Best Cheap Nail Polishes 2019 (Under $10)

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An easy way to add a little flair and color to your fancy appearance is to polish your nails. When your nails are well polished, you can set yourself from the crowd in any occasion or season.

The market is full of bold colors, styles, and shades making it hard to pick something that will bring out the best in you.

We’ve spared a couple of hours to prepare a comprehensive guide on the factors to consider, outlined the different types of nail polish finishes and ways of preventing nail polish chipping and bubbling.

And to make it easy for you to choose the right nail polish, we’ve reviewed a couple of nail polishes under $10 that are not only non-toxic but will leave your nails looking so adorable.

Features to Consider in Cheap Nail Polishes

When purchasing nail polish, there isn’t a lot to consider in regards to chemical and physical properties. Here are a few things to look for in your next bottle or nail polish set.

How Long It Takes To Dry
You’ll come across nail polishes advertised as drying extremely. And due to impatient, you might be tempted to pick that one. Who has the time to wait, anyway? But be warned that that’s not really a good property of a nail polish.

If it dries too fast, then the chances are only the top part will dry fast while the covered layer dries too slowly. That’ll lead to bubbling. Once applied, the nail polish should dry just quickly enough to allow all the layers to dry uniformly.

Consistency
It doesn’t matter where you purchase your bottles of nail polish, check that the entire bottle looks uniform. And until it’s been applied and started drying, make sure that it’s not too thick or too thin. Just liquid enough to be applied with ease.

Doesn’t Chip/Peel Off Easily
If your nails are so sensitive to a particular nail polish type, then you need to know what’s in them that doesn’t sit well with your fingers. After that, make sure the product you pick doesn’t contain the ingredients to which your fingers react.

It’s good to point out there are now nail polishes advertised as ‘peel-off nail polishes,’ made from less toxic chemicals. These are natural water-based nail polishes that use resin as a raw material. They’re peel-off nail polishes because you can easily pull the entire piece down without the need for a nail polish remover like acetone.

Chemical Properties of a Nail Polish
It just isn’t possible to give out the exact formula used in making nail polishes because most of them remain the secret of the manufacturer and vary wildly among the polish producers.

However, nitrocellulose is a very popular ingredient in most nail polish brands. This chemical helps the polish dry properly and gives the polish a smooth surface.

Some manufacturers still use the harmful ingredients like toluene, dibutyl phthalate, camphor, formaldehyde. By all means, steer clear of any nail polishes with these ingredients in their chemical composition because they’re toxic and can cause damage to your fingers and other far-reaching health issues. Butyl acetate and ethyl acetate are common solvents used in place of the toxic chemicals like toluene and formaldehyde. The solvent binds together the materials in the nail polish until gets applied to the nails. After that, the solvent evaporates leaving behind a colorful finish.

Best Cheap Nail Polishes 2019 (Under $10)

1. INLP Juliette Holographic Nail Polish (Rose Gold Finish)

Why we like it: We love that’s has a nice reflective rose gold finish that’ll spark on exposure to the light.

Editor’s Rating:

Performance
Nail biting habit is an oral compulsive habit and while there’s a lot you can do to quit, painting your nails is an effective remedy. There’s no denying you paint your nail to look pretty. But there’s no freaking way you’ll bite your fingers while they look so adorable.

We introduce you to Juliet Holographic Nail Polish, Rose Gold. It contains an array of ultrathin metallic flakes which gives your mani that exquisite reflective quality. Would you really bite your fingers with that metallic rose gold finish?

The very first stroke of this holographic nail polish will make you appear stylish and trendy. You’ll fall in love with it. It’ll be addictive. Plus, when the time comes, it’ll be pretty easy to remove the nail polish.
Also, this nail polish is 3-Free meaning it doesn’t contain the toxic chemicals. You can describe it as a vegan nail polish. It’s also first drying and leaves behind a smooth texture.

Verdict
Juliet Holographic Nail Polish, Rose Gold qualifies in all respects. It doesn’t contain toxic, dries fast and generates that attractive metallic sparkle. You’ll love it.

Pros
  • Pretty metallic finish
  • Fast-drying
  • Healthy (3-Free)
  • Easy to remove
  • Lasts long
Cons
  • Not yet available in a gel

2. INLP MEGA 100% Pure Ultra Holographic

Why we like it: This is the purest holographic nail polish there’s. Plus, it looks so opaque even with a single coat.

