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Most Overrated & Underrated Nail Polish Formula

Over & Under: Most Overrated & Underrated Nail Polish Formula

There are always products that receive endless raves, but they don’t always live up to our expectations or work out as well as they do for others.  Share your picks for most overrated and underrated NAIL POLISHES.  Don’t forget to share your whats and whys as to your choices!

  • Most Overrated: [answer]
  • Most Underrated: [answer]

My Picks

  • Most Overrated: MAC, easily. The color options are usually less-than-unique and the formula is so unpredictable, but too often, it’s a miss.
  • Most Underrated: China Glaze–they’re popular in various niches, but I don’t think they’ve reached as much of mass as entrenched salon brands like OPI. Like I’ve never met anyone who uses anything but OPI in my “real” life.


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Joyce Avatar

I know right?? I can’t speak for MAC polishes, but whenever I mention China Glaze my family/friends are like “what’s that -____-” AH! And ever since their rude stint with bloggers, I’ve had a bad taste in my mouth regarding OPI.

morlonbrondo Avatar

I’m almost tempted to say most overrated is OPI based on what you said – nobody I know in real life uses anything but, and as reliable as most shades are, I’ve found myself preferring other brands of late – Nubar, A England, China Glaze, Zoya, etc. OPI is far too expensive here (Australia) for me to justify buying it anymore, basically. 

kristine Avatar

Underrated: definitely China Glaze. My favorite formula! Julep is also wonderful but their color selection is not very unique.
Overrated: hmm. Hard to say but probably Chanel. I do love the colors but the formula is consistently too thin, streaky and chips SO easily. Not worth it. 

Liz K Avatar

Overrated: Butter London. Every single one (of 4) i have tried faded quickly, needed 3 coats, and was not as vibrant on nails as in the bottle.
Underrated: Revlon

Liz K Avatar

Overrated: Butter London. Every single one (of 4) i have tried faded quickly, needed 3 coats, and was not as vibrant on nails as in the bottle.
Underrated: Revlon

Rebecca Avatar

Overrated: I’m going to say Chanel. I’ve never owned a Chanel polish (I can’t justify spending that!). They may have unique colors, but within a month or two’s time, it seems that most brands have made a dupe for that color. Underrated; NYC (New York Color) or Sinful Colors. Both drugstore brands with every polish under $5. They’re great quality and awesome if you just want a trendy color you won’t wear all the time.

Pawsha Avatar

Most Overrated: MAC- they look nice in the bottle but that’s it.
Most Underrated: Butter London – they are just so effortless to put on and wear great.

EstherKudron Avatar

Most Overrated: Butter London. I’ve only tried one of their polishes, but it was horrible and turned me off from the brand. It took literally four coats to get close to opaque, it took forever to dry between coats (and I wasn’t using exceptionally thick coats or anything), and it was streaky. It lasted for a full week, but the application of it was ridiculous.
Most Underrated: I love a lot of the cheaper brands like Wet N Wild and New York Color. They apply easily, come in a wide variety of colors, and you can buy a handful without breaking the band.

meowchica Avatar

overrated: OPI.  I don’t find it to be nearly as great as everyone considers it to be.  I have several that require 3 coats.  
underrated: Zoya.  It’s pretty much always perfect.  never streaky, creams solid with one coat.  doesn’t take overly long to dry.  gorgeous colors and glitters.

xamyx Avatar

I can’t really opine on “overreated” (honestly, I rarely buy anything HE in terms of nail polish), however, there are so *many* that are “underrated”. Most DS brands are completely ignored. Sally Hansen is probably the best in terms of durability, although the shade selection may be limited for some (I prefer “basics”, so it’s not an issue for me). Sinful Colors has a wide range, though not particularly long-lasting, but at the pricepoint, it’s worth it. Revlon is also quite good, and the range seems to be expanding.

Liz9969 Avatar

Overrated:  Essie.  I have a couple and I don’t think they’re that special.  OPI.  I had a pedicure with OPI and it wouldn’t seem to dry correctly.  It smeared like crazy.  It was a shame because the color was lovely.  
Underrated:  Revlon.  Revlon is amazing.  Hands down the best polish I’ve used.  I usually bring my own Revlon polish to the salon.  It’s pretty much all I use when I get a pedicure or in rare cases a manicure.  

