Besides the protection and sensitivity purposes that nails serve, they are also fundamental to the general aesthetics of the body, for both male and female. Who doesn’t love the sight of a clear, smooth, and cute pinkish-white nail plate on the extremes of the fingers and toes?
Though nails, in their healthy state, are naturally beautiful, the nail-beauty game can be taken to an entirely different level where your nails will perfectly complement what you wear. It presents you with an opportunity to show off your personality in as many shades as you would like. This is where nail polish comes in. There are so many top brands producing diverse colors and shades of nail polish hence often making it a bit of task when choosing the best nail polish brands. We have dedicated time to make this easier for you by presenting to you the top 20 nail polish brands in 2020.
When choosing the best nail polish brands, the decision cannot be based solely on the color or endearing shade. There is a much bigger picture to look at such as how safe the nail polish is (by checking the makeup or ingredients to ensure harmful or toxic chemical are not used or are at a very low proportion), how lasting the nail polish is, among a host of other factors. Therefore, we took into account several things before coming up with this list. We are certain that you will not just be looking all shades of beautiful by using this nail polishes, the health of your nails will also be preserved.
Top 20 Best nail polish brands In 2020
This nail polish brand easily tops our list of best nail polish brands and that of most clients we asked. There is hardly anyone who has enough experience with nail polishes that do not have at least one Essie shade in their nail care box. We were not surprised in any way when we found out that Queen Elizabeth has one.
Essie ranks as the overall best in our list of the best nail polish brands for all factors considered in our evaluation. In over three decades, not less than 900 colors have been created by Essie. From this vast range of colors, 250 are permanent. Without a top coat, an Essie nail polish will last at least one week and will last another one week with a top coat. It is also one of the safest nail polishes you can get in the nail industry. Most of their products cost as low as $9, highlighting their price advantage.
Let’s look at a few products from this brand:
This nail polish is ranked as one of the best quick-dry nail polishes in the industry. Quick-dry is an important factor for nail enthusiasts especially given that manicures are often done in urgent situations. Saving a few seconds off the drying process of nail polish could make a lot of difference in attending an important outing as well as ensuring the nails look as good as possible. According to Essie, this nail polish will dry in under 60 seconds and has about 40 new shades.
Essie expressie is very easy to apply; comes with a wide brush that will cover the nail with just one stroke without making any mess. With this brush, you can get your manicures done in just a minute. In addition to quick-drying and easy application, Essie expressive is also very durable; it won’t smudge or chip even with a level of rough handling. If you like matte polish, you may want to try this out. it is sold for $9.
Essie Gel Couture
This is a class of longwear nail polishes. The 2-step system used in the formulation allows for precise application as well as easy removal right in the comfort of your home. This product features nail polish colors that are durable and are given a gel-like shine by an exclusive gel couture top coat. This nail polish is chip-resistant and fade-resistant. It costs less than $12.
Apply two coats of gel couture color of your choice, then top it with gel couture top coat to get an amazing gel-like shine.
2. Opi nail polish
OPI; this is a very close second for us in our list of the best nail polish brands. Some people on the team rank it as their number one. Frankly, we would have loved to have both OPI and Essie as the number one on this list but for the sake of orderliness, we had to pick as the number two. In almost four decades in the nail industry, OPI has done very well for themselves. I have not met someone, polish lovers, manicurists, and editors, who do not love this nail brand.
They have a cult-like presence in the industry. Shall we begin to talk about their editorial ad campaigns, fantastical names, and themed collections, all of which are top class. The quality of their products is never to be doubted, as well as durability. The formula of OPI products is ultra-pigmented which makes them very durable. Alongside the quality and durability, OPI has shades that are not easy to come by such as dusty pastels and slime greens. The finish is super shiny and is easy to apply because of its teeny tiny brush. Their products are also very affordable, with some being sold as cheap as $13.
Some of their top products are OPI Nail Lacquer – Funny Bunny, OPI GelColor – Tickle My France-y OPI GelColor Combo – Base, Top & Funny Bunny, OPI Gel & Lacquer Combo – Funny Bunny, OPI Dipping Powder Perfection – Base Coat, etc.
Third, on our list of the best nail polish brands is the Chanel nail polish brand. When you are talking about classic and rich colors, then Chanel ranks among the very best. Nail polishes from Chanel are all shades of luxurious; they cost much more than most brands on this list but are definitely worth the investment. Chanel nail polishes are beautifully smooth hence very easy to apply. Some of their shades are super amazing. Chanel made the third position basically because of its classic and rich colors. However, their quality is great and they sure last long enough. Their products are sold at prices close to $30.