Editor’s Rating:

Performance
If you’re love with holographic nail polishes, then MEGA 100% Pure Ultra Holographic is your best bet. Contained in each bottle of this is the most superior quality of holographic pigment you can find anywhere.

The nail polish is vegan and 3-Free meaning it contains zero toxic chemicals like formaldehyde and toluene. You’ll also appreciate how fast the polish dries. It dries naturally without having to expose your nails to UV light. And boy, does this nail polish last longer on your nails!

While it’s a mistake to apply nail polish without a base coat, you can easily get away with it with MEGA 100% Pure Ultra Holographic. A single coat and it looks pretty opaque. However, two coats will do better.

The holographic sparkle? It sure as hell will make the girls jealous. The moment you step into the sun, that vibrant fingertip sparkle will reveal itself fully. If you feel a little creative, bring that old bottle of nail polish and add a few drops of this and watch as the magic unravels.

Verdict
MEGA 100% Pure Ultra Holographic is healthy has been crafted with much care. It’ll give your nails that genuine holographic sparkle.

Pros
  • Healthy, 3-Free
  • Dries Fast
  • Lasts long
  • Gives nails that pretty holographic sparkle
  • Fully opaque even with a single coat
Cons
  • Not available in gel

3. AIMELI Temperature Color Change Chameleon Nail Polish

Why we like it: It color-changing property is purely revolutionary and is not something you’ll come across easily.

Editor’s Rating:

Performance
Looking at the same color of nail polish is boring. Having something fun that changes with temperature is pretty cool, don’t you think?

AIMELI Temperature Color Change Nail Polish is a unique product, which when applied vibrantly changes color depending on how warm or cold your hands feel. If your hands are warm, the nail polish is white and if cold, the nail polish turns dark pink.

And if the hands are somewhere between too warm and cold, then the paint achieves an ombre effect and turns light pink.

This nail polish is special. So after applying, you must treat under UV or LED light so it dries fast. If you follow the exact process, the result will be a mirror shine finish and it should last long without chipping.

Verdict
Although AIMELI Temperature Color Change Nail Polish requires a little bit of a process to apply, a color-changing nail polish is just so cool.

Pros
  • Uniquely changes color based on hand temp
  • Vibrant mirror shine finish
  • Lasts long without chips or smudges
Cons
  • Won’t work without UV/LED lamp

4. Oh Splat White Glitter Nail Polish

Why we like it: We like the fact that it has adorable rainbow glitters and is created using safe materials.

Editor’s Rating:

Performance
We paint our nails to look pretty and attractive. But you can also do so to match your mood or even how you’d love your mood to be for the next one or two weeks.

As we speak, our hands help us convey the message better. The sight of a gorgeous, fun and play color on your nails will only brighten your mood.

If you want to achieve such an effect, we recommend applying Oh Splat White Glitter Nail Polish for your next mani. This white jelly comes loaded with 6 rainbow colors that glitter to create something fun and eye-catching.

The manufacturer recommends that you apply three coats using the accompanying smooth brush for the best results.
Plus, it’s a product created with your health in mind. It contains no formaldehyde, toluene or Dibutyl Phthalate.

Verdict
If you feel a somewhat playful and want your mood to reflect that, then Oh Splat White Glitter Nail Polish will do.

Pros
  • Safe, 3-Free
  • Eye-catching Colorful rainbow glitters
  • Gives a lasting glitter finish
  • Dries fast
Cons
  • Requires patience to remove sparkles

5. INLP Missed Calls Holographic Nail Polish, Black

Why we like it: You’ll love the fact that it achieves that adorable holographic sparkle and is healthy.

Editor’s Rating:

Performance
Want to look stylish and professional? Then you can have fingernails match the color of your dress or pants. Better yet, you can contrast the two. For instance, wearing a black pant with your nails painted black with this INLP missed calls Holographic Nail Polish.

This nail polish has been specially crafted to give that holographic reflective sparkle when exposed to light. With this nail polish, you’ll look more professional and your fingertips will tell a story.

