Nailed it- my favorite nail polishes and the worst

Nail polish – it is simply one of my survivor items I can not even fathom life without. Life without color? I’ve been wearing it since raiding my mom’s closet in grade school and since then the addiction has only gotten worse. I need every shade of periwinkle blue, every shade similar to a ballet slipper pink, and don’t forget those rad colors that make perfect strangers ask, “Where did you find that?”


I consider myself lucky that my childhood friend’s major vice is beauty products. She will shop through Sephora and department store cosmetic counters as if it’s a sport. Not only does she not use 75% of the products or just tries them out once, but she gives me all the hand me downs! I should be a good friend and help her break her addiction, but I don’t. I just love all her makeup selections that find their way to my beauty closet eventually.  She’s recently given me tons of nail polish in different brands and colors. I’ve selected my top brands and not so favorites and rated them on a scale of 1-5 including application, color, and chip resistance.

I would have loved to add photos of the colors on my nails, but I have a better chance of owning an ocean front resort in Fiji before becoming a hand model, so I will leave my troll hands to typing and just add photos of the bottles.

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Let me start with my top lovers.

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My top winner is Nailsinc Geleffect. Hands down this polish is amazing! I was always a bit hesitant to try gel polishes. I thought they needed a special light, or the polish would take forever to scrub off when I was ready to switch it up. I’ll even post a photo of my ring finer in the polish because the color is the same as the bottle displays.


Application: 5/5 The cap is a bit misleading, but the bulky square cap comes off leaving a small black cap that is easy to handle. The bristle leave a smooth finish without streaks. Just after one coat that dried within seconds my nails look finished. Two or three coats gives it a nice finish.

Color: 5/5 The color was perfect. I am wearing a soft pink and it looks great with a tan or without.

Chip resistance: 5/5 I am a busy mom that literally does everything from gardening to renovations on a daily basis. I paint my own nails because I get bored of colors and I constantly  mess them doing projects. If painted well and you don’t have a bad habit like I do at picking at your nails, this polish can last well over a week and half. It is simply amazing!

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China Glaze- I have color up all night. It is a very dark midnight blue with a slight shimmer preventing it from being too matte without being sparkly.

Application: 4/5 Easy to apply. Thin brush and paints well. Comes out medium in velocity. You need 2-3 coats for the full effect.

Color:  5/5 I love this color. It is classy and edgy at the same time. You need a double take. Is it purple, blue, or black? It is perfect when you are sick of girly colors and want to step it up.

Chip resistance: 3/5 It’s middle of the road. It looks fabulous first 3-4 days but after will need touch ups.

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Sally Hanson Insta-Dry – Show Steeler

A busy woman’s dream polish. I have under two minutes to paint my nails- done and done.

Application: 5/5 A breeze to paint on. Dry time is under a minute. What is the secret to quick dry nail polish? It can cover well with just one coat if you are super busy.

Color: 3/5 This gray is very matte with blue undertones. When it comes to this brand’s color selection, it is very blah and predictable. Not enough neutrals or fun colors to wear it on the regular.

Chip resistance: 4/5 Gives some expensive brands bang for its buck. But when it chips its big chips and it looks horrible.

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Defy & Inspire- Target’s first line of polish. This brand is pretty awesome. With 38 colors of 5 Free polish (5 chemicals you don’t want to see on the ingredient list) It has great coverage, color selection, and wear ability.

Application: 3/5 It doesn’t flow as well as other brands. Brush is a bit bigger and polish takes some concentration to make it even.

Color: 5/5 I had a nude with sparkles that shimmered in the sun. Great coverage and only needed two coats.

Chip resistance: 4/5 If you let it dry properly which by the way can take a longer time than other brands, it sets nicely. It is good for a 4-6 day period with minimal work.

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O.P.I. Infinite Shine 2- I am normally an Essie girl over O.P.I. but this polish is great! It has amazing application, coverage, and chip resistance. The shade is Cajun Shrimp. It is the perfect orange red combo to accentuate tans.

Application: 5/5 It went on thick and easy. It doesn’t get tacky in the bottle or on the nails and leave a smooth finish.

Color: 5/5 They have a great range of colors and Cajun Shrimp is fun and bright.

Chip resistance: 4/5 It definitely serves as a long lasting polish and has strong resistance to housework and hobbies that might scuff it up.

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Ruby Kisses- Teal Envy  This is an oldie but a goodie. I purchased this polish over seven years ago when I lived in New York City. Teal Envy is as teal as you can find. I’ve gotten so many compliments on this polish and I refuse to throw it away until I can scrape out every last drop. It is not the least bit tacky after sitting on my shelf 3/4th of the way finished seven years later.

Application: 4/5 It doesn’t go on as smooth as higher end polishes, but with a little patience you can get a nice manicure.

Color: 5/5 If you want the pop factor choose Teal Envy if you can find it online.

Chip resistance: 3/5 It doesn’t last long before starting to chip…maybe 3-4 days, but I wouldn’t want to wear the color longer anyways.

These brands and colors completely disappointed me, yet I still hold onto them like a beauty hoarder.

Essie- Secret Story  At first it looks like a nice creamy magenta. After I applied two coats it still was a sheer polish that looked as if I ran out during the middle of a manicure. One or two coats of sheer didn’t look good and who is wasting time painting there nails 4-5 coasts for a basic shade of pink?

Sephora by O.P.I. This polish has a huge hard to maneuver handle, a thin brush, and is tacky to apply. I would never purchase this myself and don’t recommend it to anyone either.

Sally Hanson Triple Shine– At first application I liked the sheer natural color, and I’ve almost used the whole bottle because maybe I didn’t have many nice neutrals in my closet, but this product chips a lot. It is very frustrating. One moment you have the perfect manicure and bam- you are missing chunks of polish.

What are your favorite brands? I’m really loving the gel. I love the fun of mixing up shades during the seasons of the year. Summer is my favorite. Bright, nude, wild, almost anything goes, as long as it goes with your bikini.

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