s about the brand behind the color, the quality of each polish, and the importance placed on the product’s performance and durability. Finally, you’ll be able to perfect your at home manicure, enjoy a little self care, and find your signature color.
All that being said, whatever brand you end up choosing from our list of the best nail polish brands, we’re sure that you’ll nail it.
How We Chose the Best Nail Polish Brands
Before choosing any brand, we scour the web and all the biggest e-tailers to ensure we know all the available options on the market. We look at customer reviews, star ratings, brand ethos, processes, materials, accessibility, and so much more. We weigh the pros and cons, so you don’t have to, helping you make informed shopping decisions.
Check out other curated lists of top brands: