15 Best Drugstore Nail Polishes That You Should Try In 2024

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

Reviewed by Shamina J. Di Mauro, Nail Artist Shamina J. Di Mauro Shamina J. Di MauroNail Artist facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (Mass Communication & Media Studies) Esha Saxena MA (Mass Communication & Media Studies) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Edited by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication), Certified Style & Image Consultant Srijani Roy Chowdhury MA (Journalism & Mass Communication), Certified Style & Image Consultant linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English) Asmita De MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Last Updated on
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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, statement-making 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 and promise a salon-style manicure at home. Keep reading to explore our top picks!6

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 Vegan Formula:ILNP Abundance Color Shifting Nail Polish
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 In Budget:L.A. COLORS Color Craze Nail Polish
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”

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4.4
essie Nail Polish, Glossy Shine Finish, Good As Gold, 0.46 fl. oz. METALLICS AND GLITTERS good as gold Image: Essie
Product Dimensions: 1.14 x 1.14 x 2.7 inches | Weight: 1.83 Ounces.

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 affordable nail polish by Essie’s Mirror Metallics collection is a gorgeous gold shade, which is entirely muted – it’s not too yellow, and it’s not overly flashy. The gorgeous formula is excellent, and it provides for easy and smooth 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. According to reviewers, the nail color offers an easy application.

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

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4.4
Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear, Mauve Over, 0.4 Fl Oz (1 Count) Mauve Over 0.4 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) Image: Sally Hansen
Color: Mauve Over | Product Dimensions: 1 x 3 x 1 inches | Weight: 0.04 Ounces.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Slightly hard to remove
protip_icon Pro Tip
Sally Hansen and her chemist husband, created the iconic Hard As Nails line together in the late 1950s which went on to become the No.1 nail polish brand in the world. She had an in creating nail protective products as she was always breaking and chipping her nails herself.

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 fast without the use of a UV lamp, and lasts really long 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! This shade is a subtle statement-making shade that offers a warm mauve color to your nails.

[ Read – Top Rated Sally Hansen Products For Women ]

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

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4.4
essie Nail Polish Glossy Shine Finish mint candy apple 0.46 fl oz GREENS mint candy apple Image: Essie
Now 31% Off
Color: 30 mint candy apple | Product Dimensions: 1.14 x 1.14 x 2.7 inches | Weight: 1.59 Ounces

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 or medium to dark skin tone – this typical nail polish 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!

worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

More than 6,347 customers have given the product positive reviews on Amazon.

Essie Mirror Metallics In “Good as Gold”
Best Glitter-Finish
Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear In “Mauve Over”
Best Long-Wear Formula
Essie Nail Polish In “Mint Candy Apple Green”
Best Opaque-Finish Formula
Dimensions 1.14 x 1.14 x 2.7 inches 1 x 3 x 1 inches 1.14 x 1.14 x 2.7 inches
Weight 1.83 Ounces. 0.04 Ounces. 1.59 Ounces
Color- Mauve Over 30 mint candy apple
Rating
Reviews6,346906,347
Price$10$2.97$6.94

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

Color: 110 Lady Luck | Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 1.1 x 3.31 inches | Weight: 1.76 Ounces

Pros

  • Long-wearing
  • Bubble-free formula
  • 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, and glossy, salon-like finish along with 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.

5. Best Vegan Formula:ILNP Abundance Color Shifting Nail Polish

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4.4
Color: AbundanceItem Weight: 2.5 Ounces.

Pros

  • Fully opaque
  • Long-lasting
  • Quick drying
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Vegan

Cons

  • Some may find the consistency thick

ILNP Nail Polish In “Abundance- Red, Orange, Bronze, Gold Ultra Chrome Color” Review

For the ones who don’t have the words dull and simple in their vocabulary, the ILNP Abundance Shifting Nail Polish in red, orange, bronze, and gold ultra chrome color is ideal for them! Never experience a dull moment with this vibrant, flamboyant product that attracts all the attention, making you the life of the party. It is fast-drying and fully opaque, hence does not require a base coat. Curated with high quality nail lacquer formula, it delivers long-lasting results, does not fade easily, and is free of animal testing.

