Find a nail polish that lasts

A $2 Sinful Colors polish beat a $27 Chanel in Consumer Reports' tests

Published: May 2014

For $27 per bottle, Chanel Le  Vernis nail polish had better be spectacular, especially if adding bottles of top coat and base coat brings the total cost to $79. But that  “exclusive formula” was bested by five other polishes, including one that costs just $2 per bottle. Check our Ratings below to avoid making a pricey mistake

Sinful Colors was our Best Buy.

How we tested. We hired a professional manicurist to apply the tested polishes to 10 volunteers in our  Yonkers, N.Y., headquarters. The panelists wore two products simultaneously, each on every other fingernail of both hands. On the seventh, 10th, and 14th days after each manicure, two trained testers evaluated the panelists’ fingernails and scored wear. We recruited 10 additional volunteers to apply and remove the polishes at home and assess ease of use.

What we found. Sinful Colors, which is a CR Best Buy; CND Vinylux; and Revlon looked very good at day 7 and good at day 10. In our home-use tests, CND Vinylux also took less time to dry. No products looked good at day 14. Sally Hansen and Covergirl looked good at day 7 and fair at day 10.

As for Chanel, four of 10 home-use panelists said it chipped the day they applied it.  And Nutra Nail gel polish was poor, despite its claim of  “ding-free protection.” Seven of 10 home-use panelists said it chipped the day they put it on. It was hard to apply, taking three coats of  “activator” and two coats of gel color.  And it had a bothersome aroma (“I would never apply this inside again,” said one panelist).

Bottom line. Sinful Colors is top-rated and a CR Best Buy. It takes longer to dry than the other polishes, so if quick drying is important, choose CND Vinylux. It’s sold online and in nail salons; the others are sold online and in stores. If the convenience of one-step application appeals, try Sally Hansen or Covergirl.

Editor's Note:

This article also appeared in the July 2014 issue of Consumer Reports magazine; it includes details from the June 2014 issue of ShopSmart magazine.

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