Best nail polish brands that last

Good Housekeeping

Essie Nail Color

J Muckle / Studio D

Before you commit to buying your new go-to nail polish color of the season, see which ones stayed shiny and chip-free in the Good Housekeeping test.










Overall Winner

Essie Nail Color (Starting at $6; Yahoo! Shopping)

This standout pulled top points for shine and also did well in five other categories.

"It was easy to apply and looked shiny and bright throughout the time I wore it," said a volunteer. Our manicurist gave it perfect scores for how evenly it went on, while many women loved that it came off easily without staining their nails.

(See also: Lipstick Love Affair: L’Oreal Colour Riche “The Balm”)

Maybelline New York Color Show

J Muckle / Studio D

Longest-Lasting

Maybelline New York Color Show ($3; walmart.com)

Volunteers reported that this bargain pick stayed put for an impressive six and a half days on average.

"I'm very hard on my hands — gardening, playing sports, scrubbing pots — but the polish stayed perfectly on my nails as if it were the first day," raved one.













OPI Nail Lacquer

J Muckle / Studio D

Quickest-Drying

OPI Nail Lacquer (Starting at $8; Yahoo! Shopping)

This speed demon was way ahead of the competition when it came to drying time, besting the runner-up by almost a minute and a half on average.

Women also loved the classic red shade Big Apple Red, one of the brand's best sellers.












CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss

J Muckle / Studio D

Most Chip-Proof

CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss ($4, 45 shades; drugstore.com)

In-lab and at-home testers rated this newbie — the only winner with a built-in base and top coat — best chip-defier, and its staying power nearly matched Maybelline's: "It was long-lasting and never chipped," noted one pleased tester.










How we tested

Lawrence J Whritenour Jr.

How We Tested

First, we sent the 10 best-selling nail polishes (185 bottles total) to women nationwide. They applied two coats of color — each brand's best-selling non-shimmery red shade — without a base or top coat, then reported back on how shiny the polish was, how quickly their manicure chipped, how many days they left it on, and more.

The top six performers were then tested in the GHRI lab on another set of panelists. A professional manicurist applied polish to the nails of 60 women, this time to evaluate shine and determine drying speed — and find out if it varied with color. (We compared reds with each brand's best-selling nude shade.)

Our testers weighed in on shine, wear, and chip-resistance.


The Naked Truth

J Muckle / Studio D

The Naked Truth

In a rush? Paint your nails a pale shade: In our lab tests, nude dried more than two minutes faster than red!

  • 39% of lab testers' manicures lasted a week.
  • 225 total number of nail polish bottles used.
  • 2,280 questionnaire answers analyzed.

More from Good Housekeeping:

Best At-Home Teeth Whitening Products

Makeup Mistakes That Add On 10 Years

8 Products For Stronger, Shinier Hair

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Magician Daryl Easton, 61, Found Dead After Killing Himself in Hollywood’s Famed Magic Castle

      Magician Daryl Easton was found dead inside Hollywood’s famed Magic Castle on Friday, according to multiple reports. Police have ruled his death a suicide, the New York Daily News reported, after the Los Angeles Fire Department had responded to calls from the popular venue at 7:25 p.m. local time. The Magic Castle, which opened its doors in 1963, confirmed Easton’s death early Saturday in a statement on their Facebook page.

      People
    • Gamer dies while attempting 24-hour livestream for charity

      VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — A Virginia man who died at home while playing a 24-hour video game marathon was part of an online livestreaming community where members sometimes go to extremes to build their audiences, experts say.

      Associated Press
    • Tennessee Preacher Accused of Raping Teenage Student After Binding Her with Rope

      Law enforcement alleges otherwise: Officials say Mike Ulmer, 53, picked up the victim, 18, from Chester County High School on Feb. 16 and brought her to his home in Henderson, Tennessee. Ulmer serves as a pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Henderson, and court records show the victim was paid to clean his house.

      People
    • Donald Trump wants to know the names of the leakers in his White House.

      Suddenly, when they hurt Trump, leaks are bad.

      NowThis
    • Mysterious sea creature that washed ashore in Philippines is identified; video

      The remains of a hairy, white sea creature that washed ashore Wednesday afternoon on a beach on Dinagat Island in the Philippines created a buzz among the locals of Barangay Poblacion and on social media. Most speculated it was a sea cow. Some said it resembled an Old English sheepdog. The creepy beast measured 20 feet long and, as it sat on the shoreline, became the subject of many selfies, photographs and videos. Sky News reported that the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources at first believed it could be the remains of a sea cow. But after testing samples it was determined to be the carcass of a whale in an advanced stage of decomposition, according to the Sun Star. The type of whale

      GrindTV.com q
    • Mama June Reveals Reason Behind Shocking Weight Loss in 'From Not to Hot' Premiere

      The reality star decided to get in shape for a very special event.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • GPS device-maker Garmin reeling after workers gunned down

      OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — GPS device-maker Garmin long has revered diversity in its workforce, even when the locale of its ever-sprawling operational headquarters — a largely white Kansas City suburb — didn't reflect it.