This long-lasting formula can be worn all through the year and is great for every skin tone! If you still need convincing then read the reviews which have praised the nail polish for being long-lasting and giving the nails a professional look.

protip_icon Pro Tip
Dark colors can stain your nails. Apply a base coat to protect your nails. If you use nail polishes regularly, remember to give your nails a week-long break to breathe every 3-4 weeks.

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

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4.4
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish, Shade Terra-Coppa 189 (Packaging May Vary) Terra-Coppa 1 Count (Pack of 1) Image: Sally Hansen
Now 45% Off
Color: Terra-Coppa | Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 1.2 x 3.3 inches | Weight: 0.41 Ounces

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. This long-lasting formula 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”

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3.7
OPI Infinite Shine, IS - Barking Up the Wrong Sequoia Image: Opi
Color: IS - This is Not Whine Country | Product Dimensions: 1.35 x 1.35 x 3.25 inches | Weight: 0.15 Ounces.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Expensive
protip_icon Pro Tip
Use a white nail polish as the base coat to make vibrant colors pop out.

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 high-shine finish nail polish is great, and its brush ensures 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.

8. Best In Budget:L.A. COLORS Color Craze Nail Polish

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4.3
L.A. COLORS Color Craze Nail Polish Image: L.a. Colors
Now 61% Off
Color: Cocktail | Product Dimensions: 1.38 x 1.38 x 3 inches | Weight: 0.81 Ounces

Pros

  • Chip-resistant
  • Long-lasting
  • Easy application
  • Smooth finish

Cons

  • Thick consistency
  • May take longer to dry

The L.A. COLORS Color Craze Nail Polish In “Cocktail” Review

With a tint of alluring pink and a glossy, shimmery finish, the L.A. COLORS Color Craze Nail Polish is bound to become one of your favorite nail paints. The product offers a vibrant yet subtle hue that is ideal for everyday wear and is perfect for long-lasting manicures. The colorful glitter present in it further supports a flirtatious and lively look, perfect for days when you want your nails to do all the talking. According to a reviewer’s experience, the nail color does not streak and is free of chipping.

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

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4.5
China Glaze Nail Polish, Heart of Africa 150 Image: China Glaze
Color: Heart Of Africa | Product Dimensions: 3 x 2 x 3 inches | Weight: 1.76 Ounces

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 intensely rich color should be something you absolutely must look at! Two coats of this long-lasting formula 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 to learn about the tester’s experience of using the product.

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

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3.9
Color: Designated Dj | Product Dimensions: 1.14 x 1.14 x 2.7 inches | Weight: 1.6 Ounces.

Pros

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

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.

11. Best Pigmented Formula:RARJSM Holographic Dark Purple Nail Polish

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4.3
RARJSM Holographic Dark Purple Nail Polish Image: Rarjsm
Now 32% Off
Color: RAR76 | Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 0.9 x 3.07 inches | Weight: 1.6 Ounces.

Pros

  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Non-toxic material
  • Good durability
  • Fast drying
  • Highly-pigmented
  • Easy application
  • Low odor

Cons

  • Not smudge-resistant

RARJSM Holographic Nail Polish In “Dark Purple” Review

Always stay abreast with modish looks and top trends with the RARJSM Holographic Nail Polish. The product offers a gel formula with high durability that dries up in minutes. This quick-dry formula is curated from non-toxic material that is free from all the chemicals that commonly harm the nail bed, thus making it a suitable option for sensitive skin as well. This high-quality drugstore holographic nail polish is a highly recommended product with high pigmentation that won’t require frequent coating and promises long-lasting up to 21 days. With innumerable benefits and an attractive holographic look, this non-toxic formula is going straight to our top long-time favorite nail polish list. This color offers exceptional results and is a great choice for those who love to stand out.