Summer Avatar

Overrated:  China Glaze. I realize I’m in the minority here. The color range is SPECTACULAR – I love all their glitters and duochromes and just their overall selection. But something about the formula is terrible on my nails. Regardless of the base and top coats I use, and how carefully I apply the layers, CG always chips on me very quickly. Sometimes it just peels off in sheets off of my nails, and usually it’ll happen less than 24 hours after application. Guess there’s just something about my nails that disagrees with their formula.
Underrated: Orly! Top notch formula that lasts and lasts. They also have a pretty great color range. They’re not as expansive as China Glaze, but I feel like there’s still plenty there in terms of diversity. Orly never seems to get enough love!

jennyh Avatar

II don’t understand why MAC would be considered “overrated”. Aside from the obligatory swatches from collections, no one talks up MAC polishes at all. 
China Glaze is overrated. Their colors are unoriginal and the formulas aren’t always the easiest to work with. 
I guess I would say Rimmel is underrated. They have a nice range of colors and finishes, and are easy to work with, but I never see swatches for their polishes. 

xamyx Avatar

@jennyh I forgot about Rimmel. I have only one, but I get *serious* wear-time with it (and I typically have to change my polish every other day, but I get a solid 4 days with Rimmel). Thanks for the reminder!

queen_frostine Avatar

While I’m no fan of MAC polishes, I find it funny to call MAC polishes overrated.  Doesn’t a product have to be celebrated by many for it to be overrated? Overrated is something that gets hyped beyond the worth of the product.  But apart from a few individual shades (such as Bad Fairy), I *never* see people go gaga over MAC polishes.  
MAC polishes are overpriced for their quality, their regular color range is poor (though about to improve) and they’re ridiculously understocked when they release new shades, but they’re not overrated.  They just kinda suck.  They’ve released some colors that I really love (MAC Screening Room was the teal of my dreams that I had been trying to franken for myself for months before it came out!), but I’d never look to MAC for nail polish when I’m just looking for something new.  There are too many better, cheaper options out there.
Overrated: Chanel.  They do release some dynamite shades from time to time, but just as many of them are staid and boring and the formula is nothing to write home about. The $25 price tag is beyond ridiculous, and I never understand the people willing to pay it.  You’re not paying for quality, you’re paying for the name.  For that amount of money the polish formula needs to be flawless and longlasting, better than all of its competitors, but it’s pretty average.  And the colors?  Give the cosmetics industry 3 months and they’ll provide you with a pretty good dupe for a third of the price.  
Underrated: Fingerpaints by Sally’s.  This isn’t my favorite brand ever, but it gets less love than it deserves.  They have a lot of great colors at a pretty good price point ($4.50 if you’re a Beauty Club Card member, which if you shop at Sally’s, you have no excuse not to be), and are frequently on sale.  The formula is pretty good too.  I think since they’re only sold at Sally’s Beauty Supply that they’re not on everyone’s radar though.  Which is a shame, as they’re a really great brand!

Dominique33 Avatar

Most overrated : Dior. The formula is good but like many high end nail polishes. Smell is horrible, I much prefer the Chanel formula. Dior polishes cost 21 €, Chanel polishes 21 € too but the Dior formula is clearly not as expected. Easy to apply though, but nothing new with the Dior polishes. The shade Gris Montaigne does not look like the very famous gray shade of the Dior store avenue Montaigne, some colours are highly dupable too.
Most underrated : high end NARS the formula is very good, colours are great on the whole. budget China Glaze, pretty colours and formula. I only have 2 of them but I will purchase again, here it’s 9 € it’s ok for a good nail polish. 

Abbyu Avatar

I agree with both of your choices, Christine!
MAC’s price point puts it in competition with folks like butterLONDON, who put out more impressive colors and formulas across the board.
China Glaze and OCC strike me as reasonably-priced while still performing very well.

bbbrunella Avatar

Overrated: OPI – they have nice colours but the formula is crap. Chips within hours of application. I almost loathe OPI.
Underrated: MAC. I have to say it. OK, some of the formulas worse than others but I cant say they are markedly worse than many others.

