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Cheap Vs Expensive Nail Polish

Last Updated on March 26, 2021
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written by nail expert Jess Rowley

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Cheap vs expensive nail polish? What’s the difference?

Beauty is an expression that is not exclusive to a particular set of people. Beauty defines everyone, irrespective of how well known or how ‘not” well-known an individual may be.

Basically, this just means that the way we choose to beautify ourselves should not depend on our class, gender, sexual orientation, and preferences. A lot of people believe that every aspect of self-care which beauty falls in is for whichever category of people they deem fit.

But the term should depend on how far an individual is willing to go to achieve “beauty perfection”.

While it’s is a necessity to understand that there are different aspects of ‘self-care’. It entails; make-up, skincare routines, manicure and pedicure, clothing essentials, and so on.


It is important to note that each one mentioned above is as important as the other as doing them all brings for “beauty perfection”.

This article focuses on the difference between cheap and expensive nail polish. What is the difference between cheap and expensive nail polish?

Nail strengthener

So what is the difference between cheap and expensive nail polish?

The hands are as delicate as our skins, technically because our skins do justice to beautifying them. And as such, they are as important as the most important part of beauty or self-care we choose to prioritize.

Nail polishes are shiny substances that can be applied to human fingernails or toenails to elaborate their beauty and also to protect the nail plates. Have you ever wondered why you would look at a particular picture and cannot resist complimenting the nail designs?

I’m sure you have as we all have. But, the design is not just a design, as nail polishes, applications are as deep and structured as every other aspect of self-care. It’s an art of its own.

Nail polishes come in different sizes, shapes, colors, designs, and textures depending on the preferences of various individuals.

Quality and quantity:

Polishes like other products vary in quality and quantity. Usually, people believe that expensive products are better because of the ‘quality’ it is supposed to come with.

Then again, cheap nail products guarantee just as much as the expensive ones bring forth and more.

It usually just depends on the usage and application. You would have read about complaints from your immediate relations or social media on how uncomfortable chipped nails or smeared nail polishes can be.

It sort of cancels the elegance a bit, doesn’t it?

But are base coats important when it comes to expensive nail polish?

No matter whether you use cheap nail polish or expensive without a base coat your manicure won’t last more than a few days.

Basecoats and topcoats are the commonly used ones while tending to the nails and as the names signify, the base coat is applicable first to the natural nail or an artificial one to secure the “base” and the topcoat is applied to give the nail a shiny and more defined outlook.

The base coat gives the nail the basic look and design while the top coat gives it a more beautiful and neat outlook. While there is no direct way to tell the difference between cheap and expensive nail polish even with the quality being mentioned.

But here are the key differences:

Brush Quality: Just like when buying make-up brushes, you feel the texture and impact on your skin, high-quality bristles should be in the bottle. An experienced nail ‘freak’ would tell the differences at a go.

Paint Quality: This refers to how much or how long the polish can stand. It takes a while for some nail polishes to break and sometimes, a person can go all through the time intended and not experience ‘breakage’.

The drying time: In some cases, cheaper nail polishes come out thicker than high priced polishes.

Polishes thicker in texture take longer to dry, and usually cheaper nail polishes have a thicker formula and therefore take longer to dry which can be a pain and not to mention time-consuming.

nail polish red

Ways to make nail polish last longer:

As already explained, nails are as essential as every other beauty aspect, and as such, spending time doing them will not ever be a waste.

Really, nail polish should only last a few days before it starts peeling off or chipping. However, there are ways you can extend the life of these bad boys by looking after your manicure:

Wear gloves: Washing your hands often or washing dishes without gloves can actually really damage the nail due to excessive exposure to chemicals– even with expensive nail polishes.

Instead, use gloves when doing chores that have excessive exposure to chemicals or water, and top up your nail polish with another layer of top-coat every few days to help with the durability. 

Use a good base coat: Make sure you use a good base coat for your nail polish to stick to, it will smoothen out uneven parts of your nail, make your polish last longer and even prevent staining of the nail. 

Never forget the topcoat: a top coat will seal in your nail polish and hold onto it for longer, some polishes say you don’t always need a top coat but I would never do a manicure without it. 

A top coat adds to the durability of the manicure, without it your nail is prone to chipping within the first day. I even top up the topcoat every few days to ensure my manicure stays strong, for longer. 

But does expensive nail polish really last longer?

It is like science, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t, nobody has answers to every question when it comes to science.

So think of it as our own ‘Science’. Another way if increasing longevity in nail polishes is by cultivating the habit of tending to our natural nails with love and consistency.

When that is established, there would not be a relapse when nails and nail polishes are involved.

Make sure you are doing this when doing your nails:

Trimming your nails straight across: 

Usually, when children have overgrown nails, they do not bother to stress with techniques to cut them off properly, they just chew or bite them off. Simple, right?

When they grow older and have evolved, they would be able to tell that is just plain wrong and nail cutters and appliances are the way forward.

Avoid hard nail polishes:

We can already tell that the natural nail itself is extremely different from the artificial nails we tend to fix and as such, we cannot treat them the same way.

If an individual love’s colors a lot, they should endeavor to avoid harsh nail polishes as using the base coat and top coat of a particular nail product fits well to the natural skin than colored nail polishes.

It is important to not nail polishes differ and the advised ones are usually transparent.

Looking after your nails: 

If you are an expert in nail services, then doing so for yourself is perfect. The nails, just like every other beauty type have a story to tell, beautiful ones when paid keen interest to.

Developing a habit of visiting the nail salon to file, shaken, and clean your nails would develop a good relationship between your skin, fingers, and nails.

A manicure treatment is as important as a pedicure treatment because they both involve tending to your nails. The benefits of doing these are a lot, it’s not just about making your nails look good.

It is about feeling good while also looking good. How many marriage proposals have you stumbled on? We always feel happy for them when a ring is involved, do we not?

Manicures prevent wrinkles in the nails and callouses on your palms while pedicures are essential to prevent nail disorders. This does not mean that the manicure does not prevent disorders, it just means that our toenails are likely to contact or have these disorders quicker than our fingernails.

But why?

This is because we use our hands for more activities than we do without legs. So, to say, water always finds a way to our hands or fingers but regarding the feet, we tend to wear them shoes frequently.

Understand the logic? This does not divide between the natural nail enthusiasts and the artificial enthusiasts as you can attempt a manicure and pedicure with either on. Because healthy nails bring forth beauty and confidence.


In this article, I have answered a lot of unanswered questions but fit it answer the most important one?

Many people would rather maintain a product they have used continuously for a while, while others like to try different types irrespective of how much or how expensive they may cost.

But the outcome should really come before the instincts. Or should they work interchangeably?

It is true that quality matters but there are no specific formulas that work for everyone. Instead, find a good base coat and top coat your instincts and body feels well with, and try it out.

There are however advantages and disadvantages to both cheap and expensive nail polishes. From ridge filled to normal to peel off base coats, there will always be pros and cons.

Really, this just means that an individual could afford expensive products and try them and still not be satisfied with them.

It all depends on you, your pocket, and the outcome of the products.

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