Spending over $15 on a shot-sized bottle of nail polish probably seems like a ridiculous purchase when that's around the same price as a cheapie manicure at your neighborhood salon.
But, hear us out. A salon manicure is a one-time deal, when a bottle of luxury nail polish will get you at least five solid DIY at-home paint jobs. Justify luxury nail polish with the same formula that you applied to the last pair of designer shoes you splurged on: it's all about cost per wear.
Other reasons that will help you rationalize choosing an expensive nail polish a over drugstore one: the formulas are more pigmented so you'll actually have an opaque finish after a couple coats, they're often infused with conditioning ingredients to help strengthen nails, and less prone to next-day chipping. Not to mention the kaleidoscope of shade options offered.
Convinced? We've rounded up the 10 high-end nail polishes that are worth splurging on.
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1. JinSoon Nail Lacquer in Dolly Pink
A lot of polishes claim that they're chip-free, but few actually keep their promise like JinSoon's shades. The polish even holds up during hand-washing dishes.
Jin Soon | $18
2. Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Polish in Snap!
If your polish always loses its glossy finish after only a few days, Marc Jacobs feels you. That's why the brand formulated its line with a patented bonding agent that locks in shine so that vibrant shades like this orange always look like they were just painted on.
Marc Jacobs Beauty | $18
3. Côte Nail Polish in No.13
Green nail polishes often get a bad rap for not lasting or offering the same color intensity as other formulas. The exception: Côte's bottles. Not only is formula is vegan, cruelty-free and completely free of major toxins, it's also available in a wide range of shades including universally flattering rose gold.
côte | $18
4. Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in Rouge Essentiel
Aside from feeling fancy when you answer with "Chanel" every time you're asked what nail polish you're wearing, the formula's pigments guarantee an even application whether you've painted on a sheer pink or classic red.
Chanel | $28
5. Christian Louboutin Beauty Nail Color in Baraboum
Christian Louboutin's calligraphy-inspired bottle has become just as iconic as the brand's signature red bottom shoes. Aside from the Instagram photo opp, the actual polish is enriched with UV protection to keep the shade from fading.
Christian Louboutin | $50
6. Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture Nail Polish in Vert D'Orient
A polish that actually hydrates and protects your nails from breaking? You're looking at it. Even better: Yves Saint Laurent's range includes options for every mood from techicolor glitter to rich burgundy.
Yves Saint Laurent | $28
7. Oribe The Lacquer High Shine Nail Polish in The Nude
The brand behind the hairstyling products that changed your life also makes nail polish, too. The shades which range from edgy plum to soft nudes are all packed with resin complex and plasticizer polymers that keep the polishes chip-free and glossy for up to two weeks.
Oribe | $32
8. Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer in A Short Reprise
Yes, you shouldn't pick beauty products based on their packaging, but have you seen Smith & Cult's nail polishes? Beautiful bottle aside, the unique shades are long-wear and stay shiny for days.
Smith and Cult | $18
9. Tom Ford Beauty Nail Polish in Scarlet Chinois
When a nail polish color that cost more than your favorite bottle of wine looks completely different on your nails than it does in the bottle, it's disappointing to say the least. Instead of adding another bottle to your polish collection that you'll never use again, invest in one of Tom Ford's shades, which stay color-true as long as they're on your nails.
Tom Ford | $35
10. Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Polish in Get Lucky
Sure, gel guarantees a shiny, chip-free manicure for at least a week, but regularly using it can make nails dry and brittle. Deborah Lippmann's Gel Lab Pro polishes deliver the same long-lasting shine and color as a salon gel manicure—no UV lamp required.
Deborah Lippmann | $20