INLP missed calls Holographic Nail Polish is cruelty-free and contains no toxic chemicals. This high quality black polish becomes fully opaque after applying two to three coats. It dries fast and doesn’t peel anyhow. Time to remove it? You’ll find the process effortless.

Verdict
It comes a time when you want to tone down a little so you’re more stylish and professional. INLP missed calls Holographic Nail Polish will come in handy.

Pros
  • Delivers a gorgeous holographic reflective sparkle
  • Safe, 3-Free
  • Dries quickly
  • Effortless to remove
Cons
  • Dark grey, not black

6. Essie Chinchilly Gray Nail Polish

Why we like it: You wear different shades as you prefer because they go with just anything. Plus, it’s a safe product created with non-toxic ingredients.

Editor’s Rating:

Performance
Essie is a renowned nail polish brand committed to high quality standards. For 35 years, Essie has produced a wide line of nail products and polishes in over 1000 shades. Essie Chinchilly Gray Nail Polish is one of their products.

By the time you’ve completed applying the base, two coats of the polish, and then sealed with a top coat, this granite gray polish will see your fingers radiating luxuriously. It’s a perfect paint that goes with pretty much everything granting you that sophisticated demeanor.

Essie Nail Polishes comes in hundreds of shades. You can apply manicure based on the occasion, mood, season and pretty much every other aspect you can imagine. Always stand out in the crowd.

For the sake of your health, Essie Chinchilly Gray Nail Polish uses 3-Free formula. The polish contains no formaldehyde, toluene or dibutyl phthalate. It’s also incredibly durable.

Verdict
If you’d like to try different shades of a single nail polish brand, Essie nail polish won’t disappoint.

Pros
  • Safe, 3-free
  • Comes in hundreds of shades
  • Exciting radiating finish
  • Durable
Cons
  • A little thin but eventually work

7. INLP Hush Ultra Chrome Color Changing Nail Polish

Why we like it: The color shifting effect is just so awesome. It surely is the perfect way to distract yourself and those around you.

Editor’s Rating:

Performance
By sitting down to paint your nails, then you’re convincing yourself that “I am worth it and I deserve this.” It’s a confidence booster.

INLP Cosmetics, Inc. has an outstanding ultra-chrome nail polish. Just what you need. Depending on the lighting you’re in, Hush spectacularly changes hues through orange, green, teal and red.

Your girl pals and complete strangers will be amazed at how Hush shifts through vivid and eye-popping colors. They’ll compliment you further boosting your ego.

This cruelty-free, color shifting nail polish dries fast, lasts long and it’s been formulated so you can apply directly on your fingers without a base coat.

Besides, it’s 3-Free. That means the polish contains no formaldehyde, toluene or dibutyl phthalate.

Verdict
From time to time, we need a little distraction. And attention, too! Hush has that unique color-shifting effect that you’ll surely love.

Pros
  • Outstanding color-shifting effect
  • Dries fast
  • Healthy, 3-free
  • Completely opaque after only two coats
Cons
  • Might affect your focus staring at the nails

8. INLP Black Orchid Chip-Resistant Holographic Nail Polish

Why we like it: It uses the 5-Free formula, doesn’t chip easily and is effortless to remove.

Editor’s Rating:

Performance
As ladies, most of us do things to either impress ourselves or make other women jealous. And perhaps so we can look good for someone special. We just can’t help it.

If you’re looking for something ultra-feminine as well as sexy, then INLP Black Orchid is your best bet. It has been crafted with much care to deliver an exquisite sexy finish.

After applying, Black Orchid will dry fast to render an adorable glossy finish. Plus, this is not the kind to chip easily. It’ll remain beautiful and intact for days.

INLP Cosmetics, Inc. employs the 5-Free formula in the making of this nail polish. As such, you can be sure it doesn’t contain toxic chemicals like toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, and camphor.

Since it doesn’t have that glittering texture, removing Black Orchid is a breeze. Not soaking required. It’s as simple as wiping it off.

Verdict
In the manicure world, there are a few things more annoying than nail polish that chips easily. Dealing with that problem? Try Black Orchid.