      Associated Press
    • A Muslim Woman Tried to Work in Trump's White House, Lasts Only 8 Days

      This is what it looks like when a patriot faces a bunch of monsters. Rumana Ahmed is a Muslim. She wears a hijab. And she has been working at the White House since 2011. Under President Obama, she was promoted to work at the National Security Council from the Office of Public Engagement. Since then, she has served as an adviser to President Obama, particularly in how he addressed and considered American Muslims. When Donald Trump won, most people in her shoes would have walked away instantly and found a new job. After all, Trump had traversed the country for two years spouting racist, xenophobic, sexist drivel, with a particular focus on anti-Muslim rhetoric. But that's not what Rumana Ahmed

      GQ q
    • Dear Abby: Creepy boy follows around eighth-grade girl

      DEAR ABBY: I’m an eighth-grader with a good life. I go to a good school, have good friends and a happy family. But at school, there is this boy who follows me around. I tell him to stop, but he keeps doing it. When I tell my friends about it, they laugh and think it’s funny. I don’t feel like it’s a joke. It’s creepy. I have tried to tell adults, but they don’t do anything. Recently I dyed the tips of my hair blue, and at lunch he walked up, grabbed my hair and felt it. I feel like it was an invasion of my personal space. Because he won’t stop following me around and being creepy, my grades have dropped. I’m distracted in class and nervous. What do you think I should do? — INVADING MY SPACE DEAR

      Chicago Sun-Times q
    • Mama June’s Weight Loss Was a Total Revenge Move Against Sugar Bear

      Mama June Shannon‘s motivation to lose weight has been revealed. The reality star opened up on the premiere of her new show, Mama June: From Hot to Not, that she decided to lose weight when her ex, Sugar Bear, revealed he was getting married and that he wanted her to be there. June’s daughters, Alana “Honey Boo Boo,” and Lauryn “Pumpkin,” encouraged her along the way.

      People
    • A Mysterious Blob Has Washed Up On A Beach In The Philippines

      A giant, hairy blob has washed up on a beach in the Philippines, baffling locals and prompting a worldwide race to identify it.

      The Huffington Post UK q
    • 'Jeopardy' contestant gives Trebek the finger

      In the small talk portion of Wednesday night’s “Jeopardy! College Championship” edition, Stanford undergrad Viraj Mehta slyly flipped Alex Trebek the bird while talking about differential geometry and pizza. Mehta, a Texas native, got going about a theorem in differential geometry “that explains really, well, why, if you fold a slice of pizza, the tip stays in the air so you can eat it easily,” all the while flashing his own single-digit salute in the air. The brazen gesticulation went on for about seven seconds before Mehta wrapped up his explanation, adding that it “was really cool to work out in class.” Trebek appears not to notice when he chalks up Mehta’s theorem to “thick crust.” Twitter

      Fox News q
    • Amber Tamblyn announces utterly ridiculous baby name - and people aren't quite sure what to think

      The US actress Amber Tamblyn and her husband, comedian and actor David Cross, have welcomed a new baby daughter – and, as per modern tradition, have taken to social media to announce the name of the new arrival. "David and I are proud to announce the birth of our daughter, Dauphinoise Petunia Brittany Scheherazade Von Funkinstein Mustard Witch RBG Cross Tamblyn-Bey jr.," wrote 127 Hours and Two and a Half Men star Tamblyn in a post on Tuesday, as she shared a video of her daughter's foot via Instagram.

      The Telegraph
    • Falcons are still finding ways to help Patriots even after the Super Bowl

      The Atlanta Falcons did the New England Patriots a solid by blowing a 28-3 lead in Super Bowl LI, and they’re still doing them favors weeks later. Falcons are too kind to Pats. When the Patriots traded Jamie Collins to the Browns, it was for a conditional 2018 fourth-round pick.

      SB Nation q
    • Honey Boo Boo Reveals How Mama June Hid Shocking Weight Loss from the Public: ‘She Went Overboard’

      Honey Boo Boo is spilling all of the details surrounding her mother’s body transformation. Stopping by PEOPLE Now, Mama June Shannon‘s daughters Alana Thompson (AKA “Honey Boo Boo”) and Lauryn (“Pumpkin”), opened up about watching their former pageant mom go from 460 lbs. to a size 4. Since losing weight and filming for WE tv’s new docu-dramedy Mama June: From Not to Hot, Shannon, 37, has remained hidden from the public eye as to not reveal her drastic new transformation before the show’s premiere — and it hasn’t been easy.

      People
    • Warren Buffett just said this man has done the 'most for American investors'

      Warren Buffett just published his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway investors, and buried in...

      Business Insider
    • 11 Healthy Chilis That Are Totally Changing The Chili Game (13 photos)

      They're packed with superfoods and general awesomeness. From Delish

      Delish
    • Witnesses: Bar gunman shouted 'get out of my country'

      OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — In the middle of a crowded bar, Adam Purinton yelled at two Indian men to "get out of my country," witnesses said, then opened fire in an attack that killed one of the men and wounded the other, as well as a third man who tried to help.

      Associated Press
    • Amal Clooney debuts her baby bump on the red carpet, is perfection as usual

      She’s a busy human rights attorney who kicks ass on the daily, but Amal Clooney took some time out of her busy…

      Hello Giggles