The Best Long-Lasting Nail Polishes for a Chip-Free At-Home Manicure

CND’s Vinylux Nail Polish seems to outlast every other polish we’ve tried.

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Best Long-Lasting Nail Polishes

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Sure, perfecting an at-home manicure may take some time to learn, but skipping the nail salon (at least every once in a while) will easily save you a few bucks. And it can allow you to switch up your nails as much as you’d like. Plus, nail polish formulas have come a long way — they no longer chip an hour after you apply them. However, some are definitely better than others.

For an all-around good choice, look to CND’s Vinylux Nail Polish system, which gives you a durable coat with great color pay off when used as a complete system. But for anyone who likes to shop around and prefers a single polish as opposed to a multi-step system, we researched the best long-lasting nail polishes on the market to help you buy one that will actually stay put for longer than a day. Some of these even last longer than a week.

Without further ado, the best long-lasting nail polishes for a chip-free manicure at home.

Best Overall

CND Vinylux

CND Vinylux

Amazon

What We Love: It dries quickly and lasts for seven or more days.

What We Don’t Love: It’s a two step system.

CND made a name for itself as a salon-favorite polish brand because of its rich color payoff, ease of use, and luxe finish. But you don’t have to go to the salon to use it anymore. With this two-step, non-gel system — you need to use the top coat with it in order to reap all the benefits — your manicure will last seven (or more) days and keep its glossy look throughout that entire time.

The polish immediately hardens, so you don’t have to worry about damaging your freshly painted nails as they dry. But even though it is a relatively tough formula, it also includes vitamin E, keratin, and jojoba oil to nourish your nail bed and promote growth, giving your nails a healthier look and feel over time.

Colors: 21 | System: Yes | Finish: Glossy

Price at time of publish: $11

Best Value

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish

4.2
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish

Amazon

What We Love: The gel polish doesn’t require a UV light.

What We Don’t Love: It’s another two step system.

Don’t discount this childhood favorite — in fact, it’s one of the best options on the list when it comes to color payoff after only one coat. The gel-like formula is super glossy and lasts for up to eight days. The brand suggests accompanying the polish with the corresponding top coat, but in my experience, the polish is still super durable without it. (It’s just that much better with the top coat.) And even though it’s technically gel, you don’t need a UV lamp for it to work properly, sparing you any damage to your skin.

Colors: 35 | System: Yes | Finish: Glossy

Price at time of publish: $8

Best Splurge

Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Polish

Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Polish

Nordstrom

What We Love: It includes lots of beneficial ingredients for nail health and growth.

What We Don’t Love: It has fewer colors than the other options on this list.

We know twenty dollars might feel steep for one bottle of nail polish, but we promise this is worth it. Deborah Lippmann’s iconic polish typically features stunning brights and flattering neutrals, and the gel lab version is no exception. It offers great color payoff in just two swipes, so even though it’s expensive, you use less overall. And the formula can last up to two weeks.

Best of all, it’s not just a polish; it’s enhanced with active ingredients, like biotin to stimulate keratin production and evening primrose, an omega-6 fatty acid that prevents moisture loss in the nail bed. Plus, the silk fibers included providing that long-last, ultra-glossy finish. The brand suggests applying a base and top coat for better results.

Colors: 16 | System: No | Finish: Glossy

Price at time of publish: $20

Best Red

OPI Infinite Shine Long-Wear Lacquer in Coca-Cola Red

OPI Infinite Shine Long-Wear Lacquer in Coca-Cola Red

Amazon

What We Love: It offers the most shades of red we’ve seen.

What We Don’t Love: You get the best results with the other two parts of the system.

Every nail aficionado knows you need a red in your repertoire with many turning to OPI for theirs. We love this line of glossy, long-lasting polishes, which stay put for up to 11 days when used with the base coat and gloss. (But even without the base and top coats, it still lasts super long.) You can choose up to 31 different red hues, so you’re bound to find the exact color to complement your undertones. Best of all, you don’t need a UV light or any special equipment to use this polish, and removal can be quick with just a little remover.

Colors: 31 red options | System: Yes | Finish: Glossy

Price at time of publish: $14

Best Quick Dry

Nails.INC House Hunting In Holland Park Quick Drying Nail Polish

Nails.INC House Hunting In Holland Park Quick Drying Nail Polish

Nails.INC

What We Love: It provides amazing results without a base or top coat.

What We Don’t Love: The line has a limited amount of colors compared to their other lines.

While lots of brands tout their ability to dry quickly, this one actually gives you a time limit and sticks to it; 45-seconds may sound too good to be true, but this nail polish will make believers out of the harshest skeptics. The formula uses a resin complex that is made up of polyester and acrylic, allowing it to easily adhere to the nail, so that the application is seamless. The formula also contains hexanal, which is packed with calcium and magnesium, to strengthen the nail and extend the life of the polish.

Better yet, the wide-set brush makes even application much easier, even when using your non-dominant hand. While they have been releasing more colors in this line (initially there were only 10), we’re obsessed with this fun purple hue that provides an instant mental pick-me-up.

Colors: 16 | System: No | Finish: Glossy

Price at time of publish: $9

Best Glitter

Orly Anything Goes

Orly Anything Goes

Orly

What We Love: This polish can be worn alone or on top of another polish.

What We Don’t: It takes a few swipes for the glitter stars to distribute evenly on the nail.