The products include Le Vernis Longwear Nail Color in Organdi, Le Vernis Longwear Nail Color in Blane White, Le Vernis Longwear Nail Color in Bellerina, Le VernisLonwear Color in Pirate, Le Vernis Neon Nail Color in Techno Bloom, etc.
4. Sally Hansen
Sally Hansen? Yes. This was not a difficult call at all due to several impressive facts about this nail polish brand. Sally Hansen products dry very fast hence eliminating or reducing the problems of chipped and brittle nails. Within a few minutes, your nail polish is dry. Another reason why so many people regard Sally Hansen as one of the best nail polish brands in 2020 is that Sally Hansen does not expose your hands to harmful UV light, a factor which we consider very vital.
They have a new line of vegan polishes that are non-toxic nail polishes, making some of the safest nail polish brands in the industry. Their nail polishes are very durable; will last up to two weeks without losing their smoothness and shining effect. You will get a Sally Hansen product for about $10. Let’s check a few of their products:
- Sally Hansen Miracle Gel (Pink-terest, Head Bang, Electric Pop, Cream of the Crop, Bourbon Belle, etc,)
- Sally Hansen Good. Kind. Pure (Lava Rocks, Crystal Blue, Soothing Slate, Sun-tastic, Beet It, Grape Vine, etc.)
- Sally Hansen Insta-DRI (Fig Flash, Zip Wine, on my Grey, Coral Commotion, Hot Shot, Gold Rush, etc.)
- Sally Hansen Color therapy (Berry Bliss, Chai Hopes, Slate Escape, Burnished Bronze, Oceans Away, etc.)
Zoya is almost synonymous with non-toxic nail polish. They are one of the big guns in the vegan nail polish market. Owned by Zoya and her husband who is a chemist, their focus is to produce nail polishes that are healthy and top-notch quality. If you are looking for one of the best nail polish brands who produces non-toxic nail polishes, Zoya is one that should be considered.
Being a Chemist, Zoya’s husband was able to work on the elimination of toxic ingredients from their nail polishes, as suggested by the wife. Most of their products have this fundamental characteristic of being nontoxic. They have nothing less than 400 shades in this category. The colors are great and would last you for at least a week depending on how well you maintain it. You can get a Zoya nontoxic nail polish for just $10.
Few of their products are Vesper, Abby, Adina, Adel, Agnes, Aggie, Alessia, Aire, Alice, Alia, Ali, Alicia, Cosmo, Arbor, Keira, Jill, Kendal, Cassi, etc. Aside from nail polishes, they also have some very good nail polish removers.
Just like Oliver & June in L.A, Sundays ranks among the best nail salons in NYC. Whether it is style, trend, durability, shining, or the safety, Sundays’ nail polishes stand out and are well received by many nail enthusiast and professionals. Their vegan-based formula is 10-free hence is nontoxic. Their products also have great durability, especially for nontoxic nail polishes. Some of their best colors are several shades of pinks; they are perfect for diverse skin tones. A Sundays’ nail polish can be purchased below $20 which is one of the many reasons why people regard them as one of the best nail polish brands on the market today.
Their standout products include Sundays Fast Drying Top Coat, Sundays Hydrating Base Coat, Sundays protective Top Coat, Sundays Matte Top Coat, etc
7. Creative Nail Design (CND)
CND nail polishes are very durable even when you wash a lot. With frequent hand washing, their nail polishes will last you a few days before chipping hence they are regarded as one of the best nail polish brands on the market today, not for just for us but as well as for many other who have used their nail polishes at one point or the other.
Some of their colors, such as red, stand out among many other brands. If used with their topcoat, CND nail polishes shine and last better. They are also very easy to apply; with just two strokes of the brush, you will get a smooth and perfect layer of polish. Their products are very affordable; some of the cheapest in the industry. You will get their products for as low as $11.
Some of their best products you may want to try are CND VINYLUX (CND vinylux Weekly Nail Polish Lobster Roll, CND vinylux Weekly Nail Polish – Tropix, CND vinylux Starstruck Weekly Nail Polish 2016 Color Collection – Emerald Lights, and many more), CND Shellac (Shellac Color Coat, Shellac Original Top Coat, Shellac XPRESS Top Coat, Shellac Base Coat, DURAFORCE Top Coat, etc.) and CND Creative Play.