Lynne Avatar

Most overrated:  Illamasqua (colors look like car touch-up paint and formula’s too heavy) and Butter London (doesn’t last, especialy the metallics).
Most underrated:  I’ll vote too for China Glaze as well as Zoya and Rescue Beauty Lounge.  RBL does get love but not as much as it should, especially since its salon closed.

wwendalynne Avatar

Underrated:  I do not use any seriously underrated nail enamels and stick to the ‘performance’ brands.  I must say, I agree with another post below and think Revlon is a really terrific nail polish for their price point.  I used Revlon faithfully for many years.
Overrated:  MAC. I purchased a nail enamel once ’nuff said.
5 Star for me:  Dior, Butter London, Tom Ford
4 Star: Essie, China Glaze 

maureenmojen Avatar

Overrated: OPI – they have some really good polishes, but they aren’t the greatest thing ever like some people think.
Underrated: Zoya

Mariella Avatar

Over-rated: Chanel (wear isn’t that great for me that it justifies the price)
Under-rated: Sally Hansen Rapid Dri (or whatever it’s called).  It may not last very long on me (3 days, perhaps) but it dries FAST, is easy to apply/reapply so I don’t mind having to redo my nails and it’s very inexpensive!

Marian57 Avatar

Overated: Chanel. It doesn’t wear well on me. The colors are unique but usually duped soon after release.
Underrated: Rimmel. For a small price, these wear loke iron on me.

Alison Cole Avatar

Overrated: Chanel. I’ve never had such difficulty with a brush and formula. I tried thinning it, tried cutting the brush – its terribly difficult to work with, which is a shame because their shade choices are super.
Underrated: China Glaze, Zoya, Dior (I’ve owned one of these for YEARS and it hasn’t dried out – it still looks amazing). I agree with Christine, I’ve only ever met women who use OPI. 

amalia22e Avatar

Overrated: OPI.  
Underrated: Zoya- I wish I had more, I love all of them so much, and their remover is awesome! 
Oh and my two cents about Chanel being overrated- I disagree, although I have been disappointed by a few much anticipated shades in the past (yeah Riva, I mean you!)… but for a long time fan, and by that I mean years, and I think it was the first polish I ever owned…. there isn’t anything comparable!  

Marian Avatar

Overrated: Essie: That has always been hit or miss with me.
Underrated: Revlon.  Their new color stay line is awesome!!! That line contains the best base and top coat I’ve ever tried from high end to low end!

Kafka Avatar

Over-rated: Chanel, OPI, Essie.   With both Essie & OPI, I’ve found the fluid consistency to be wildly INconsistent, and they chip within a day or two.  Usually a day! Essie in particular hasn’t gone on smoothly. Chanel also chips very quickly on me, though I rarely have problems with the fluid consistency. I really think it’s ridiculously over-hyped for the price and quality.
Under-rated: NARS & YSL.  Out of all the many, many, many NARS nail varnishes I have, only one has been a nightmare to work with (Night Porter). The rest go on like a dream and they last forever without chipping. No bubbling, beautiful fluid consistency, and lovely, edgy or chic colours. They also don’t give me weird fault-line cracks either (something that has happened with 2 of the 5 Illamasqua polishes I have).    
       I have also had great experiences with YSL, though I don’t think the colours are as edgy and fun as NARS’ polishes are.  I often wonder why no-one *ever* talks about YSL when mentioning high-end polishes (like Dior or Chanel)? Yet YSL’s La Laque’s give gorgeous colour in a fluid, easy application, no chips, no bubbling, & no cracks. I love the brush, and the narrow round handle under that chic gold cap is easy to use with my tiny hands. My HG red is an YSL crimson that glows and glistens like the most perfect blood-ruby. Not even NARS has anything close to that colour!  Alas, I think it’s discontinued so the mere thought of it makes me want to sob.

Andrea Avatar

@Kafka YSL are the only decent designer/department store brand I’ve tried. I haven’t used the new formula, but the old one had some lovely polishes, especially beautiful silvery whites and pinks. Had less luck with the duos.

