15 Best Drugstore Nail Polishes That You Should Try In 2022

Achieve the perfect salon-like mani-pedi at home at a budget-friendly price.

By Esha Saxena
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Freshly manicured nails look gorgeous, but not everyone has the time to visit the salon frequently amidst their hectic schedules. The secret to getting the perfect mani-pedi at home is to pick a great nail color. Nowadays, the best drugstore nail polishes come in stunning shades and offer enough longevity at affordable prices. In this post, we have curated a list of the 15 beautiful drugstore nail polishes (under $11) that will make your drugstore trip worthwhile. Keep reading to explore our top picks!

Our Top PicksCheck Price
Best Glitter-Finish: Essie Mirror Metallics in “Good as Gold”
Price on Amazon
Best Long-Wear Formula: Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in “Mauve Over”
Price on Amazon
Best Opaque-Finish Formula: Essie Nail Polish in “Mint Candy Apple, Green”
Price on Amazon
Best Gel-Based Formula: Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel in “Lady Luck”
Price on Amazon
Best Quick-Drying Formula: Wet N’ Wild Megalast Nail Color in “On a Trip”
Price on Amazon
Best Chip-Resistant: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Collection in “Terra Coppa”
Price on Amazon
Best Easy-To-Apply Formula: OPI Infinite Shine 2, California Dreaming Collection in “This is Not Whine Country”
Price on Amazon
Best For Lighter Skin Tones: Revlon Holochrome Nail Enamel in 115 “Fairy Dust”
Price on Amazon
Best With Shimmery Finish: China Glaze Nail Polish in “Heart of Africa”
Price on Amazon
Best For Nail Art: Essie Nail Polish in Designated DJ
Price on Amazon

15 Best Drugstore Nail Polishes That You Should Try

1. Best Glitter-Finish: Essie Mirror Metallics In “Good as Gold”

Pros

  • Great formula that goes on smoothly
  • Quick-drying
  • This shade can get away with one coat as it’s very opaque
  • DBP, Toluene, and Formaldehyde free
  • Highly saturated

Cons

  • May emphasize nail imperfections like ridges.

Essie Mirror Metallics In “Good as Gold” Review

All that glitters is all you need! This nail polish by Essie’s Mirror Metallics collection is a gorgeous gold shade, which is entirely muted – it’s not too yellow, neither it’s overly flashy. Its formula is excellent, and it provides for easy application. Two coats are all it takes for the most opaque finish!

This one’s a great option for the Winter Holiday season or just about any day because it’s a super versatile color. This shade will look stunning on almost every skin tone.

 

2. Best Long-Wear Formula: Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear In “Mauve Over”

Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Great color
  • Long staying
  • Dries quickly

Cons

  • Slightly hard to remove

Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear In “Mauve Over” Review

Sally Hansen is one of the most popular drugstore nail polish brands. The shade “Mauve Over” seemingly changes its color depending on the lighting. Regardless of the lighting, this color looks utterly gorgeous. Its formula builds quickly to opacity, dries rather fast, and lasts forever even without a top coat.

It’s a great shade for winter and fall, or even spring, and will look so hot on light to medium skin tones!

 

[ Read – Top Rated Sally Hansen Products For Women ]

3. Best Opaque-Finish Formula: Essie Nail Polish In “Mint Candy Apple, Green”

Pros

  • Great color formulation
  • Easy to apply
  • Good applicator brush
  • Long staying

Cons

  • Chips easily without top coat

Essie Nail Polish In “Mint Candy Apple, Green” Review

This Essie nail polish in the shade “Mint Candy Apple, Green” is fresh and light and would make a beautiful shade for spring or summer. Its new formula is great, and two coats provide a full-fledged opaque finish.

Whether you have light skin, medium or dark skin tone – this color will surely stand out and score you some compliments. When you feel your creative juices flowing, this mint-green shade is a great addition to your nail art design ideas!

 

4. Best Gel-Based Formula: Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel In “Lady Luck”

Pros

  • Long-wearing
  • Gel formulation
  • Easy application
  • Dries quickly
  • Opaque finish

Cons

  • Slightly pricey

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel In “Lady Luck” Review

This gorgeous shade is a blend of pink and coral with a subtle gold shimmer. The formulation of this line of nail polishes by Revlon is impressive. We loved its consistency, quality, glossy finish, and its staying power. This shade has a low-key neon vibe going on, which makes it a really fun and youthful shade!

Overall, it’s a great color for summer or spring and can easily be pulled off by all skin tones.

