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Generally, I don’t see much difference in wear from $2 to $40 polish. Illamasqua’s polish wears the longest on me (as long as 14 days no chipping, just minor tip wear), which is a premium polish. But next to nothing chips on me, so I’m not the greatest test subject (unfortunately!). I think you may a premium for access to certain ingredients/colors that aren’t necessarily available to all yet.

— Christine

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67 Comments

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I am all about drugstore products and I’ve found a lot of drugstore polishes that last just as long (if not longer) than some high end polishes. One example is Sinful Colors, their polishes have lasted just as long as Julep polishes (which are triple the price); actually come to think of it, some of the julep polishes started to chip after a couple of days (vs Sinful colors can last up to 4-5 days with a base & top coat).

I used to wear nail polish. Now I only wear a clear color and I miss Cover Girl nail slicks. I wash my hands alot during the day. When I was a teenager, I would only buy Chanel, Dior and whatever store brought brands. I did try the drugstore brands, but I didnt like the color or pigmentation. I think back then 30 years ago, there was a difference…but I think the drugstore brands and nail brands have stepped up the game and matched these fancy dept store brands in wear and color.

No, unless the color is one-of-a-kind. That said, I do stay away from less expensive polishes unless I know they are “3-Free”, or I trust their parent company. Fortunately, there are more than enough DS polishes that fit this criteria.

I think that the proliferation of indie brands and their increased accessibility that high end isn’t quite as necessary as it once was, you can really find amazing polishes at the sub-$15 price point. The only exception might be more unique creme and shimmer shades since so many indies focus on glitter/holos (though an increasing number are expanding into that realm which is awesome)

As far as wear goes, personal chemistry and how your base and top cost interact will always impact wear. Being high-end won’t make a polish immune from that fact.

So basically…unless it’s a color that is nigh impossible to dupe (and even then you can probate find something close enough) don’t think it’s worth it any more. $15 is now my high point with my presence for the $12 and under range.

As a self procalimed polish hoarder, I say NO!! I have polishes from $0.99 (or cheaper) up to $30.00. My high-end may wear slightly better and have a better consistancy (1 coaters) but at the end of the day, non high-end always get my approval. I generally by high-end for colour choice. Esp if it is something limited edition, that I cannot find in a drug store brand.

Everything chips on me. Butter London makes it last like 3 days where I usually only get 1 1/2. If anyone can think of something I’m open. I have tried Seche Vite, OPI, Chanel (not top or base coats), Deborah Lippmann, Rescue Beauty Lounge, etc… Biotin, fish oil, multi-vitamins too – no help.

I’m the same way. I’ve been told it’s my “naturally oily nails” I’ve just resigned myself to repolishing every three days.

Try Zoya. It sucks having to buy online but I get good wear from their polishes with their brand’s top and base coat. Same with butter london, buy their top and base coat to go with it if you don’t have it. I use Zoya’s base and top coat for most of my other polishes, it makes my RBL’s last 2-3 days instead of just 1. They’re about the same price as Essie/OPI too so not crazy expensive.

I’ve had these problems. Cleaning the nails with a non oily policy remover or anything degreasing/ detergent can help. It could be soap or hair products sticking around.

Good news? Ulta carries Zoya, so if you have one of those you can go get great stuff. They sell Butter London too. I think Dillard’s has Butter London in stores as well.

Same here. I’ve stopped wearing polish as a result. I tried a L’orr polish yesterday, it looked nice for half a day…

I think you need to prep your nails with Zoya Remove before applying a base coat, polish, and top coat. It will take off any oiliness and allow your polish to adhere better

Thank goodness I am not the only one! I really thought I must be a freak or something. Gel Nail polish didn’t chip till about day 6. I tried Shoshanna from the Deborah Lippmann Girls collection straight on my nails. Not only does it feel lovely, a nice color, and opaque BUT it hasn’t chipped yet (that must sound odd to people who don’t chip crazy fast).

Same here! My work requires a lot of keyboard typing so nothing lasts more than 3 days without chipping. No matter if the coat base is a five star one, or if the nail polish is high end. That said, that’s why I rather use drugstore polishes. I don’t feel the need to use a $30 polish. Also, we don’t have the range of brands you guys have in the US and Europe.