Chris25 Avatar

Overrated: OPI. It’s good, but not so much that it warrants a $9 and up price tag.
Underrated: China Glaze and Essie. Both are usually well performing for me. I hardly need more than 2 coats when I’m using CG or Essie.

nacacijin Avatar

Overrated: OPI (regular) and Essie. I’ve yet to find a shade with a decent formula. I hate thick, gooey polishes that streak and never dry.
Underrated: Sephora by OPI and China Glaze. In contrast to the two previous brands, I’ve never had a bad polish from either or these two brands, but I feel like nobody gives them enough credit. A good majority of my collection are Sephora by OPI and China Glaze and they’re fantastic.
I’m on the fence about including Butter London in my “Overrated” picks. I have three and while they are beautiful colors (and some are very unique) I was less than impressed. I had major chipping issues with both Victoriana and Marrow (we’re talking within 24 hours). I plan on picking up at least one or two more and testing them out before making a definitive decision.

Dinitchka Avatar

I’d like to start by saying that I had been getting my nails done professionally (pink and white) and I just recently stopped around March of this year. I was trying to see if the chemicals in the powders exasperated my eczema… which it did not but I bought so many new polished that I have just been doing my own and I LOVE IT. It’s kind of therapeutic for me and I have had more comments on my nail designs and colour combos, then ever before! With that being said I have bought many many different brands (drug store, high-end and indie). As I try them each has it’s issues but over all I think a good base coat and good top coat really can make a HUGE difference in smoothness, finish and over all wear.
Most Overrated:
Luminess Air (Gel Haute Polish): I LOATH these!!!! For $12 I find the formula nothing special. The colours are majorly dupeable and the wear is quite meh.
I’d also like to mention CoverGirl (Nail Slicks top coat): TERRIBLE!!! It is so sticky even after it ‘dries’. I did thin it out and it was still sticky to the touch.
Most Underrated:
Spoiled (CVS): I LOVE these polishes. They are dupeables for Sinful polishes. Okay, I know the brush can be wonky (I have had very few this way), the formula a little thick (I’ve had one so far) but over all quality and wear is out of this world. Love the names, the colours and most importantly the price ($1.99, sometimes $0.99, the buy 2 get 1 free sales AND the CVS coupons!)
Sinful (Walgreen’s & Wal-Mart): Basically the same as Spoiled. Prices vary ($0.99, $1.99 and buy 2 get 1 free). I love the wear. I have not had any issue with the brush or formulation.
Nicole OPI #Wam-Mart, CVS, Target etc#: I will only buy this brand if the colour is unique. I went kind of bonkers on the Kardashian collection (I am a SUCKER for glitter, shimmer, sparkle … You get the idea).
Confetti (CVS): I picked up a few of these on a whim. Colurs are dupeable but for $1.99 can’t beat them. The wear is fantastic. Cute bottle. My favorite is 005 Ice Ice Baby.
Ginger + Liz (online. I bought mine from a Haute Look sale): These are VEGAN friendly (which I am not but I really wanted to try a few). I am shockingly surprised with these polishes. I will admit that some colours are dupeable. The wear is awesome and the price point is $12.00.
Estée Lauder (online, Dillard’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom’s, Neiman Marcus etc). EL was one of the first brands of polish I bought. Quite a few of the colours are dupeable. I love the bottle and the wear. Price point $20.00.
I am currently wearing a ‘jelly sandwich’ of 2 coats (1 would have been enough) Spoiled: Tattle Tale (milky pink pearl shimmer) 1 coat of Spoiled: I Have No Reception (clear base with TONS of tiny silver glitter) and another coat of Tattle Tale.

Reasoner_ Avatar

Overrated: OPI. Wasn’t that impressed and the wand is way to big for my liking. Underrated: Pure Ice. They can be found for $2 at Wal-mart (I know, not that glamorous) but have really nice pigmentation and wear.