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

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4.4
Color: Frida | Product Dimensions: 1.25 x 1.25 x 3 inches | Weight: 2.4 Ounces.

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”

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4.4
essie Nail Polish, Glossy Shine Deep Blood Red, Wicked, 0.46 Ounce REDS wicked Image: Essie
Color: 18 wicked | Product Dimensions: 1.14 x 1.14 x 2.75 inches | Weight: 0.46 Ounces.

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.

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

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4.4
Item Weight: 4 Ounces | Color: 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 shade range, giving you a true red shade. Its formula applies evenly and beautifully without streaking. Haute Red is a definite staple for your neutral shade nail polish collection.

Since classic red is a timeless beauty, this will look great all round the year and will complement every skin tone so well.

15. Best Alcohol-Free:Beetles Gel Nail Polish

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4.4
Beetles Gel Nail Polish Image: Beetles Gel Polish

Pros

  • Quick drying
  • Alcohol-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Easy application
  • Long-lasting
  • Chip-resistant

Cons

  • May cause allergic reactions in some

Beetles Gel Nail Polish In “Emma Emerald Green” Review

This nail polish has a deep-green emerald hue that can complement all your outfits. This formula allows you fuss-free application sans the messiness. It is durable and can be worn on most occasions without having to worry about the color fading. Its alcohol-free formula doesn’t dry out the nail bed. It is a trendy shade ideal for all age groups!

*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

[ Also Try – Sally Hansen Hard as Nails ]

 (*Product prices may vary) 

Infographic: Tips And Tricks To Make Your Nail Polish Application Easy

Applying nail polish might seem like an easy job, but a lot depends on its consistency, the nail surface, and the brush type. Improper application of nail polish can make your nails appear lumpy and gunky. Check out the infographic below for tips to ace your nail game.

Tips And Tricks To Make Your Nail Polish Application Easy (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

Whether you are a fan of modern nail arts, including matte, neon, holographic, or metallic nail polishes, or like to stick to traditional natural nail polish or monochromatic nails, to get the best DIY manicured nails, you need to get your hands on the best drugstore nail polish for beginners. Nowadays, drugstore nail polishes come in different shades and give you good longevity at affordable prices. The Essie Mirror Metallics In “Good as Gold” is a high-shine metallic nail polish that reflects light. You can also try the ILNP Abundance Color Shifting Nail Polish to create an intense visual effect on your nails. The bestseller Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Collection In “Terra Coppa” is popular for its shimmery rose-gold shade. The top-rated nail polishes reviewed in this article have a smooth and quick-drying formula that glides effortlessly on your nailbed. Make sure you choose nail polishes that complement 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!

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!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sally Hansen’s nail polish good quality?

Yes. Sally Hansen’s nail polish ingredients are plant-based. These chip-resistant formulas are toxin-free and long-lasting.

Are nails healthier without polish?

No. However, some nail polishes with strong solvents may dry the nails and cuticles. Also, wearing these harsh chemicals for a long time turns your nails brittle.

Does gel polish damage the nails?

Yes. Gel polish turns your nails brittle and dry. In addition, the process of removing a gel polish can damage your natural nails.

How long should you let your nails breathe between manicures?

Let your nails breathe for three to four hours between manicures.

What color nail polish goes with everything?

White nail polish goes with every outfit. It adds elegance to your look and makes any dress stand out. You can also go for the best drugstore nail polish for natural nails if you want to be safer.

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.

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Shamina J. Di Mauro
Shamina J. Di Mauro is a seasoned nail artist with 39 years of experience. She offers a range of innovative nail services to a varied clientele, and her expertise includes creating sleek overlays, sculptured nails, and medical-grade pedicures, primarily using an electronic file for precision.

Read full bio of Shamina J. Di Mauro