Pros
  • Chip-resistant
  • Employs 5-free formula
  • Delivers a remarkable glossy finish
  • Easy to remove
Cons
  • Not vibrant enough indoors

9. AIMEILI Gel Nail Polish

Why we like it: If applied and treated as instructed, it’s remarkably durable. We also like that the nail polish doesn’t chip or smudge anyhow.

Editor’s Rating:

Performance
The objective of AIMEILI is to make your nails look vibrant so you can feel good about yourself. In achieving that, they’ve produced over 8 gel nail polish ranges.

We introduce you AIMELI Gel Nail Polish. After applying the nail polish, you’ll need to cure it under UV/LED light for 30-60 seconds for it to work. And once you’re done, your nails will have a mirror shine finish that will earn you compliments from friends and strangers alike.

With AMIELI Gel Nail Polish, you’re guaranteed up to 21 days of gloss wear. Applied with care, it doesn’t peel or chip easily. Plus, removing it is effortless.

Verdict
Got no time to apply new polish every day? Then you need a product like AMIELI Gel Nail Polish that’ll stay intact for weeks without chipping.

Pros
  • Vibrantly glossy and gorgeous
  • Long lasting
  • Doesn’t chip, nick or smudge easily
  • Easy to remove
Cons
  • Requires UV/LED light to dry/cure

10. Maphie Gel Nail Polish Set

Why we like it: It comes in a set with 4 bottles containing gel nail polish in different colors, all high quality but remarkably affordable.

Editor’s Rating:

Performance
Do not be led into thinking that for one second the price and nail polish brands matter a lot. See, you can easily fill up your manicure assortment with quality nail polish bottles without spending much. We’re talking about nail polishes produced with care and using safe ingredients.

Maphie Gel Nail Polish comes in a set four 6ml bottles of autumn shades. The nail polishes come in different shades such as black, yellow, black, rich deep red, white pearl crystal shine and more. This set is perfect for a salon or even home personal use.

How long nail polish lasts also as important as its quality. Marphie Gel Nail Polish is a quality product. Once applied, it can last up to two weeks.

When painting your nails apply a base coat and top coat. Don’t forget to cure it for up to 60 seconds under LED light and 2-4 minutes under UV light.

Verdict
These are super bright colors for the autumn season. It feels nice to switch between the four different colors.

Pros
  • Super affordable set of four
  • Extremely vibrant seasonal autumn colors
  • Long lasting
  • High quality gel polish
Cons
  • Requires curing with UV/LED light

Guide to Buying the Best Cheap Nail Polish

Types of Nail Polish & Finishes
Other than color, texture, shine and finish are other integral aspects to consider before picking your next nail polish. Over the years, we’ve seen different nail polish styles enter cosmetics industry. We outline varying types of nail polish.

Crème
In regards to classic nail lacquer, crème leads the packs as the standard style. Crème is one of the most popular nail polish types due to its low maintenance plus its wide array of shades.

Gel
If you love the trendy stuff, then gel nail polishes will help bring that modern classic feeling. Most people love it because it tends to last longer compared to others and doesn’t chip or scratch that easily.

Chrome
Metallic or chrome polish works best when you want to achieve a bit of flash. It’s ultra-shiny and brings lots of impacts. The polish is notorious for streaking, which means you should apply it with extra care.

Glitter
Such nail polish types have a clear gloss finish complete with particles of glitter. Glitter nail polishes accomplish a playful and fun effect and are the standard during the summer.

Matte
Although associated with the holiday, matte can be an all-year-round nail polish. While we’d consider it a not glossy, it offers a colorful impressive editorial look.

Holographic
Best suited for summer and spring, holographic nail polish is exciting and is trendy just like holographic makeups. Holographic nail polish type is marked by its unique light reflective properties.

Foil
This shiny style belongs to the metallic/chrome family and has a specific look as well as texture. Any light that falls on it gets reflected with equal measure making your nails appear shiny and beautiful.

Magnetic
Another trendy nail polish type right here. It comes with a small magnet positioned in the cap of the nail polish. This magnet will act on the tiny metal particles in the nail polish itself to create gorgeous designs like waves and stripes.

Neon
Want a legendary look? Regarding finish, neon comes close to matte. It’s vibrant, eye-catching and won’t go unnoticed.

Pearl
Most likely the most versatile of all nail polish types. Pearl polish may be applied on alone but works best when applied on top of a colorful matte or crème polish.

