Consumer Reports tested seven nail polishes, including several that claim to last a long time. All were applied with a base and top coat if the brand had one. Ten panelists tried the disguised polishes at home, while ten panelists received a series of professional manicures, with different polishes on alternating nails. Those were checked at seven, ten, and 14 days.
This Chanel polish is the most expensive tested - $27 for the color - plus another $52 for the base and top coat. But it chipped so quickly, most of the home panelists removed it early.
"It chipped the next day, even with a top coat and a base coat," said Jessica Vecchiano.
Which are the hands-down favorites? Surprisingly, a $2 polish available at Walgreens - Sinful Colors - came out on top. And the base and top coats together are just $8. The polish still looked good after seven days, but it took slightly longer to dry than others.
Another winning polish - ten-dollar C-N-D Vinylux Weekly Polish lived up to its name, still looking good after a week. It doesn't need a base coat, and the top coat is ten dollars.
Also a favorite - this $6 Revlon polish promises to last 11 days, and still looked OK when checked on day ten.
"It went on really smooth, and they looked really nice, and I felt like I had a real manicure." Base and top coat -$13," said Jennifer Frost. "So to keep your nails looking their best, pick a polish that lasts. "
If you want a quick manicure and don't have time for the whole base-coat, top-coat routine, Consumer Reports found some one-step polishes that looked pretty good at the end of a week. They're Sally Hansen complete Salon Manicure for $7 and CoverGirl Outlast for $5.
All Consumer Reports Material Copyright ©2014 Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.