These Drugstore Polishes Will Trick People Into Thinking You Went to the Salon

As any true fashion enthusiast knows, striking a high-low balance is the best way to look amazing without breaking the bank. There's something so cool about pairing a Gucci splurge with a Zara sale item. You know what we're talking about. And the same can be said for your manicure routine. While the occasional spa day is great for upkeep, truthfully, we prefer to tackle the polish changes ourselves. You'd be surprised how much in-between DIY manis and pedis can do for your bank account—especially if you reach for a budget-friendly polish from the drugstore.

From different formulas and finishes to must-have hues and the longest-lasting topcoat, drugstore polish is the product you're sleeping on but shouldn't. Ahead, 15 of the best ones to trick people into thinking you went to a salon.


(Image credit: @laurencrowe88)

Best Formulas

Best Clean Formula: Olive & June Nail Polish

Best Long Wear: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Color

Best Salon Fave: OPI Infinite Shine Long-Wear Nail Polish

Best Powder Formula: Red Carpet Manicure Color Dip Nail Dipping Powder

Best Gel-Like Formula: Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish

Best Quick-Dry Formula: Sally Hansen Insta Dri Nail Color

Best Glitter Formula: Zoya Nail Polish in Cosmo Magical Pixidust

Best Topcoat: Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Nail Coat

Best Colors

Best Pink: Essie Nail Polish in Ballet Slippers

Best Red: OPI Nail Lacquer in Big Apple Red

Best Blue: Sinful Colors Professional Nail Polish in Endless Blue

Best Neutral: Sally Hansen Good, Kind, Pure Vegan Nail Polish in Almond Tan

Best Purple: Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish in Museum Muse

Best Black: LeChat Dare to Wear Nail Lacquer Black Velvet

Best Green: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Color in Leaf Me Be

Go Full At-Home Manicure

Freelance Contributor