Why Your Nail Polish Keeps Chipping
You’ve taken your time to paint your nails and now the looks fancy, edible even. But then a couple of hours later – there’s a stupid chip! Irritating, right? Here’s why your nail polish chips too easily and how to prevent that.

You’re Impatient and Don’t Allow It to ‘Set’
Sure, you’ve applied a base coat, two coats of color and then covered it with a top coat, but that’s still not enough. After your manicure, give it at least six hours to dry up before you come into contact with water or it’ll start peeling.

A really cool strategy is to do your nails at night but an hour or two before getting to bed so you don’t soil your sheets.

Painting Unclean Nails
Nails tend to hold the oils and lotions you apply. Always have a cotton material and some alcohol or nail polish remover to eliminate any oil residue from the nails before you can apply the base coat.

Failure to Apply a Base and Top Coat
Ever painted your nails red only to find them stained yellow? A base coat prevents the polish from staining your nails. It also makes your manicure last longer as it sticks to the nail right below and the polish above.

A nail polish top coat prevents the polish from chipping making it last longer. The top coat also adds some scratch resistance and shine.

Nails Too Dry?
If you know your nails tend to be flaky and brittle, then this one is for you. It follows then that if your nails are susceptible to breaking and chipping, the polish you apply will not last long.

To prevent this problem, start taking good care of your nails. Start moisturizing them or applying a thick, rich lotion at least once a day and especially at night.

Perhaps that sounds counterintuitive to the point above, but this is just to ensure your nails are not dry and prone to breaking. Of course, you shouldn’t do your nails when they’re covered with oil.

Not Applying Nail Polish at the Nails Tips
This professional manicure trick will make lots of difference in how you apply your manicure. Before applying the first coat or the second coat, take a little bit of nail polish and apply it to the tip of each nail such that every tip is completely covered. The polish you apply at the nail tips acts as a sealant for the polish on your nails so it doesn’t chip or wear.

Using the Wrong Formula
Our nails are different and the nail polish that works for you may turn out to be a nightmare my nails. Is there a certain formula that you love but it keeps chipping or peeling off irrespective of the workarounds you’ve devised? Then it’s time to switch to another product.

Even if you get your manicure done in a salon, then it makes sense to carry your own lest you’ll be stuck with what they have in their stock.

Nail Polish Bubbles and How to Prevent Them
Most of us prefer DIY manicure, and while a few things can go wrong, bubbling can be a real annoyance. And yes, bubbling can happen to anyone, beginners and professionals alike.

What causes bubbling? During the drying process, the air that was trapped in the applied polish rises to the surface. It’s also likely to occur if your nail polish is old, too thick or your nails are dirty. Here’s are the tips for preventing nail polish bubbling.

Clean the Nails
To soak any excess moisture and eliminate oils or lotion on the nails, get a cotton wool and some alcohol or even polish remover. Scrub them to leave a spotlessly clean surface for your nail polish.

It also means that you should avoid lotion if you know you’ll be painting your nails as it’ll only lead to the buildup of moisture and residue that accelerates bubbling.

Avoid Shaking the Polish before Applying
You look clearly through the bottle and the nail appears thick and your first instinct is to shake it before you can paint your nails.

That’s a wrong approach and do it will only heighten the chances of forming bubbles. If you feel the need to mix it, then roll it between your hands. Not shake.

Stop Applying Too Thick Coats
You want to make the color deeper, we understand. But that’ll only give rise to a problem. A very thick nail polish coat will mean that the top portion dries much faster than the under part.

It means then that the solvents contained in the nail polishes, which, as we found out above, should evaporate, will be trapped. As the solvents fight to escape into the atmosphere, tiny bubbles will be formed on your fingernails.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Nail Polish

Ingredients
Over the years, allergic reactions as well as sensitivity to nail polish such as damage to nails and asthma attacks have been reported. As such, it’s important to check what ingredients are contained in your nail polish.

Toluene gives nail polish a smooth finish and acts as a preservative for the pigment. However, it can affect the central nervous system, cause nausea, headaches and reproductive disorders.

Formaldehyde help improves the nail polish shelf life. But if you suffer from allergies, any contact with the gas will lead to dermatitis, chemical burns, convulsions, rhythmic disorders, and even cancer.

