pile of bright nail polishes

Finding Cheap Nail Polishes That Look Great

Knowledge Base

The final step of your at-home manicure routine, applying nail polish is the perfect finishing touch. Whether experimenting with a new color or using an old favorite, the right nail polish is sure to brighten your day and look great in person and in pictures. Unfortunately, not all nail polishes make it that easy. Keep reading for our tips on finding one for you

How to Pick Out the Right Cheap Nail Polish for You

Some cheap nail polishes too long to try, some chip and peel too easily, and some are prone to streaking during application. This means that it’s especially important to do your research if you are going to shop for less expensive nail polishes. Our guide will show you how to pick the one you’re sure to be happy with.

Types of Nail Polish and 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 the cosmetics industry. We outline varying types of nail polish.


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 and wide array of shades.


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 than others and doesn’t chip or scratch that easily.


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.


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.


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


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


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


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


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


Most likely the most versatile of all nail polish types. Pearl polish may be applied alone but works best when used 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 they look 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 stain 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 the polish.

A nail polish top coat prevents the polish from chipping making it last longer. The top coat also adds some scratch resistance and extra 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 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 or second coat, take a little bit of nail polish and apply it to each nail’s tip so 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

Everyone’s nails are different, and the nail polish that works for you may turn out to be a nightmare for someone else. 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 a 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 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 doing 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


Over the years, allergic reactions and 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.


Excellent nail polish isn’t too thick 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 a 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 buy 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. 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 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 choke.

What’s the Special Occasion?

Got a formal occasion like a job interview to attend soon? Then you’re 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 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. 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 different skin tones.

If your skin tone is bright or medium, then nude shades are your best bet. Consider very bright or vibrant pinks if you have darker skin.

Your Personality

The nail polish color/shade you apply reveals a lot about your personality. Want to appear bold, 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 bright pink 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 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 does not easily wear out 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.