7 Things You Should Know about Cheap Vs. Expensive Nail Polish ...


7 Things You Should Know about Cheap Vs. Expensive Nail Polish ...
7 Things You Should Know about Cheap Vs. Expensive Nail Polish ...

If you’ve ever contemplated the differences between cheap versus expensive nail polish, you aren’t alone. I sometimes wonder why anyone would shell out so much for one bottle of polish, then I rail at the way the cheap stuff chips and fades so quickly. A girl just can’t win. However, once you understand the biggest things that separate the inexpensive from the pricey, you can make the best choice for you. So, here you go. The best ways to tell the difference between cheap versus expensive nail polish.

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Brush Quality

Just like when you shop for make-up brushes, you want high quality bristles when it comes to your bottles of nail polish. That’s one of the main differences among cheap versus expensive nail polish. The better the brush is, the better the polish will go on your nails, which makes for a better manicure – one that looks great and lasts for a while. Great news, isn’t it?


Another important factor to consider when it comes to brush quality is the shape and size of the brush. A smaller, more precise brush can make it easier to apply the polish neatly and accurately, especially for detailed designs or hard-to-reach areas. Additionally, high quality bristles are less likely to fray or become misshapen, resulting in a more consistent and smooth application. Investing in a good quality brush can also save you time and frustration, as you won't have to constantly clean or replace a low quality brush.


Drying Time

In many cases, cheap nail polish goes on thicker than the higher priced version, which means it takes longer to dry. That doesn’t necessarily make the pricier one better, but if you do opt for the cheaper bottle of polish, know that you might need to set aside a bit more time to be sure it’s completely dry before you move on to something else.


In addition to drying time, there are other factors to consider when choosing between cheap and expensive nail polish. Cheap nail polish may also have a thinner consistency, making it more prone to chipping and requiring more coats for full coverage. On the other hand, expensive nail polish often has a more durable formula and can provide longer lasting results. However, it's important to note that some cheaper brands have improved their formulas and can now offer similar quality to more expensive options. Ultimately, it's important to find a nail polish that works for your budget and gives you the results you desire.


Paint Quality

I’ve bought cheap bottles of nail polish that amazed me by lasting for many days. On the other hand, I’ve splurged on the more expensive ones and was pretty upset when the polish chipped the next day. In general, however, the higher priced bottles contain a higher quality of paint, which means it should last a few days longer than the cheaper alternative. If you switch up nail polish often, cheap is probably fine, but it you want your manicure to last longer, it might be better to spend the extra cash.


It's also worth noting that some pricier nail polishes come with added benefits such as UV protection, vitamins to strengthen your nails, or a more environmentally-friendly formula. These can contribute to the overall health of your nails in the long run. Bear in mind that application is key too; even a high-end polish might not last if not applied properly. A good base coat, two layers of color, and a top coat can make all the difference, regardless of the polish's price tag.


Cheap Might Cost More

It can be painful to spend a lot on nail polish, right? It feels better to grab a new color for a couple bucks. However, many nail experts say that by choosing the cheaper bottle, you may end up spending more. That’s because it generally doesn’t last as long, which means constant reapplication. Before you know it, that polish is gone and you have to go buy another bottle. With expensive versions that last longer you won’t have to redo your manicure very often, making the polish last much longer.



When you purchase the same beauty product over and over, it makes sense that you want it to perform the same each time. When it comes to nail polish, the ingredients and recipe for some of the cheaper versions might not always be the same. However, the high end brands typically don’t change things from bottle to bottle, which means you can usually count on it being the same with each new color you add to your collection.


Depends on Technique

Nail care experts urge you to start with a base coat, follow with two coats of your chosen color, then finish off with a top coat. By skipping an imperative step, even expensive nail polish might not last as long. On the other hand, using a good technique with cheap polish can help prolong its life span.


Might Not Be Noticeable

Despite the differences between cheap versus expensive nail polish, some women say they simply can’t tell the difference. Like I said before, I’ve had great results from dollar store polish and less than desirable results from salon bottles. The bottom line is to choose nail polish that works for you. Then it won’t matter what you spent on it.

What’s your favorite brand of nail polish? Why does it work so great for you?

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

I found this article because my Sally Hansen polish got thick after a few uses. I see in the comments that others have discovered the same issue with this brand. Good to know so I can avoid it in the future!

I swear by Sinful brand nail polish. It costs $2 a bottle and goes on wonderfully, doesn't chip and stays shiny. Even my nail salon uses their polish!

Sinful sinfully sinful.....the polish is so great, dries fast and literally you can get away with one coat on almost every color they sell. I have 3 color's that I need a few coats to achieve the color that it is in the bottle but it dries fast and doesn't bubble and peel off...the trick is making sure your nail is prepped for polish meaning no oils on nail prior to application. I'm just a regular everyday woman who polishes and does all my nails myself. I apply design myself(self taught off pinterest of course) im not a professional on paper...I always get compliments

I LOVEEE sinful! I also love Maybeline. Both super cheap. Zoya is also awesome! I only once in a while splurge on the expensive polishes like Julep and Butter London. Essie has a great base coat, prevents any staining.

Nice post, but girls please learn the difference between there and they're! Educate yourself a bit!

I love Sally's, Sinful, Revlon, and Essie's there all amazing and love the way the brush glides on my nails and toe nails

I tried opi didn't last long for me either! I love sinful polish! I want to try essie but I find it ridiculous how you have to pay 8 dollars for that tiny bottle!

I live by Sinful. So cheap the most is $1.99, lasts long and stays shinning :) it's awesome!!!

I've tried Essie and it wasn't all that. Sally hansen and Sinful are so much better in my opinion.

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