8. Olive & June
Olive & June is a very popular salon in L.A; preferred by so many for diverse reasons. In 2019, they launched their own line of nail polishes. And in such a short time, they have become one of the best nail polish brands around in the nail industry. From the rich gloss and shine of these nail polishes, you can easily tell they are bang. For this quality reason, their products were widely embraced for nail upgrade. Their pastels collection is also amazing. On this list, Olive & June products are the cheapest, perhaps because they are new in the market.
If you are looking to take advantage of their amazing prices, check the following products out:
BEB, CHM, CCT, ECC, HD, AW, RP, CDJ, HZ, MM, Bright & Focused, and many more
This is another amazing non-toxic nail polish. Cote ranks among the best non-toxic nail polish brands because of its expansive color options, great durability, amazing shine, and very easy application. Their polishes are 10-free; does not contain toxic components such as toluene, parabens, xylene, formaldehyde, ethyl tosylamide, etc. Cote products will last you up to two weeks and will not chip until after a few days. Their white nail polishes don’t look off as seeing many other brands. Cote nail polishes are in the $20 range; they are worth every dollar spent on them.
Their products are tagged numbers such as No. 1, No. 2, etc.
10. Smith & Cult
The striking bottles of Smith & Cult immediately strike us as luxurious. Their packaging beats us and is enough to convince the best of us to try one of their products out. Smith & Cult does not just offer an eye-catching packaging, their formula is one of the best in terms of quality, beauty, and safety. Their polishes are eight-free hence are nontoxic. Their colors are amazing, with a super glossy finishing. With the top coat, your nails will shine as if you went to the salon.
This will last a few days before showing any signs of chipping. Some of their outstanding colors are blues e.g. their deep blue. Another good thing about Smith & Cult nail polishes is that they can be easily removed without staining your nails regardless of the depth of the color. This can’t be said of many nail brands. They offer competitive prices despite the luxurious appearance; $18 will get you a Smith & Cult nail polish. Some of their products we love are:
11. Jin Soon
When it comes to healthy yet durable manicures, Jin Soon’s commitment shines through in all their nail polishes. Usually, healthy or nontoxic nail polishes come with shorter durability but Jin Soon is able to offer a great combination of these two factors. Their formulas are 10-free, highlighting their commitment to nontoxic nail polish.
Their nail polishes rank among the shiniest as well as the most chip-resistant we have ever used. That isn’t all they have to offer; they also have a creative and whimsical color palette. Their chipping resistance comes to the fore when it comes to their amazing dark nail polish that doesn’t show any sign of chip for about a week, which is not the usual. They retain their shine even with frequent hand washing. Their products are sold around the $18 mark.
Some of their products we have tried include Jin Soon HyperDry, Absolute Black, Absolute Glitz, Absolute White, Aero, Abyss, Audacity, Ardor, Beau, Baroque, Auspicious, Azurite, Bijou, Cachet, and Charm.
The only reason why this brand is this down on our list of best nail polish brands is that the list includes only the best of the best. Most of the team, including a good percentage of clients we surveyed, rates this brand as either the most used or one of the most used of their repertoire of polishes. Paintbox formulas are top quality and very smooth. They can be used with diverse kinds of formula, looking effortless and cool on each occasion. They can also be used with your desired glossy nail art. With $20, you will purchase a bottle of this matte polish.
You may want to try the following: Like Rain + Like Blush Power Couple, Paintbox Nail Polish in Like Rain, Paintbox Nail Polish in Like Blush, Like Mystery + Like Magic Power Couple, Like Desire + Like Dreams Power Couple, Like Wild + Like Wonder Power Couple, and so many more.
13. Ella & Mila
This is a very cute nail polish brand. Their formulas are seven-free hence are very safe. They live to the billing of being nontoxic; they don’t contain harmful ingredients such as camphor, toluene, formaldehyde, xylene, parabens, etc. They are vegan based hence are not cruel. Ella & Mila nail polishes shine well and will last a few days before showing any sign of chipping hence are durable. They offer some of the cheapest nail polishes, selling at about $11.
If you want to try any of the cute products out, check the following: Honeymoon Bliss, ‘Til Forever, Stuck on you, Luminous, Pure, Cup O’latte, Lights Out, Ella’s Pick, Sweet Tooth, Twinkle Twinkle, Little Plum Dress, Lip Stain, etc.
14. Flora 1761
While so many nontoxic polish formulas leave us desiring so much, Flora 1761 ticks many more boxes and as such are regarded as one of the best nail polish brands around today. Their shades catch the eye and they last better than most nontoxic nail polishes. According to the official website, their polishes are inspired by the elegance of flowers and botanical. They are 8-free polishes hence are cruelty-free. They are sold for about $16.
