The Best Nail Polish: Real User Reviews Paint a Clear Picture

The Best Nail Polish: Real User Reviews Paint a Clear Picture

Published by SuperChic on May 13th 2024

What is the Best Nail Polish?

Pinpointing the "best nail polish" or "best nail polish brand" can be challenging due to several reasons. 

Firstly, there are hundreds of brands available in the market, including lesser-known ones that may not be featured in retail stores. These lesser-known brands may offer quality products but may not have as many reviews or widespread recognition.

Secondly, reviews and ratings can vary greatly, and what works well for one person may not work as effectively for another. Nail polish preferences are subjective, and personal experiences can differ based on factors such as nail type, desired finish, color preference, and application technique.

Additionally, individual needs and expectations play a significant role when determining the best nail polish. Some people prioritize long-lasting formulas, while others may focus on factors like quick-drying time, cruelty-free ingredients, or specific aesthetic requirements such as a stunning holographic nail polish or crackle effect polish.

Considering these factors, it becomes challenging to declare one nail polish or brand as the absolute best. It is often more beneficial for individuals to explore different brands, read reviews, consider personal preferences, and experiment to find the nail polish that suits their specific needs and preferences.

Disclosure: I may receive affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no cost to you if you decide to make a purchase. You can read my affiliate disclosure in my privacy policy. 

My Recommendations for Finding the “Best Nail Polish"

Naturally I will always have to say that my own brand, SuperChic Lacquer nail polish, would be the best out of all the handcrafted independent brands. Why? Because I have personally put my hands on every single polish, formulating each and every one to my own preference and quality standards. 

However, as far as well-known mainstream brands go, here are my top 3 picks for "best nail polish" based on compiling extensive reviews and reading through user generated content from top online retail sites like Amazon, Ulta Beauty, Sephora, Target and Walmart. I feel these are the most reliable type of reviews. Real customer feedback that is unskewed from potential influencer biases toward favored brands and affiliated relationships:

  • OPI
  • Essie
  • Sally Hansen 

Best Nail Polish: OPI- Essie -Sally Hansen

1. OPI Nail Lacquer

OPI nail polish ranks the highest with tens of thousands of reviews. It is an overall pick amongst users sighting 5+ quality categories. Color selection, seasonal versatility, ease of use, durability and value for the money are highly rated as indicated on Amazon. Some users do complain of thickness, drying time and quality. Some OPI product listings indicate "free from animal-derived ingredients". In other words, vegan.

2. Essie Nail Lacquer

Essie ranks next with over ten thousand reviews. Most users mention the beautiful colors, smooth application and long-lasting durability. Some users do report issues with chipping and dry time. Some Essie product listings indicate "8 free and vegan".

3. Sally Hansen Nail Polish

Sally Hansen ranks third in my opinion based on observation of thousands of user reviews. Most users love the dry time, ease of use, smooth application, and color selection. However some users report sheerness, thickness and a dull finish. Some Sally Hansen product listings indicate "formaldehyde free".

More Brands Could Rank "Best Nail Polish"

I'm sure there are other amazing mainstream and indie brands on the market that just don't get the recognition they deserve. I've yet to experience any personally, but I'd love to review and critique them from an expert nail polish manufacturer's standpoint and provide my honest opinion on the performance. Feel free to contact me if you'd like to send some my way!

What factors play a role in determining the “Best Nail Polish”?

When users rate the best nail polish, they consider several factors, including:

1. Quality: Users look for nail polishes that are of high quality. Durability that provides long-lasting wear without chipping, peeling or easily fading and can withstand normal daily activities.

2. Color selection: The range of colors available is an important factor for users. They prefer nail polishes that offer a wide variety of shades to choose from, including trendy and classic options.

3. Application: Users value nail polishes that have a smooth and even application. Products that are easy to apply without streaks, clumps or dragging are highly desirable.

4. Drying time: Quick-drying formulas are preferred by users as they allow for a faster and more convenient application process.

5. Finish: The type of finish, such as glossy, matte, shimmer and special effects is an important consideration for users when rating nail polishes.

6. Ingredients: Users may also consider the ingredients used in the nail polish formula, such as whether it is free from harmful chemicals or vegan and cruelty-free.

7. Price: The price point of the nail polish is often taken into account by users. They look for products that offer good value for money.

8. Brand reputation: Users may consider the reputation and trustworthiness of the brand when rating the best nail polish.

9. User reviews: Feedback and reviews from other users can also influence how users rate a nail polish product. Believe it or not, people can have a tendency to influence one another.

SuperChic Lacquer Spill It Nail Polish

How is Quality Defined When Rating a Product?

Whether we are talking quality when rating the best nail polish or considering any other product, quality can be defined as the degree of excellence or superiority of a product, service, or experience. It encompasses various aspects and can be subjective depending on the context. Here are some key factors that often contribute to defining quality:

1. Performance: Quality is often associated with how well a product or service performs its intended function or delivers the desired outcome. This includes reliability, durability, efficiency, and effectiveness.

2. Fit for Purpose: A quality product or service should meet the specific needs and requirements of the user or customer. It should be designed, developed, and delivered with a clear understanding of the intended purpose and should fulfill that purpose appropriately.

3. Design and Aesthetics: Quality can also be influenced by the design and aesthetics of a product or service. A well-designed and visually appealing product can enhance user satisfaction and perception of quality.

4. Materials and Workmanship: The quality of materials used in the production and the level of craftsmanship involved in the manufacturing process can greatly impact the overall quality of a product.

5. Customer Satisfaction: Quality is often measured by the level of customer satisfaction and their perception of value. Meeting or exceeding customer expectations, providing excellent customer service, and addressing customer needs and concerns contribute to the overall quality experience.

6. Consistency and Reliability: Quality products or services should consistently meet or exceed the established standards and expectations. Reliability, consistency, and adherence to quality control processes are important factors in maintaining and ensuring quality.

7. Safety and Compliance: Quality also includes ensuring safety and compliance with relevant regulations, standards, and ethical considerations. Products or services that are safe, environmentally friendly, and adhere to legal and ethical guidelines are often considered of higher quality.

The definition of quality may vary depending on the industry, product category, or individual preferences.

Can Nail Polishes Truly Be “Non-Toxic”?

In my professional opinion, no. The use of the term "non-toxic" in marketing nail polish products can be misleading if the products still contain chemicals such as nitrocellulose, ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, and alcohol. These chemicals still have some level of toxicity that may cause irritation to certain individuals.

While these chemicals may not be as harmful as some of the more notorious ingredients like formaldehyde, toluene, or DBP, their presence in a product labeled as "non-toxic" can be seen as contradictory. It's important for brands to be transparent and accurate in their marketing claims to avoid misleading consumers.

Further, the concentration and potential risks associated with these chemicals can vary. Many nail polish brands strive to use these ingredients within safe limits and comply with regulatory standards. It's always a good idea to carefully read the ingredient list and do your own research to make an informed decision about the products you choose to use.

If you are specifically looking for nail polish options that are free from a wider range of potentially harmful chemicals, you may want to consider brands that are labeled as "3-free," "5-free," "7-free," or "10-free." These brands often exclude a larger number of chemicals and may be a better fit for individual preferences and concerns.

Lastly, the term "non-toxic" is not regulated, so it's essential to read the ingredient list and do research on the brand's commitment to safety and sustainability. Additionally, consider looking for certifications like vegan and cruelty-free to align with your values.

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