Keeping your nails in tip-top shape can definitely be a task. Ahem, especially if you're also on a major budget. I'm guilty of dropping over $100 at the salon per visit, and I have to admit that there are times I wish I were good at doing my own nails so I could save some time and extra dollars. I may not be the best-at-home manis myself, but I know some of you out there are and need a few polish recommendations. Don't worry. I've got you.
Even if you're like me and don't necessarily have the skill to do your own nails, these polishes are still great to keep top of mind since, according to nail artists and editors, they're the best in the business. Whether you're ready to DIY or are looking for the perfect shade to bring to your next salon visit, you're going to want to keep reading below. Celebrity nail artist Julie Kandalec shared a few of the absolute best nail polish brands she uses time and again. I also snuck in a few editor favorites. Keep scrolling.
Essie is beloved by nail techs and editors alike. Sure, the brand has had over 30 years to perfect its formulas, but Kandalec really appreciates this particular brand for its adaptable shades fit for any season.
"Essie is a favorite brand of mine, and I love the color Mint Candy Apple because it's so versatile. It can be used for that sweet candy look but also works great during the holidays and is soft enough for spring vibes." — Kandalec
Like most celebrity nail artists, Kandalec swears by Chanel's creamy, luxurious polishes. The shade Organdi, in particular, is her favorite. Unfortunately, Chanel's shades sell out often, and Organdi is no longer available. The above shade Faussaire is a classic and similar to Organdi.
"Chanel is a trendsetter. Its colors set seasonal trends, and if you want to know if a color is *in*, look to Chanel!" — Kandalec
3. Lights Lacquer
Kandalec is definitely introducing me to a new brand with this pick, but I trust her wholeheartedly, and one quick browse on the brand's website is convincing. Kandalec's favorite shade is this nude-pink shimmer shade called One of Your French Girls.
"I love Lights Lacquer because they are a great quality, cruelty-free brand that is female-founded and Latina-owned. They also just make incredibly fun colors and collections. One of Your French Girls is a beautiful shade that is a soft beige with pink undertones. It makes a great base for nail art if you're looking for a hint of sparkle." — Kandalec
"Cherry Apple is a classic red, and I just love CND products. They're extremely high-quality and come in so many diverse shades." — Kandalec
We (and nail techs like Kandalec) love KBShimmer polishes because the shades are unique and long-lasting and, as the name would have it, add some serious sparkle to the nails. Kandalec breaks down her favorite shade from the brand below.
"KB is a favorite for its eclectic, fun, and glitter, reflective shimmer polishes. I love Of Quartz because it gives you that rose-colored reflective shade, rose-quartz vibe." — Kandalec
Tenoverten offers incredible nontoxic polish formulas that are made without formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, and triphenyl phosphate (TPHP).
Zoya's impressive shade range makes it a number-one contender for beauty editor favorite. This metallic gold, pearlescent hue is so bold. It's perfect for spring moving into summer.
9. Deborah Lippmann
Deborah Lippmann's classic formulas as one of the all-time best in the nail industry due to her background as a celebrity manicurist. Usually, we editors tend to gravitate toward Lippmann's creamy nude shades, but this brighter hue is also universally flattering.
10. Olive and June
Olive and June makes the stuff of every mani lover's dreams. Each polish is pretty affordable (most retail at just $9 a bottle) but still provides a salon-quality finish, not to mention the brand's epic at-home systems for whatever kind of mani you're in the mood for. Overall, it's a WWW editor favorite and will continue to be for years to come.
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.
Shawna Hudson has worked in editorial for over six years, with experience covering entertainment, fashion, culture, celebrities, and her favorite topic of all, beauty. She graduated from California State University, Fullerton, with a degree in journalism and has written for other publications such as Bustle, The Zoe Report, Byrdie, Elite Daily, Mane Addicts, and more. She is currently an associate beauty editor at Who What Wear and hopes to continue feeding her (completely out-of-control) beauty obsession as long as she can. Stay up to date on her latest finds on Instagram @shawnasimonee.
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