Examples of their amazing products are as follow: Essential Finish, Essential primer, Nail Lacquer in Adelaide Lilac, Nail Lacquer in Black Iris, Nail Lacquer in Brunia, Nail Lacquer in Delphinium, Nail Lacquer in China Aster, etc.
Aila? You are most likely wondering where this nail polish brand is coming from. It is one of the least popular but very great and nontoxic nail polish brands. They have fabulous colors and their polishes are very easy to apply. Also, they are very durable and chip-resistant; will last a few days without showing any sign of chipping. Being developed by a board-certified podiatric surgeon, Aila nail polishes are very safe, excluding most of the harmful ingredients. As said earlier, Aila is not a popular nail polish brands but for us, they are one of the best nail polish brands around today.
5 Senses, AWOL, Bless Your Heart, Blue Lagoon, California Love, Doolish, Ginger, House of Paine, Kelly, and Dr. Rosenbeaver are some of their amazing products. They cost $14 each.
Tenoverten is one of the best nontoxic nail polishes. Tenoverten is one of the best nail polish brands for many people and for us because their nail polishes do not contain any toxic ingredients such as camphor, xylene, toluene, formaldehyde, ethyl tosylamide, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde resin, and triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) hence are 8-free. These nail polishes give you an amazing classic look for example a high-shine lacquer of pure black. They are very affordable, sold for $12.
If you are looking to buy one, check the following products out: Dusty blue, Baxter, Beekman, Bond, Bowery, Broome, Canal, Carmine, Catherine, Cliff, Downing, etc.
J.Hannah is one of the few big guns in the nail industry without a wide range of shades to pick from. However, their polishes are carefully edited and high quality. Their colors are nature-inspired hence you won’t spot any bold hues. One of their latest installments is the Nectar. Their products cost around $19 and include the following: Necter, Fauna, Dune, Miso, Agnes, Relic, Ikebana, Blue Nudes, Akoya, Chanterelle, Eames, Carob, etc.
This is indeed a very competitive list; we couldn’t believe Oribe didn’t come earlier. This is perhaps the most complimented nail polish, according to manicurists. Oribe is obviously one of the best nail polish brands in the industry. They are easy to apply, smooth, and will last a few days without chipping. We know so many A-list clients that wouldn’t go for any other nail polish brand most of the time. Oribe polishes are also safe and they cost a little above $30.
Some of their great products include Oribe The Lacquer High Shine Nail Polish (Royal Blush, Nude, Green Envy, and Red).
19. Deborah Lippmann
Deborah Lippmann ranks among the all-time best in the nail industry. There are not too many manicurists or nail enthusiasts who do not have at least a formula of Deborah Lippman in their nail kit. They have great shades including their lush spread of flattering nudes as well as their bold blue. Their nail polishes cost about $20, some of which include: Genie in a Bottle, I Put A Spell On You Gel, I’m My Own Hero Gel and All About that Base.
20. Christian Louboutin
Though this nail polish brand is the last on our list, it is by no means inferior. Christian Louboutin nail polishes are not just topnotch, they are also very safe. Their cool nail polishes are quite durable as well as shines very well. Their standout shade is the bold red; it is loved by many. They are clearly the most expensive nail polishes on our list, costing about $50.
However, it is worth the investment hence you may want to try the following out: Rouge Louboutin Nail Color, The Noirs Nail Color (Khol, Farida, Miss Mars, Bianca, Sevillana, Lady Peep, Lady Page, Lady Twist, etc.), The Nudes Nail Color (Zoulou, Just Nothing, Preciosa, Goldissima, Sweet Charity, and Alta Perla), The Pops Nail Color (Popi, Mula Lisa Yellow, Jazzy Doll Red, etc.), and Loubi Primer &Loubi Gloss.
Note: Avoid too frequent application of nail polish. Give your nails a break to breathe. We would advise that you leave the nails without nail polish for almost as long as it has nail polish. Failure to keep to this will eventually run your nice nail polish experience because chipping or ridged nail will significantly affect the appearance of your nail polish.
This list of the best nail polish brands presented herein is not just based on research, though we did research a lot, our experience in the nail industry is the bedrock of what we did. We have used so many nail polish brands and products; some gave us wonderful experiences such as the safety, endurance as well as a shining effect; some others didn’t impress either did they go wrong, they are simply okay; while we will never get close to a few others again, they simply weren’t good enough.
We present these brands to you as the top in the industry; they have varying attributes hence check the one that suits what you need and try them out. a key factor for us in all of this is that the health of your nails is preserved while you get the astonishing look you desire.