 

[ Read: 10 Best Neon Nail Polishes ]

5. Best Quick-Drying Formula: Wet N’ Wild Megalast Nail Color In “On a Trip”

Pros

  • No streakiness
  • Dries fast
  • Buildable shade with soft undertones
  • Salon-like shine
  • Curved pro nail brush

Cons

  • 1-2 coats of it get dull over time

Wet N’ Wild Megalast Nail Color In “On a Trip” Review

This shade by Wet N’ Wild is a lively purple color with soft, blue undertones. It has an impressive salon-like finish to it, and one coat gives you a perfectly opaque, glossy finish while two coats give you a warm, purple look. Its brush has thick bristles and is angular towards the edges, making it a breeze to apply. Coming to its longevity, two coats of this polish lasts for a good 5-6 days, but three coats stick to your base for longer and give you that salon-like-shine.

This is a great shade for summer or spring, and it looks flattering on almost every skin tone.

 

6. Best Chip-Resistant: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Collection In “Terra Coppa”

Pros

  • Easy application
  • Gel formulation
  • Does not chip off
  • Goes on smoothly and dries quickly
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Expensive

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Collection In “Terra Coppa” Review

A bottle of this shade of Sally Hansen nail polish is reportedly sold every two minutes – making it a best-seller! According to InStyle, since its launch, this bottle has been sold over 32 million times. “Terra Coppa” is the most Instagram-worthy rose gold shade that is long-lasting and universally-flattering. It goes on glittery, but it dries up to a more subtle shimmery finish that isn’t very flashy. It applies easily, and its gel formula holds up for a week and stays chip-free. It goes with everything and keeps glowing for long.

This one can be worn all round the year and is great for every skin tone!

 

7. Best Easy-To-Apply Formula: OPI Infinite Shine 2, California Dreaming Collection In “This Is Not Whine Country”

Pros

  • Great color
  • Easy to apply
  • Fast drying
  • Long staying
  • Great applicator brush

Cons

  • Expensive

OPI Infinite Shine 2 Review

“This Is Not Whine Country” is a little sheer, but it can be built upon, and once it dries, its saturation and shine is so beautiful. It’s a wine-colored shade with blue and berry undertones that looks so sultry and hot! The formula of this nail polish is great, and its brush makes for an easy application that lasts for over a week!

This shade is perfect for any time of the year, and we can visualize this shade looking stunning on every skin tone.

[ Read: 10 Best Nail Polishes Available In India ]

8. Best For Lighter Skin Tones: Revlon Holochrome Nail Enamel In 115 “Fairy Dust”

Pros

  • Quick-drying
  • Does not chip
  • Long-wearing
  • Great formula

Cons

  • Needs three coats for a fully opaque finish

Revlon Holochrome Nail Enamel In 115 “Fairy Dust” Review

Revlon has released a new collection called HoloChrome with four holographic nail polishes and four chrome finish ones. This shade called “Fairy Dust” is a minty green scattered holographic polish that looks so pretty and magical. You get full opacity in three thin coats. This one’s definitely worth trying!

It’s a great color for winter or when you want to keep it simple with a dose of shimmery! This will look great on lighter skin tones.

 

9. Best With Shimmery Finish: China Glaze Nail Polish In “Heart of Africa”

Pros

  • Gorgeous color
  • Applies smoothly
  • Dries quickly
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • The polish in the bottle dries out rather quickly

China Glaze Nail Polish In “Heart of Africa” Review

“Heart of Africa” from China Glaze is a beautiful deep shimmery wine color. If you instantly want to glam up your hands and feet, this color should be something you absolutely must look at! Two coats of this give you a fully opaque finish and decent staying power.

This vampy shade is perfect for fall, winter, and the holiday season and looks exceptionally flattering on medium-tan skin. To get a better understanding of the product, you can check out this video on YouTube.

 

10. Best For Nail Art:  Essie Nail Polish In Designated DJ

Pros

  • Very saturated
  • Beautiful color
  • Quick-drying
  • Long-wearing

Cons

  • Chips without top coat

Essie Nail Polish In Designated DJ Review

This was launched as a part of Essie’s 2017 Spring Collection. The shade is a rich, deep plum with more purple in it and no matter what the season, this will look gorgeous. Its formula is great, and you get an opaque finish in two coats. The applicator brush is easy to use and gives you a smooth and even finish.

This is a color that will look flattering on every skin tone, all year round! It can also be used for doing your nail art designs.

