Courtesy of Neiman Marcus
In our busy world, finding time for self-care can sometimes feel impossible, so when you are able to carve out an hour for a manicure, you want to be sure that it lasts. While there are certainly nail polish options out there that guarantee longevity—like gel or acrylic—sometimes you just want a straightforward polish that won't chip after a day. To help you, and your hands, we asked nail artists and manicurists to share the best long-lasting nail polishes at varying price points so that you can achieve your best manicure yet.
While shopping for nail polish, you'll find many companies claim their products are long-lasting, but determining if this is really true can be tricky for the average consumer. "Long-wear polishes often are advertised as such, but then again so are all nail polishes. Also, the use of the word 'gel' is nearly meaningless," explains Miss Pop Nails, celebrity and editorial nail artist. "The key to knowing if something is truly a gel is if you need to cure it under an LED light. If you're not curing it, it's a nail polish." To take some of the guesswork out of long-wear lacquer, take a look at our experts' top long-lasting lines, below.
The Best Long-Lasting Nail Polishes
Best Overall: OPI Infinite Shine
Best Gel-Like: Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Duo
Best Luxe Option: Chanel Le Vernis
Best Drugstore Find: Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish
Best Environmentally-Friendly: Zoya Naked Manicure Nail Polish Kit
Best Ingredients: Paintbox Single Nail Lacquer
Best Overall System
"I am obsessed with OPI Infinite Shine," says Miss Pop Nails. "It even gives me, someone who works with her hands, long-wear. The shades are the same as their classic lacquer, so it's an easy switch. The colors are highly pigmented so I feel like I get great coverage even with one coat, but I add two for wear. The key is to also use the system's base and top-coat to get the best results."
Shop Now: OPI Infinite Shine Longwear Nail Polish Base Coat & Top Coat Duo, $22.50, ulta.com.
Another one of Miss Pop Nail's favorites is Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab. "I'm a big fan of the base and top coat duo that turn any nail lacquer into long wear," she says. "There are also shades under the Gel Lab label, but again, they are not light-curing gel, so they are truly lacquer."
Shop Now: Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Duo, $45, nordstrom.com.
Best Luxe Option
Manicurist and nail expert Aja Walton recommends Chanel's Perle Blanche hue. "It's not your average white pearl shade!" she says. "It has a duo-chrome pink shift that's a gorgeous beach vacation nail color for both fingers and toes."
Shop Now: Chanel Nail Polish in Perle Blanche, $28, chanel.com.
Another fan of Deborah Lippmann, Walton says, "This beige color has eliminated any pink or white tones. It's the sheerest nude I own that lasts for weeks."
Shop Now: Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Polish in Brand New Day , $20, macys.com.
"This is a sheer tan nude that is universally flattering, a staple in my collection and the most requested for editorial manicures," Walton says.
Shop Now: Essie "Sheer Silhouette" Gel Couture Nail Polish in Corset, $11.50, ulta.com.
Best Color Selection
"Jin Soon is good quality, has a lovely bottle brush, and fabulous, trendy colors," says Miss Pop Nails. We're partial to this nude-meets-blush shade.
Shop Now: Jin Soon Quintessential Nail Lacquer in Nostalgia, $18, amazon.com.
Zoya Naked Manicure is the no make-up, make-up look for your nails, according to Miss Pop Nails. "It's a sheer tint that strengthens, shines, and brings out the natural blush tones of your nail bed," she says. "If you're someone who loves a sheer nude, a buff to a shine, or even just a clear coat, this could be your new and improved go-to. I use the Pink and Buff perfector on set all the time." She also says that Zoya has great products and a great ethos to match. "They are very earth and health-conscious, in their polish and in their packaging," she says. "Plus you can choose a wide, cuticle hugging brush or slim, nail art-friendly bottle brush, depending on your preference."
Shop Now: Zoya "Naked Manicure" Nail Polish Kit, $30, amazon.com.
While the color you choose won't affect how long a manicure lasts, Miss Pop Nails is partial to Suburban Warrior hue. "I just love the bottle. It's so chic," she says. "It's prettier than most fragrance bottles!"
Shop Now: Smith & Cult Nail Polish in Suburban Warrior, $18, dermstore.com.
Best Pigmented Option
Miss Pop Nails recommends a holographic silver color, Harp On It. "The polish is highly pigmented, which is perfect for getting coverage when you're pressed for time," she says.
Shop Now: Color Club Nail Polish in Harp On It, $12, colorclub.com.
Long-lasting lacquer doesn't need to need to equal chemical-filled. "Our polishes are all 10-free and toxic-free while still maintaining its lasting power," says Mabelyn Martin, creative director of Paintbox. "Applied onto a well prepped nail and with daily use of cuticle oil this polish lasts a solid week."
Shop Now: Paintbox Single Nail Lacquer in Like Camel, $22, neimanmarcus.com.