Maya Avatar

Most Overrated: Essie, by far.  The formula is often streaky and too thin.  It takes a lot of patience to apply, often at least three coats to even it out, the brush is flimsy, and that combined with a thin formula makes it easy to flood the cuticles and get sloppy application.  To top it off, it chips so quickly!  I don’t think I’ve had as much trouble with any other formula (drugstore or high end) like I do with Essie.
Most Underrated: I’d have to say NARS!  I hardly hear anyone mention it, but NARS has an incredible formula that is easy to apply and wears like iron!  I only wish they had more colors and that the nail polishes were easily accessible (my Sephora stores only carry the Orgasm nail polish and whatever polish NARS releases in a limited edition collection).

t_zwiggy Avatar

Overrated: Chanel is no better than other cheaper polishes and the brush is awful. Essie is streaky and doesn’t apply evenly (lighter shades in particular are hard to apply). OPI is just an average polish imo, definitely not as good as everyone says.
Underrated: Zoya polishes are very consistent in formula and quality and they don’t chip as easily as other polishes. They also have a lot of unique colors. Illamasqua has the best formula I’ve ever tried, so opaque (!) and easy to apply, never streaky. Butter London is the polish that lasts the longest on me (2 weeks!). China Glaze is a good cheap option with lots of unique and pretty colors and the formula is mostly good. Some of them might be a bit sheer, but they never streak on me.
MAC is just bad. I agree with the people who don’t think it’s overrated. I hardly ever hear anything positive about MAC polishes.

xamyx Avatar

@t_zwiggy Until recently, I didn’t even realize MAC had nail polish, apart from an occasional LE collection. Even then, my local MAC counter never seemed to have them on display.

queen_frostine Avatar

 @xamyx  @t_zwiggy That’s likely because up until a month ago, they only had maybe ten shades in their regular range, and none of them were particularly noteworthy.  There was a dark purple, a black and a gunmetal shade, but the rest were all pinks, reds and sheers which aren’t shades nail enthusiasts get excited about.  They just got done promoting some of their past LE shades to permanent which is a vast improvement to their permanent nail collection, but their formula is still so hit and miss that they’re still unlikely to attract the attention of the beauty community. 

Melody Avatar

Over-rated: Seche Vite and OPI.  I don’t have any problems with OPI and actually I love their stuff but I just feel like they get so much love that other brands miss out.  I’m glad I’ve tried other brands.  I really hate Seche Vite.  I will use it if I just have to be out the door in a hurry but I hate how it shrinks my polish.  It makes me look like I have tip wear after just finishing my manicure.  Also, I would say MAC but tbh I think everyone knows now not to trust their formula.
Under-rated: Eyeko, Hard Candy, Milani and the new L’oreal polishes (that’s a lot, srry!).  I adore Eyeko’s shades but perhaps it’s not so much that they’re under-rated as very hard to get in the states.  Hard Candy has some lovely dupes with nice formulas and they’re only like $4/bottle.  I adore Milani and L’oreal because unlike a lot of drugstore polishes, the dry time with them is quick and I find that they don’t bubble, which are problems I always have with Revlon and Sally Hansen.

manicuredslayer Avatar

Overrated: Chanel, Lynnderella, Sally Hanson, Seche Vite–based on price/experience/glitter mobs
Underrated: China Glaze, Nubar, Cult Nails, Butter London, Indie Brands in general–based on price/experience

18thCenturyFox Avatar

Overrated: Zoya- I’ve had the worst experiences with these polishes and the remover. Even with Armor & Anchor it’s been nothing but a polish massacre. Chanel and Dior haven’t provided me with any better results then say, Essie?

Underrated: I love ButterLondon. Although I think it’s weirdly gimmicky considering they are all American. Love em anyhow!

Quinctia Avatar

Eh, this one’s a little tough.  I don’t personally think MAC is “overrated,” per se, because everyone seems to talk about how absolutely useless their nail polish is, haha!
Even the greatest brands vary with the finish of the nail polish, so, I guess I can say overrated:  Specifically China Glaze’s For Audrey.  Yes, that shade.  I’ve found that cream finish is not for me, but I’ve had issues with the application of that shade, even as a base.  Otherwise, CG is pretty good.
Underrated:  I don’t hear a lot about Milani’s nail polish, outside of Nouveau Cheap (a drugstore specific blogger) and a couple of nail blogs.  They have some great holo glitter, one-coat glitter (not a lie), a few high-end dupes, and some nice regular colors.  Revlon’s got a lot of great high-end dupes, too, and if you stay away from the Fast Dry line, they all apply well.