Glitter nail polish doesn’t have to be childish. With Orly’s Anything Goes nail polish your nails will be left looking glamorous and glitzy for weeks to come. Glitter polish is one of the best-kept secrets to long-lasting nail polish; it lasts forever and chips are hardly noticeable. The fun blend of glitter stars and sparkles leaves you with the perfect glossy manicure. Orly’s versatile nail polish can be worn on its own or paired with another long-lasting color. Try wearing it over Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel Polish for a foolproof, long-lasting mani and pedi. Surprisingly, the chunky glitter goes on smooth and is easily removable, making your manicure easier than ever. This no-hassle opal nail polish is the best way to add a pop to your next mani and pedi.

Colors: 1 | System: No | Finish: Glitter

Price at time of publish: $11

Best for Beginners

Olive & June The Mani System

Olive & June The Mani System

Olive & June

What We Love: This one-stop-shop comes with everything you could ever need for your at home mani.

What We Don’t: The nail polishes take longer to dry.

For manicure newbies, we recommend Olive and June’s The Mani System. It really has it all. The kit comes with a nail clipper, file, and buffer to shape your nails to perfection. It gives you the option of picking a single color or up to six, so you can truly customize exactly what colors you want in your new nail polish collection. The polishes are also vegan and cruelty-free and have a long-lasting, gel-like formula. The thicker texture does mean your nails need to dry for longer, but the lasting results make it totally worth it. Plus, Olive and June caters to the beginner by offering a wide fan-shaped brush and what they call the “Poppy” bottle handle — a nail polish bottle handle that gives you more control to make steady strokes — to make your next mani easier than ever. The kit even includes an adorable latte mug, so you can admire your new mani while sipping on your morning coffee.

Colors: 6 | System: Yes | Finish: Glossy

Price at time of publish: $55

Best Gel Kit

Le Mini Macaron Mini Gel Nail Polish Kit

Le Mini Macaron Gel Manicure Kit

Ulta

What We Love: It includes everything you need to get started.

What We Don’t Love: The mini nail lamp takes longer, but also exposes the nail to less UV rays.

One of our favorite at-home gel kits that we tested, this kit is a great starter kit for those who love a gel manicure for how long it lasts but not the price. The gel polish acts as a base, color, and top coat all in one. We know that sounds too good to be true, but trust us, it really works. It produces an incredible color payoff while ensuring your manicure lasts just as long as a salon-quality one.

Because of how small the UV lamp is though, it makes the process fairly time-consuming. You have to work with just one finger at a time. But this trait exposes your hand to fewer UV rays, and it’s particularly portable, too.

Colors: 1 | System: Yes | Finish: Glossy

Price at time of publish: $35

Best Powder

Gelish Xpress Dip Color Kit

Gelish Xpress Dip Color Kit

Amazon

What We Love: This kit includes everything you need for a dipped mani at home.

What We Don’t Love: You won’t have as many colors to choose from.

If powder-dipped nails are your salon go-to, this is the longwear nail formula for you. Typically carried at salons, this brand produces incredible results with its easy, at-home kit. For the unfamiliar, the application process goes as such: base coat, powder, dip activator, dip base coat, buff, dip applicator, dip top coat, and dry. It sounds like a lot — and it definitely won’t be a quick process — but the results will be worth it because it produces a truly gel-quality finish without UV light.

The only downside to dip powder manicures is that you will have fewer color options to choose from. It will take some time to accrue lots of colors, too, but this set does offer you some quality everyday colors with red, pink, and white.

Colors: 3 | System: Yes | Finish: Glossy

Price at time of publish: $77

What to Keep in Mind

Color

If you’re just starting out with painting your own nails, opt for a light or neutral shade, which tend to show fewer chips and mistakes over time. But it all comes down to preference. A red polish, like the OPI choice we mention above, is an obvious classic, and a glitter polish, especially Orly’s Anything Goes, tends to hide chips easily, too.

Finish

Any beginner should think about choosing a glossy polish because the high-shine finishes tend to look fresher for longer. Matte polishes show mistakes easier because the texture of your nail pops through, and metallics often show the brush strokes. You’ll give yourself a quality manicure that lasts a long time much quicker with a glossy finish because you have to spend less time ensuring no strokes pop through.

Formula

Some formulas include nourishing ingredients, like jojoba oil and biotin, for stronger nails that hold polish better. The aforementioned CND and Deborah Lippman’s formulas are famous for their healthy formulas that last a long time, yet also improve the overall look and feel of your nails.

Your Questions, Answered

How can you make your nail polish last longer?

While long-lasting formulas are certainly helpful, your nail polishes will always last the longest if you start with a base coat and finish with a top coat. Make sure you’re applying in thin layers and allowing each coat to dry before painting on an additional layer to minimize any air bubbles being trapped in the polish.

How are you supposed to paint your own nails?

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect, but there are a few tips and tricks you can try when painting your own nails. For starters, wide brushes like the ones found in the Nails.INC polishes make it easier to cover more surface area of the nail so that you can paint each finger in fewer swipes (read: you’ll have fewer chances to mess it up).

In addition to wider brushes, wider handles are great for stabilizing your hand. Olive and June makes a wide rubber attachment (also found in the system we mention above) that can be popped on to polishes with smaller brush handles. A good general rule to follow is to make sure that the side of the hand that you’re using to paint is stabilized on a flat surface. 

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