This is the burning question!
I’m the kind of person who cannot have bare nails. I don’t mind glossed nails, but never bare.
Over the years I have gone through phases of painting my nails – I have splashed on Chanel, OPI and others – I have scrimped with MUA and Glitter Babes – and I’m here to share my findings!
If you don’t want to read the whole post, I’ll give it away right here.
I don’t think it makes any difference whether you spend £1, £5 or £25 on a nail colour – essentially it is down to your technique and how you “finish” the job.
1. High End – Products £7+
Essie. OPI. Nails, Inc. China Glaze. Chanel. etc.
If you’re a quality seeker, it might seem obvious to opt for the more expensive product.
I have to be honest, with the exception of Chanel, I have never found this to be the case.
Essie in particular, which retails at about £7.99 per bottle, is quite sheer and has both a disappointing initial application and a lacklustre lasting power, in spite of rave reviews from bloggers in the UK, I remain underwhelmed.
China Glaze again leaves much to be desired given its suggested £11 price point – and has consistently chipped when I’ve worn it with and without a topcoat.
OPI, to be fair, are fabulous quality. You get a great colour range and prices are not unreasonable at £11.50 from OPI-UK.
Nails Inc. I have always found to be exceedingly poor quality – the packaging from the outset is plasticky, although it looks lovely. The polishes themselves are “ok” but not something I would pay the £11 for.
2. Mid Range – Products £3-6.99
Models Own, Maxfactor, Bourjois. No.7. etc.
For me, mid-price products are a lovely occasional treat. I tend to ‘splash’ on a mid-pricer if I’ve worn a similar colour before and loved it, or if there is an offer on of course.
My favourite of the Mid-Pricers is undoubtedly Bourjois – their consistency and colour is fabulous, and they have a great shiny finish with very impressive lasting power. The only downside is that Boots and Superdrug etc tend to have a rather limited colour selection from them – but then again they are almost always on offer – so if they do have your colour, you’re in luck!
I have only used 2 Models Own products in the past, but found them to be pretty reasonable quality for their £5 pricetag. Again, Boots often have offers on these so you can pick up 3 for £10 – their staying power is pretty good, and they last a long time – I’ve had 1 pot for 2 years and its still not gloopy!
Maxfactor does not really come up on my radar for nail colours – their price bracket is £3.99, however, this is for a really teeny mini. They have a wonderful colour range, but the brushes are poor, resulting in streaky application.
I also had a lovely pastel yellow from this range which looked so perfect but was so disappointing due to this streakiness.
No.7 is probably my absolute favourite polish of all time – ever. For just £6 I’d say the quality easily rivals OPI, if not surpasses it. The polish is thick without being gloopy, and always offers a fantastic level of opaqueness. Score!
3. Budget – £1-2.99
Barry M, MUA, Miss Sporty.
Barry M is one of those brands which everyone seems to rave about which I can never appreciate the true lust of. Their packaging is really cool, and easy to store – fair enough – but their product quality isn’t anything particularly special. Their colour range is probably unrivalled in terms of variety, but I have always found their polishes to go on thin and brittle, and even to scrape off during tasks as simple as opening my purse. For £2.99 its hardly bank breaking, and the quality is probably “ok” for the price, but, as you’ll see, there are better buys out there…
I have to admit with a little shame that I have bought Miss Sporty products a few times. They retail at £1.99 but in all honesty, I wouldn’t say their quality is worthy of the low pricetag. I have found them to be rather watery, and pretty much guaranteed to make a mess upon application.
The same can’t be said for all budget nail buys, though, as is strikingly evident with MUA‘s nail collection which you can pick up in Superdrug or Here.
It will probably com as no shock to anyone that MUA have once again come up tops with great quality, low price beauty products, but its still worth raving about! I treated myself to their topcoat, a chrome shade and a lovely nudey peach – which came to £3 in total.
In total – and you know what? I can’t fault them. They stay on without chipping until I get bored of them (usually about 4 days), have a great finish and really impressive consistency for the price.
It really depends on your technique.
I bet there are some people out there who could make Miss Sporty look fabulous with time and effort – and who could make it last.
I’m talking in terms of the normal woman, who plunges her hands into the depths of her murky handbag a dozen times a day – who sometimes takes her jeans off without unbuttoning them – who lifts things.
Personally, I would say the best nail polish I have ever used is No. 7 Stay Perfect. It does stay perfect, the price isn’t bad at £6 each (plus if you get them on 3 for 2, its only £12 for 3!)
The colour range is pretty safe usually, but each season they have a subtle version of the on-trend shades which is always very demure.
What is your favourite brand?
I know this isn’t extensive and I’ve missed brands I love such as Rimmel – however, I will be posting loads of reviews in the coming weeks, of which Rimmel will be one.
Stay tuned for that!