The best nail polish for your most durable manicure yet

Say goodbye to chipped nails 👋 because this is the best long lasting nail polish...

Best nail varnishes

by Eden-Olivia Lord |

Let's be honest, your nail polish chipping is one of the most annoying feelings in the world.

Seriously. That moment when you've successfully managed to avoid chipping them in the process of unbuttoning your jeans, only to knock them on the tap while you wash your hands. Heartbreaking.

Bad hair days and tragic make-up looks are bad enough but when your nails are chipped and look a hot mess - that's just not on.

Honestly it's enough to ruin our day, which is why we've complied a list of the best nail polishes - including base and top coats - that actually last a long time.

The best nail polish - top three

1. OPI Infinite Shine Gel Effect Nail Lacquer 15ml

2. Superdrug 3in1 Base Coat, Ridge Filler, Growth Enhancer

3. Essie Nail Polish 13.5ml

Say goodbye to the days where your nail polish would chip off almost instantly after painting them and say hello to no longer worrying about how long your manicure will last.

Check out: the best nail polish that will actually last

While we may receive commission for purchases made through our links, we never allow this to influence product selections.


The best and longest lasting nail varnishes

Maybelline Superstay Strength Primer Protecting Base Coat
1 of 9
CREDIT: Amazon

Do you have brittle and weak nails? Well this is your saviour. Not only will this leave your nails feeling stronger but it also protects them as a base coat. Pros: Quick dry and smoothes out any ridges on the nailsCons: Bottle design means that it's hard to finish the product once it starts to run out.Customer review: "I cannot recommend this highly enough. It goes on easily and really perfects my nails, creating a smooth surface and evening out ridges etc. "It seems to have strengthened my nails and DEFINITELY increased the staying power of my nail polish. A really professional finished look."

OPI Infinite Shine Gel Effect Nail Lacquer 15ml - Barefoot in Barcelona
2 of 9
CREDIT: Feel Unique

If you've ever been to a nail salon then you'll know that OPI is the brand all nail technicians use so we'd definitely recommend getting your hands on this one. Pros: Gel-like reflective shine without the UV and hassle to remove. Cons: Reviews claim it's not as shiny as a gel polish, but still lasts well.Customer review: "I am not great at applying varnishes but followed the three steps and got a great finish and it lasted two weeks!"

Superdrug 2in1 One Top Coat with Nail Strengthener
3 of 9
CREDIT: Superdrug

If you want your nail varnish to last then you're going to want a top coat to seal everything in place. This one also protects and strengthens your nails - what more could you want?Pros: Good value for money and formulated with vitamin E to nourish your natural nail under the polish.Cons: Best results require reapplying the polish every two days.Customer review: "This one is excellent just on its own or on top of a colour. My nail varnish lasts much longer with this on top."

Rimmel 60 Seconds Super Shine Colour Block Nail Polish
4 of 9
CREDIT: Amazon

Great value for money, excellent colour range, just a fab choice all round, if you ask us.Pros: Lasts up to 10 DAYS and it dries in 60 seconds.Cons: Needs multiple coats for a solid colour.Customer review: "Love this product. It's been on four days now through cleaning and gardening and still not chipped."

Superdrug 3in1 Base Coat, Ridge Filler, Growth Enhancer
5 of 9
CREDIT: Superdrug

A bargain if we ever saw one and our top pick for damaged nails.Pros: Works as a base coat, a ridge filler and looks nice on its own for a barely-there look.Cons: Reviews say it chips when used alone, rather than as a base coat.Customer review: "Have to say my nails do seem stronger since using this product, gives a nice natural shine when used."

Makeup Revolution Holographic Nail Polish
6 of 9
CREDIT: Beauty Bay

Restrictions are slowing lifting and it looks like nights out might be back on the cards soon...AKA metallic nail varnish will be making a comeback. Pros: Solid colour in just one coat. Cons: Packaging isn't all that durable.Customer review: "Amazing quality! Covered in one coat and lasted ages! Beautiful colour as well."

Barry M Nail Paint, 3 In 1 Base Coat, Top Coat, Nail Hardener
7 of 9
CREDIT: Amazon

This not only lays the perfect base for your nail varnish but it seals it in place and helps your nail grow stronger.Pros: Product doesn't dry up in the bottle after multiple uses.Cons: No mixing ball in the bottle to help distribute with each use. Customer review: "Not only has it kept nail varnish on for well over a week, my nail growth just took off without one breakage, I am so surprised."

Essie Nail Colour 27 Watermelon Nail Polish
8 of 9

We're loving this shade but it's not the only good thing about this nail varnish as you apparently only need ONE coat on your nails. Pros: Rounded brush shape makes for easy application around the cuticle.Cons: Stains nails underneath without a base coat. Customer review: "Pretty colour. Love it! Tested it on my nails and only needed on coat so good quality as well as lovely colour."

Peacci Gel'ous Top Coat
9 of 9

A topcoat is a must when it comes to having long-lasting manicures, and this one by Peacci is super dreamy.Pros: Thick and easy to apply, lasts without any chips for a weekCons: Slightly expensive for a topcoatTried at tested by our own content writer, Isabel Martins: "I loved how easy it was to put on and was pleasantly surprised at how long it lasted! Definitely helped my base mani last longer without any chipping. I also love that the brand Peacci, is 100% vegan and cruelty free."

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How to dry nail polish fast

So, you're in a hurry and you want long-lasting nails without the long-lasting dry time? Here's some solutions:

  1. Drip your partially dried nails into a bowl of icy-cold water. Wait until the polish has turned tacky (30 secs - one min) and then gently dip your nails into the water.

It won't dry the polish through to the nail, but it'll certainly dry off the top layer to prevent you smudging the colour on your precious white jumper.

  1. Do NOT try to dry the polish with a hairdryer. The polish will become extra 'squishy' and prone to indents and you'll probably risk burning your fingers.
  1. Apply multiple thin layers of polish, rather than one thick one. The thin layers will dry in minutes, whereas one thick, tacky layer will take around half an hour.

In more nail related news if you're temped to start getting gel nails then we've found all the best gel nail products you need to start doing them yourselves at home (yes, even the little UV lamp).

And if (like us) you struggled with your nails overgrowing during lockdown (when all the salons were shut) then fear not: we've had a look at all the products you'd need to remove shellac nails at home because biting them off is not the way.

Oh and apparently we've all been filing our nails wrong this entire time... Yup.

Experts claim that dragging a nail file backwards and forwards across the end of the nails is really bad (we've literally been doing this our entire life - oops).

Instead you're apparently meant to file the nail in the same direction rather than back and forth.

So there's a fun fact of the day. Look after your hands, ladies and gents (and take this as your daily reminder to put some hand cream on).

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us
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