t_zwiggy Avatar

 @Quinctia I totally agree on China Glaze For Audrey being overrated! I usually love the formula of China Glaze polishes, but this one applied streaky on me and the color is extremely meh.
Milani polishes are definitely good. Great smooth formula that never streaks. Orange Burst and Dressmaker are probably in my top 10.

natasha Avatar

overrated – nails inc. jeez theres a reason why theyre flogging them as free gifts on magazines
underrated – temple spa. they wear so well and look after nails at the same time! brilliant, come in lovely selection of colours too

kmk05 Avatar

I work a lot with my hands (typing, sawing metal, heating and cooling metal at 500C and 0C) so for me, wear is what I want.
Most overrated: Chanel. It chips like no other after less than 24 hours. The wear is so sub-par!
Most underrated: Barry M (drugstore in the UK) as well as the 60s Rimmel ones. The wear is phenomenal (5 days with no chipping or tip wear).

Keen Janine Avatar

Overrated: butter London and OPI. They both have decent formulas and great color selections but I still get chipping with less than a week of wear.
Underrated: NARS and, believe it or not, Bobbi Brown. I hardly hear anyone talk about those but they have good formulas. I have not experience streaking with them, and I can wear them for at least a week without chipping (only minor tip wear). I usually will try a nail polish without a top or base coat to see how go the formula is.
MAC’s formula is awful, but it’s not overrated IMO because most people, who I personally know, uses China Glaze, OPI, Essie, or various drug store brands. 

yellowlantern Avatar

Overrated: Essie. From what I’ve tried Essie just doesn’t have a quality formula. Their polish is too thin and streaky to me. For the price I’d rather get China Glaze.
Underrated: Borghese. The formula is great, not to thick or thin and wears very well on me.

CiaraAinsleyFears Avatar

Overrated: Sally Hansen has a bit of a following, but I’ve never had any luck with their polishes!
Underrated: L’Oreal is by no means perfect, but I’ve had pretty awesome experiences with their nail polishes. I have an orange shade, which is a hard one to get right, but I absolutely love it! Cheap and nice.

Lisa T Avatar

Overrated:  Butter London and Essie.  Both wore horribly on me
Underrated: SensatioNail.  Bought this gel manicure system at Walmart and seriously it is amazing.  It doesn’t have the most trendy colors, but the glossy look and stay power is AMAZING.  I usually end up taking it off after a week and a half because I want a new color not because it is chipping or wearing.  I have also always had really thin weak nails.  This polish really supports the nail and has helped me to grow mine longer because they aren’t breaking all of the time!
  Runner up: Revlon Colorstay – the new formula.  As far as regular polish goes, this wears well on me.  It also comes in a wide variety of colors and finishes.

Aelita Avatar

overrated Chanel-100%
worst formula I’ve ever tried(and I’ve tried A LOT) its streaky, chips in 1-2 days, even with base and top coat, it’s very hard to handle, and its simply a rip off to sell such a horrible formula for that price! Some colours are nice< but majority are-hello from the 90’s, like the new sky line NP-I honestly laughed when I saw it! 
under- china glaze and finger paints

sanguine13 Avatar

Overrated: OPI and Butter London. I like the colour selection in both brands, but I hate the OPI pro-wide brush and I find the Butter London cap difficult to grip.  Both also chip within 24 hours on me, no matter what kind of top coat I use. 
Underrated: I don’t see a ton of love for Nubar polishes, and I’ve had only good experiences with Nubar. A-England is fantastic too. My favourite polish brand is Essie (love Essie’s teeny tiny brush), but they’re pretty popular so I don’t think they qualify as underrated. 

TheAmanda101 Avatar

Overrated: MAC. I don’t like how they apply at all. At 16 bucks each, it’s too much to spend for something that doesn’t perform well.
Underrated: Brucci. Love their colors, and for the low price point, who can beat it? They apply evenly (unless they’re uber sheer) and they dry quick!
(side note: I can’t agree with those saying Essie is overrated. It mat not be the absolute best brand on the market, but they have a gorgeous array of colors that do go on well without the streaks and they dry fairly quickly. Fast enough to do 2 coats and not smudge them after just a short while. To me it is worth the 7 bucks. I wouldn’t say it’s underrated either.)