Dibutyl Phthalate is added to nail polish as a fragrance. However, it may cause respiratory tract conditions, endocrine disorders and even gynecological issues.

In buying nail polish, your health comes first. So, pay attention to the labels 5-free or 3-free which means it doesn’t contain toluene, dibutyl phthalate, camphor, formaldehyde, and its derivatives.

But you shouldn’t worry much. Nail polish manufacturers have been adopting new formulas to make nail polishes healthier and eco-friendly.

Consistency. Consistency
Excellent nail polish isn’t too thin or thin. It shouldn’t be discolored or come with damaged labels. You shouldn’t be surprised to come across nail polish bottles with a layer of oil and the pigment built at the bottom of the bottle.

Polish Drying Time
You’re terribly impatient and can’t give time for polish to dry up. To cut the waiting time, you might be tempted to go for the nail polishes advertised as fast-drying, but that’ll be your undoing.

The polish you ought to dry understandably fast but not too quick as this will only make your nails dry out faster and start to chip, break, peel or flake. And to avoid this problem, avoid all nail polishes with acetone as an ingredient in them.

A great workaround, if you’re impatient, is to use cuticle oil so as to protect your polish. Cuticle oil will make anything landing on your fingers to slip off without denting the nail polish.

Smells Good!
We all love a sweet smell. Confirm that the nail polish you’re about to buy has a sweet odor. However, make sure the scent isn’t too strong as to make people around you or even yourself to choke.

What’s The Special Occasion?
Got a formal occasion like a job interview to attend soon? Then you’re a better off with neutral colors as they tend to work pretty much anywhere. Whites, grays, beiges, etc. are all great for professional occasions.

If you’re looking for a nail polish for a holiday like Christmas, then check the holiday-themed colors. Your nails will look particularly ravishing wearing red, glittery nail polish on a Christmas.

The Season
What time of the year is it? Deep purples, grays and light pink shades for your nail polish will look quite amazing during the winter. Nude shades, bright, greens, and bright reds are awesome for the summer season.

Grays, burnt oranges, silvers, dark blues, and cherry shades would look their best during the fall. When the spring months come, apply nail polish with color shades ranging from red, greens and bright blues to yellows, and see how adorable you’ll look.

Usage Convenience
We no longer have much time anymore and we want cosmetic products we can apply quickly and fast. Quality nail polish should last 6-10 days before chipping or flaking. It should dry relatively fast but not too quickly as to make your nails peel, chip or break quickly. How easy is it to maintain the nail polish to curb smudges or smears?

Skin Tone
Your skin tones will influence how a particular nail polish performs on your nails. Do you love pink? Then you’re in luck because it works on all skin tones.

Although purple is okay for any skin tones, you might want to consider the shades as each matches better with each skin tone.

If your skin tone is bright or medium, then nude shades are your best bet. Dark skin tones just don’t work with nude shades. Consider very bright or vibrant pinks if you have a dark skin.

Your Personality
The nail polish color/shade you apply reveals a lot about your personality. Want to appear bold, say on a first date? Go for a bright red polish. Dark shade nail polish shouts how sophisticated and classy you’re. If you feel a little energetic and bold, complete your look with a nail polish with pink bright shade.

Color/Color Combination
The color of the nail polish determines how elegant your nails will appear to you and the onlookers. And color combinations will influence how gorgeous your nails look on applying a particular nail polish.

So, before you can pick any particular polish, make sure that people associate it with outstanding color combinations. Such nail polishes have been crafted with lots of care to make you look good and boost your confidence. The polish delivers a vibrant finish and not easily wear out easily on exposure to external conditions.

Final Words

We’ve established that the ingredients used in making nail polish matter. For the sake of your health, avoid nail polishes with toluene, dibutyl phthalate, camphor, formaldehyde, and other toxic ingredients. Go for the products labeled as ‘3-Free’ or ‘5 Free.’ Also, nail polish looks sexier if applied according to the occasion, season, and skin tone. Nail polish chipping and bubbling are two major issues encountered by novices and experts alike. You now know how to avoid them. We hope you’ve found an excellent nail polish that’ll set you apart from the rest, make you look pretty, highlight your personality, and grant you more confidence.