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Explainer: 10 top-rated nail polishes

  • Like a fabulous scarf or a one-of-a-kind bracelet, nail polish can be your key accessory. Whether you get your nails done at a beauty salon or do them yourself at home, the key to a perfect-looking manicure and pedicure is polish, polish, polish. That's why we're here to share the top 10 best nail polishes — according to TotalBeauty.com readers.

  • No. 10: Wet n Wild Rock Solid Nail Lacquer, $2.99

    TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 8.2

    Readers gush about this polish calling it a "hidden gem," because it dries "super fast," "looks great" and "the color in the bottle is very true to the color on your nails." One reader loves "the bottle with the crystal on top!" While another says it has "pretty colors, pretty packaging, pretty price, [and is a] pretty good deal." Another reader demands, "save your money and buy more shades."

  • No. 9: Avon Nailwear Nail Enamel, $3.49

    TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 8.4


    Why: Readers love how this polish "lasts and lasts!" and it "won't chip or come off if my hand is in water." Another reader says it stays on "up to 10 days." Women also love the "really cute colors" saying, "this nail polish is excellent," because "it's long lasting." One reader likes how "this nail polish delivers and it's at a reasonable price." As a nail tech, one reader thinks "this polish is just as good as any professional one. I have many different brands and colors of nail polish, but Avon I have found is the best. I tell all my friends that this is the best nail polish especially for the price, you can't beat it."

  • No. 8: Maybelline New York Express Finish 60 Second Nail Color, $3.99

    TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 8.6

    One reader likes this polish because "1) yes, it dries quickly, 2) they have colors that I like, 3) I can find them at almost every grocery store/pharmacy, and 4) great price." Readers applaud the formula for its "good pigmentation" and "great color selection." One woman digs the quick-drying feature saying, "I love this nail polish so much. I used to hate painting my nails because I could never sit still long enough to let them dry smudge-free. But once I found this product I was hooked!"

  • No. 7: Revlon Nail Enamel, $4.49

    TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 8.6

    People who love Revlon products also love the nail polish because "Revlon polish is rich, the color is vibrant and I really like how sheer they are." Many love the red color especially because "it's rich and passionate."  One reader says, "The colors are pretty and no testing on animals. What else can you ask for?" Another likes how there is "no yellowing either," saying that it's her "all-time fave." Another color favorite of many is Autumn Berry because it is "warm, sexy and rich," and "is a particularly great winter color — everyone asks what it is."

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  • No. 6: CoverGirl CG Boundless Color Nail Polish, $4

    TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 8.8

    One reader who has "always been a fan of bright standout nails" says, "I have like 50 hot pink shades and this is the one I normally grab when wanting hot pink. Beautiful!" Readers love how this is "an inexpensive nail polish that lasts just as long as the costly alternatives." Another agrees saying, "the polish is as good as what you would find in a nail salon." People also love the "gorgeous colors," saying they have a "fabulous color selection" that is "much more lasting and shiny than most other nail polish brands." One reader professes, "I love to use this on my toes."

  • No. 5: Lippmann Collection Nail Lacquer, $15

    TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 8.8

    Readers agree that Lippman's nail lacquers are "polishes to pine for." Their favorite attributes? The formula, which "allows it to be applied thinly (no goop!) and the bottle/ brush design, [which] prevents the application process from getting messy".  One reader agreed saying, "each bottle ‘keeps’ for a long time without getting thick or gloopy." Another loves it because it "doesn't have formaldehyde in it, which is great for the environment" and "it has anti-fungal qualities to it so I can share with my friends or at the nail salon." Another user assures us, "if you can get past the sticker shock, you'll be treated to high-quality nail polish housed in a beautiful regency-style bottle." Speaking of the bottle, "my other polishes live in a drawer in my bathroom, but these babies are on display," says a reader.

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  • No. 4: Essie Nail Polish, $8

    TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 8.8

    One reader says, "As a high school student I usually found it difficult to part with my allowance, but Essie was a coveted product for which I would scrimp and save." One reader says, "the best part of Essie is the super shiny finish that you achieve without a top coat. The long wear is a bonus." Another reader thinks it is "perfect for office wear," because it "lasts through hours of typing." After discovering Essie, readers say, "OPI isn’t the only game in town." And one even says, "I just bought my first bottle of Essie a few weeks ago, and had just said goodbye to OPI."

  • No. 3: Rimmel London 60 Seconds Vinyl Stars, $1.99

    TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 9.1

    Manicure enthusiasts love how this nail polish "really does dry in 60 seconds. WOW." Another says that the nail polish is "pretty, and did dry by the time I started painting the other hand." One reader says that this polish is the "total package," because it "comes in a variety of colors ... dries fast ... and only costs $1.99! I love it." Readers also love how it "stays on a long time," and assert that you "can’t beat this price."

  • No. 2: OPI Nail Lacquer Classics, $5.99

    TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 9.6

    Readers think "OPI has it nailed!" One woman says, "I'm a polish whore ... and own about 50 bottles (that's after clearing out a bunch). That said, I am an OPI fan." Readers swear this polish is "unlike any other type" because the "color goes on smoothly," "is vibrant," and "rich and deep and lasts forever." Even a reader's "dad complimented the color." Tons of our readers love the OPI Designer Series, because "I love glitter. I love OPI. OPI + glitter = more to love." Another reader says, "they are dazzling when under lights" and even give a "holographic-like effect." One reader says, "Generally, anything sparkly wins me over instantly, and OPI really outdid themselves with the Designer Series. Every color is rich [and] sparkly." "When I wear this polish people constantly ask where I got my nails done and can't believe I did them myself," says a reader.

  • No. 1: China Glaze Nail Lacquer with Hardeners, $5.00

    TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 9.6

    Why: Readers love how China Glaze "comes in a kagillion different, beautiful colors and effects." One "self professed nail polish addict" says, "this is my absolute favorite brand of polish" because "they last, are bright and beautiful and unique." The fave color among many readers is the coveted, For Audrey, "a Tiffany (robin's egg) blue," saying "it's the prettiest color I've ever owned, and the only way I can wear blue on my nails without feeling silly."

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Gallery: Nutty nail art

One woman made 365 nail designs in 365 days a personal challenge. See her wild and creative progress.

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