Nail Polish for People Who Actually Use Their Hands : Essie, CND, Sally Hansen, Butter London

   By JuneEv  Jun 13, 2015

I'm home with my kids all day, which is obviously wildly glamorous, involving much scrubbing of bathrooms, folding of laundry and cooking of meals. It's obvious why most nail polish doesn't last

I've had professional manicures a handful of times (no pun intended ) and every time I end up seething when, two days later, my nails are already chipped. I even tried gel manicures which are supposed to last about two weeks and three days into vacation they were chipped. Very frustrating. No, I am not giving anyone my $15 (or $30 or, let's be honest, one time $40) for something I can do myself. 

I used to just never wear nail polish, it just wasn't worth the effort of carefully applying it only to have it peeling and chipping in two days. No thanks. However, after much searching I have found four brands that hold up pretty darn well even with the roughest use.

Everybody's drugstore favorite, and for good reason. They run about $7 and come in a whole array of fantastic colors. $7 is still more than I was used to paying for nail polish (I'm all about the 99 cent clearance ones usually) but think how many uses it will give you versus that $15 manicure. 
CND Vinylux
I only discovered this brand a year ago but they are great. I've found them from about $4-$6 on Amazon, and you'll want their topcoat too. They have a slightly smaller (but still ample) color selection than Essie, but they last easily a week once applied. The polish is very thin (which helps avoid chipping) but covers in two coats (especially for the darker colors) and the topcoat dries really fast. Any UV exposure you get (from being outside or helps keep the topcoat sealed.
These last forever and aren't too expensive: yes please. 
Sally Hansen miracle Gel:  

Another drugstore favorite. Similar to CND in that you want the color and topcoat. A nice thin (but not runny) formula that really lasts. I found prices vary but they're not much different from Essie, although the color selection is limited.

Butter London:
Alright, this one is the most expensive, clocking in at a wallet dinging $15 but, BUT, they are GORGEOUS. The colors are fantastic, the selection's amazing, the stuff stays put and it's still cheaper than that manicure from the nail salon. This is a good choice if you need a specific color for a special occasion or you just really like a color and plan to use it a whole ton or, come on, you just need a treat.  Go on.

In addition to using two coats of a good thin polish and topcoat, it helps to:
1) wipe nails with nail polish remover first
2) apply that topcoat as a basecoat
3) let everything dry really well between coats

However, 1-3 are totally optional since, I don't know about you, but I rarely have time for all that jazz.

Final nail polish confession: I will 100% buy a nail polish color just because I like the name. "Cute As A Button," "Giddy Kipper," "Crimson Sash". Ugh, just take my money already. 


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