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.
Best Clean Formula: Olive & June Nail Polish
Whether you're health-conscious, pregnant, or just occasionally prefer to take the better-for-you route, Olive & June's natural formula gives your go-to OG lacquers a run for their money. The 7-free shades are chip-resistant while also boasting vegan and cruelty-free ingredients.
Best Long Wear: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Color
Best Salon Fave: OPI Infinite Shine Long-Wear Nail Polish
Step into any nail salon today, and you'll most likely find a selection of OPI nail polishes displayed on the wall. It dries fast, lasts over a week, goes on super shiny, and comes in every color your heart could ever desire. It's no wonder why professionals swear by it.
Best Powder Formula: Red Carpet Manicure Color Dip Nail Dipping Powder
You read that correctly: A powder formula, Red Carpet Manicure's Color Dip Nail Dipping Powder makes it easy for even the most novice nail DIY'er to get an even application. Dip your nail in this odorless powder before sealing it with a topcoat (no UV light needed) for up to 21 days of wear. And it comes in all finishes from sheer to shimmer and even glitter.
Best Gel-Like Formula: Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish
Gel manicures at a salon can be expensive and time-consuming—not to mention they can be rough on your nails. The good news is Essie's Gel Couture Nail Polish gives you the benefits of gel polish at home—aka a mani that lasts a solid two weeks—sans UV lamps and the need to scrape them off.
Best Quick-Dry Formula: Sally Hansen Insta Dri Nail Color
If we don't have time to hop into a salon, chances are we don't have a ton of time to wait for our mani to dry either. This two-in-one color-and-topcoat formula dries in 60 seconds. And get this: It even comes in glitter finishes that also harden in a flash.
Best Glitter Formula: Zoya Nail Polish in Cosmo Magical Pixidust
Best Topcoat: Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Nail Coat
If you know, you know. While Seche Vite is fairly under-the-radar, it boasts a secret cult following from professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike. It goes on crystal clear (no yellowing here), super shiny, and can get any nail polish to last twice as long.
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
Nourish dry, cracked cuticles with this nourishing blend of organic jojoba and hemp-seed oils and vitamin E in a single swipe. And the best part is the rollerball is an actual amethyst stone, the stone of breaking bad habits, which can help you fight the urge to bite or pick nails and cuticles.
Hydrated, moisturized hands always look good. Apply this feel-good hand mask nightly, and let its clean, vegan, gluten-free formula go to work. Plus, it boasts the same fruity, floral signature Fenty scent.