[ Read: 10 Best Matte Nail Polishes ]

11. Best In Budget: Maybelline Color Show Nail Polish In “Rose Rapture”

Pros

  • Easy application
  • Dries quickly
  • Highly pigmented
  • Long staying
  • Great quality at an affordable price

Cons

  • It needs a topcoat, or it will start to dull out within a week

Maybelline Color Show Nail Polish In “Rose Rapture” Review

The shade ‘Rose Rapture’ is a pale, shimmery hot pink nail polish with silver shimmers in it. This bubbly color looks very feminine, and it has a unique formula. You get full opacity in just two coats, and it really is a breeze to work with this. The brush does not leave strokes and gives you an even application. Highly recommended!
This one will make a superb color for summer or spring, and will look pretty on all skin tones!

 

12. Best Tinted Top Coat: Zoya Nail Lacquer In “Frida”

Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Gentle formula
  • Great applicator brush
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Needs too many coats for a fully opaque finish because of which it takes forever to dry

Zoya Nail Lacquer In “Frida” Review

Frida by Zoya is a sheer, dark, and warm-toned teal blue with a buildable jelly gloss finish. Its unique formula can be worn alone or layered to create an endless variety of custom colors and effects. Talking about the formula, it’s pretty thin and you need to apply multiple coats (around 5-6) to get it to an opaque finish.

This one’s great to use as a tinted top coat or over your nail art designs, but as a stand-alone polish, it’s hectic to apply so many coats. However, we can’t deny that the jelly gloss finish looks incredible. Check out the review of this product for more information.

 

13. Best Saturated Formula: Essie Nail Polish In “Wicked”

Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Quick-drying
  • Long-wearing
  • Gives you an opaque finish

Cons

  • Needs top coat

Essie Nail Polish In “Wicked” Review

This shade by Essie is a beautiful deep brown-purple, and it makes for a sultry winter look. Its formula is great. The applicator brush is easy to use and gives you a shiny, smooth finish with much ease. Two coats give you a fully opaque finish, and the longevity of the polish is decent.

This dark color will look amazing on every skin tone with all outfits and is great for winter, fall, and autumn.

[ Read: 10 Best Black Nail Polishes ]

14. Best For All Skin Tones: Orly In “Haute Red”

Pros

  • Great formula
  • Easy to apply
  • The brush does not create streaks
  • Long-wearing

Cons

  • Takes time to dry

Orly In “Haute Red” Review

If you want a glamorous Hollywood red on your nails – your search ends here! This neutral red is a balance of orange and blue, giving you a true red shade. Its formula applies evenly and beautifully without streaking. Haute Red is a definite staple for your nail polish collection.

Since it’s a classic red, this will look great all round the year and will complement every skin tone so well.

 

15. Best Nude Shade: Maybelline Forever Strong Nail Polish In “Nude Rose”

Pros

  • Great formula and finish
  • Affordable
  • Long-wearing
  • Does not chip

Cons

  • Shine and glossiness fades after 4-5 days

Maybelline Forever Strong Nail Polish In “Nude Rose” Review

This shade is the perfect dusty pink/nude shade. It’s the perfect subtle color that you can even wear to work. Its formula is incredible, and it applies easily without looking streaky, as lighter shades tend to do. This one does great and dries quickly, leaving this shine and gel-like finish that lasts you for a whole week!

This is one color that will work for every skin tone and can be worn just about anytime.

 

[ Also Try – Sally Hansen Hard as Nails ]

 (*Product prices may vary) 

Whether you are a fan of modern nail arts or like to stick to traditional monochromatic nails, to get the best DIY manicured nails, you need to get your hands on the best drugstore nail polish. Nowadays, drugstore nail polishes come in different shades and give you good longevity at affordable prices. The nail colors reviewed in this article have a smooth and quick-drying formula that glides effortlessly on your nailbed. Make sure you choose nail polishes that compliment your skin tone. You can always experiment with a few shades to find the right one. Choose colors based on seasons to keep the versatility alive. Drugstore nail colors will protect your nails from staining or yellowing. We recommend you go through product reviews before purchasing!

Why Trust StyleCraze?

As an author who loves all things nails and manicure, Esha Saxena is an ardent believer that a good manicure can amp up your look. She believes that great nails don’t have to cost a fortune. After carefully considering the product reviews of hundreds of nail polishes, she assembled a comprehensive and detailed list of the top drugstore nail polish. Pick bold or subtle hues and mix and match them effortlessly to create a stylish look.

*Subject to Availability

That was our pick of the 15 best drugstore nail polishes out there that you absolutely must check out! Do you have a favorite drugstore brand when it comes to nail colors? Let us know in the comments!

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Esha Saxena is a writer and journalist and holds a master’s degree in media and mass communication. She firmly believes... more

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