If you know me at all, you know I have a weakness for nail polish. In my 5 years of being the Editor in Chief of Cliché Magazine, I’ve been introduced to so many different nail polish brands. Different companies have sent me entire collections, bottles ranging from $8 each to $30 each. I plucked them from my mailbox, emptied them onto the floor like candy, and marveled at all the different colors and finishes. From speckled lacquers to opaque cremés to fast-drying mattes and pixie dust finishes, I’ve tried them all. But my heart has settled on these three favorite brands—and you may not have even heard of them.
Like most girls who shop at Ulta or Target, I am well-acquainted with brands like Essie, Sally Hansen, and Sinful Colors. However, none of these brands stack up to Zoya in my opinion, and they cost about the same. Something about Zoya’s 5-free formula is just exceptional. My at-home manicures always last a few days longer than the other brands and their colors are the most consistent and streak-free. I have over 60 bottles in my collection (mostly thanks to wonderful Zoya press team) and I’m always looking forward to their newest collections—especially their nudes and their entire Naked Manicure collection. My recommendations below:
The first time I received a bottle of JINsoon nail polish was in one of my limited edition Birchboxes. It was small, a sample size, but it was the most beautiful cherry red I’ve ever seen. It was glossy and vibrant, and also a little dark and vampy—the perfect shade for the fall and winter holidays, and it rekindled my love for red nail polish. I still have the bottle, though what’s left of the lacquer is now goopy and old; it sits in my collection like a souvenir, a reminder: this is the best red ever. Ever since, I’ve been a fan of their fashion-forward shades, sleek bottles, and beautiful packaging. My recommendations below:
Deborah Lippmann ($18-24/ea)
Deborah Lippmann is another brand I was introduced to through my work with Cliché. Like Zoya and JINsoon, their polishes tend to last longer than your average drugstore brand, especially their Gel Pro collections, which I highly recommend. They have an impressive array of colors, and I am very fond of their dark blues, greens, and reds. Whenever I want to treat myself to a special polish, I tend to reach for these bottles. Plus the packaging is so cute! My recommendations below:
What is your favorite nail polish brand? I’d love to know!
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Megan Portorreal is a professional writer, editor, and creative in the New York City area. In her spare time, she enjoys reading books, writing about her life, and playing video games.