Lauren Avatar

I tend to just paint my toenails, since every brand chips on my fingernails within 24-48 hours, no exceptions.  On my toenails, though, polish easily lasts for 3-5 weeks. 
Overrated: Zoya.  I’ve tried several shades, and every single one of them bubbles on me, no matter how thin the coat or if I let it dry between coats.  I love a lot of the shades, but it’s so frustrating that no matter what I do, I get bubbles every single time I use the brand.  
Underrated: Essie.  LOVE this brand so much!  I’ve had much better luck with this brand than with any other, and I love the thinner formula and smaller brush.  

tmmkitten Avatar

Those are my same over/under rated formulas too! Something about Essie just works for my nails. Which interestingly have the same wear time issue at you. i’m lucky if i can get 48 chip-free hours out of a manicure. 


Overrated: Mac, Essie (its too goo[y for my taste) and frankly any nail polish over 8 bucks. ri-dic. 
Underrated: Jordana Nail polish, Brucci, Revlon; affordable and seriously rivals essie/opi. 

Adis Avatar

Overrated:  MAC, Nicole by OPI, Sinful Colors, claire’s, and those Hot Topic nail polishes that have a skull on them. 
MAC’s formula is the worst one for me, too streaky, too expensive, and don’t last long.  Nicole by OPI bubbles on my nails which I think is a bummer.  I like that Sinful Colors has a big variety in color, but the streaky and sheer formula is a big no for me.  Most claire’s nail polishes don’t wear well and some are bit on the sheer side, and the Hot Topic nail polishes have an awful formula and they smell bad.
Underrated:  China Glaze (except the neon formula), Orly, Essie, Illamasqua, Milani, Bettina, and Sally Hansen Xtreme wear nail polishes.
I love that China Glaze has a lot color variety.  Unfortunately, the only formula that doesn’t work for me are their neon formulas.  They’re goopy and chip really fast for me.  Their glitter polishes are probably the only ones that are overrated, imo.  I think Orly is really great because they’re smooth, long-lasting, and don’t chip, but they take a while to dry and perhaps that may be a flaw for some people.  I’ve had good luck with Essie, mostly form their permanent line.  However, there’s one Essie nail polish that I had trouble applying because it was inconsistent, but that doesn’t stop me from liking the rest of their nail polishes.  Illamasqua, Milani, and Bettina are probably the best in my book.  None of them chip, are opaque, they’re long-lasting, and have nice color variety.  I like the Sally Hansen Xtreme wear nail polishes due to their colors and the formula got better (the ones with the chrome top, not the white one.)
I’ve had positive experiences with a few Zoya, Wet n Wild, and Finger Paints nail polishes.  I would put those on the underrated section, but I only tried around two or three of each brand.

Vanillasnow Avatar

Interesting to see the variation in opinion here, especially regarding Butter London, China Glaze, and Zoya polishes.  People seem to either hate it or love it although from general reviews I read, all 3 are pretty popular.  For me personally:
Sephora by OPI – really dislike the brush… too thin and makes application hard, formula doesn’t seem as good as the original OPI line and it costs about 30% more!
Nicole by OPI – dislike the regular thin brushes, the new wide ones are okay.  problems with formula opacity… generally they are all too thin and requires 3-4 coats, sometimes 5.
China Glaze – they aren’t bad, but I don’t find anything about them amazing… colours aren’t that unique imo and consistancy is on the thick side..
Butter London – too expensive, though I love the colours.  formula too thick and dries inside the bottle on it’s own (even brand new polishes prior to being opened).  people love that it dries fast, but I have application problems because I find the brush too thin and it dries before I finish coating 1 nail.  chips easily.
Zoya – Loved every bottle I got so far.  easy to apply, great opacity, dried and wore reasonably.  limited editions and new collections are hard to find here in Canada though unless you order online.
Joe Fresh – Canadian brand, but it’s cheap and the formula is great!  the packaging kinda sucks (the cap is hard to hold) but most polishes are 1-2 coaters and wears all week.
Wet n Wild megalast collection – normally I hate drugstore brand polishes because they just … well suck (*cough*maybelline/sallyhensen/loreal*cough*), so I was skeptical when my friend raved about this and bought 6 bottles at a time.  I tried it out and wow… smooth application, just thin enough that it glides but still covers well in 2 coats.  Like the wide brush, but I do open the bottle to check because there are some that are a bit wonky and poorly cut.  Good colours, and best of all… cheap.