Not to be a nail polish snob, but I have definitely noticed a difference in quality between cheaper brands vs higher end brands. although the wear time is generally the same across the price spectrum for me, a lot of my cheaper bottles have started separating and thickening after 3-4 years so badly that no amount of shaking or thinner will save it (I’m lookin at you China Glaze). Luckily, my lippmanns and RBLs are still perfect after the occasional shake.

If it doesn’t chip it is so worth it! I have found though that a good base coat and top coat lets any polish stay long no matter what the price. The same for eyeshadow a good primer and ud all nighter works wonders. Opi lasts forever on me with a base coat and topcoat (months on my toes no joke) Going to try the Sally Hansen but the $2 pure ice from Walmart stays chip free a week and half.

I’ll have to say yes when it comes to seeing a color that I like! I know that if I wait or look around, similar stuff might come out. However, I also think that a lot of the times two nail polishes (this applies to everything) that are “dupes” on someone else aren’t necessarily “dupes” on everybody (different skin tones and so on). On top of that, bargain brands in the US aren’t bargains here in Europe (the cheaper DS nail polishes would still cost a good 8-9 euros here). Rather than spending 3 times 8 euros trying to dupe something, I have just about enough money for the “real deal.”

I’m on the opposite end of the polish spectrum, with most polishes have tip wear within a day on me, chipping by the second or third. It’s part of why I’ve never actually bothered to go higher end – why spend all that money on something that will barely last a day? But increasingly, I find myself curious if pricier polishes will hold up longer on my nails. It’d be nice to find something that holds up against hospital hand washing. 😛 Ulta’s having a sale on their Butter London polishes on Friday, so I’m thinking I may pick up a few to see if there is any real difference.

Quality and weartime, no, no difference @ all. The only difference for me are the colourranges. High end brands tend to come out with more innovating and unique colours, although even that is offcourse not always the case. Very rarely I find a polish so gorgeous and uniques that I would pay top dollar (I am thinking 10€ or up) for them.

greatings from Belgium

Depends, for a few colors I think high end nail polish is worth it if they are unique and gorgeous, like Chanel Graphite, Chanel Peridot, Chanel black Pearl, they are unique very beautiful colors that stand out from the rest, and the drugstore dupes where never as good as the original, far from it, in my opinion. But when it comes to colors like simple white nail polish for example, there really isn´t much difference, so there is no point in purchasing a 30 dollar polish when a 1 or 2 dollar polish will look exactly the same.

I would love to never get high-end polishes, but sometimes the colors are just to amazing. For example, I got Chanel Peridot and Malice when they first came out, and I was overjoyed with the color and wear – and used them enough to justify getting them! (And the Peridot dupe hadn’t get been released, and I couldn’t find anything with the beautiful shimmer and sheen of Malice.) I also love the sparkles and wear in Deborah Lippmann colors, even if they’re sometimes more dupable. Plus, both of those brands are 3-free. Other than that, I really like buying drugstore or cheaper polishes when I can!

I personally don’t think so. For me, Illamasqua chips on me literally on the first day. :/ Yet I can buy a bottle of Sinful Colors nail polish from Walgreens or Walmart for $2, and it lasts for a good 5-7 days without chipping. (Keep in mind, I also do Taekwondo 5-6 days a week, and nail polish just chips on me easily anyways)

I’ve never paid more than 10 or 12 dollars (Canadian) for polish – OPI and Zoya. I prefer buying polish from companies that specialize in making nail polish (I’ve never bought a Chanel polish – partly the price and partly the aforementioned “philosophy” of mine) because I can find just about any colour in those 2 brands so if I see something from MAC or Chanel, I can probably dupe it in Zoya or OPI. Even these 2 companies, though, have great polishes and stinkers too so I really don’t think price is any guarantee of anything. Polish applied at home (even though I use the same things they use at the salon) doesn’t last well on me but I teach food and nutrition and my hands and nails take quite a beating.

No.

The only reason to go high end for me would be for a very unique color. But high end polish companies have been putting out uninspired colors for over a year now.

I remember the times when Chanel would come out with unique, trendsetting colors like Peridot or Paradoxal and I can’t understand why Chanel as of late has chosen to go back to safe colors I could get from OPI or China Glaze for a fraction of the cost.

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