diamond_8806 Avatar

Overrated: OPI.  I used to love this brand, but that was until I decided to step outside my comfort zone and try something else.  OPI is a great brand, but there are other (more affordable) brands out there that are just as nice and effective.  
Underrated:  China Glaze definitely!  I too think that China Glaze doesn’t get the respect it deserves as a professional brand.  The color selection combined with the price point is awesome in my opinion!  It’s the only brand I use now!

Misa Avatar

Overrated: Definitely OPI. OPI is a nice brand, but the formula can sometimes be sketchy, and they keep doing celeb collaborations.
Underrated: Wet n Wild. They have pretty great colors, especially for the price.
I don’t really understand how Mac overrated and China Glaze underrated? Overrated would mean that it’s getting more praise than it deserves, which isn’t true, since Mac isn’t even known for polish. On the other hand, China Glaze gets talked about so much, how could it be underrated? When I think of underrated indie or foreign brands come to mind.

Mz_Libra87 Avatar

Overrated: Sephora by OPI they have a great range of colors but they chip like nobodies business usually within an hour or two of my applying. No matter how many coats I use I still get chipping, they even chip in my sleep!! For the price I expected a better formula.
Underrated: Revlon they have an awesome range of colors and I get great wear out of there colors. They are by no means perfect I have had a few misses (Minted great color HORRIBLE FORMULA) but most colors formulas are awesome.
Side note: I’m on the fence about China Glaze.  There formulas are a hit or miss with me depending on the polish.  some are awesome( Sea Spray, Four Leaf Clover) while others have been terrible( White on White, For Aubrey)

ingerasata Avatar

Overrated: Butter London – ended up returning everything I tried. For the price, the formula needs to be pretty much perfect. Just for the record, I would never pay more that $15 for a bottle of nail polish.

Underrated: I’m not entirely sure if they’re really underrated, but I have recently fallen in love with the cheapest nail polish formula of them all: wet n wild mega last line. I was shocked to discover that these polishes are pretty much perfection. Opaque in one coat, dry super fast to a very glossy finish, the perfect consistency, fabulous brush. I have over 100 nail polishes from various brands and my 6 wet n wild polishes are my favorite, go-to nail polishes.

Erin S Avatar

Overrated – MAC and OPI

Underrated – Orly. I can’t praise this brand enough. Some of the lighter colors may require an extra coat, but for the most part I’ve been happy with every color I’ve tried.

Tabatha Avatar

Overrated – OPI

Underrated – Sinful Colors. Incredible price point (Walgreens has sales where they are $.99!) and wide selection of colors.

Rae Avatar

It’s really difficult to say. A lot of the time, a formula will vary depending on the colour you’re using. Sheer neutral colours have always seemed to be troublesome formulas for me.
I do my own nails and was an exclusive OPI user for a while. I agree they are overrated. Polish only lasts 2-3 days and sometimes the formula is horrible. It’s expensive too.
However I’ve also had my nails done a few times and it seems in a lot of salons that OPI is ALL they use and you’ve got to wonder why…that’s why I started buying OPI because it seemed to be in every salon, moreso than other brands.
I’d really like to move into Essie but now I’m not so sure! It seems with everyone, there seems to be hit/miss formulas for every brand!

Rae Avatar

Also really HATE the stint OPI had with bloggers and how they were bought by L’Oreal. It seems silly to me that one company will make 2 or 3 different sub brands of nail polish. I don’t go for that. AND I wasn’t so happy when Essie was bought by Estee Lauder either. That being said, it’s hard to find all these nail polish companies you guys talk about in Canada.

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