I may not wear makeup, but by golly, I love my nail polish. Nearly every day my nails are dolled up with yet another funky hue, and my fiance has to drag me out of the nail polish aisle so I don’t meander for 30 minutes picking out one little bottle that slightly varies from what I already own. I know my polishes, and I am certainly cheap, so here are the best of the nail polish under $3 and the cheapos that are a complete waste of your money.
I love Pure Ice- which can be purchased at Wal-Mart at an average of $2.00 or so. The color spectrum to choose from in these nail polishes is great, from matte basic colors to shiny metallics, to funky neon colors, to sheer yet glittery finishing colors. Pure Ice coats easily in just one coat, dries quickly, and produces a great color that won’t leave your nails chipped after just one day, and is surprisingly durable in its affordability.
Rimmel’s nail polishes (and whole damned makeup line) for that matter, are great for the value. For under $3 you can get a minor plethora of popular colors in mattes, shine, and metallics, but if you like a lot more drama in your nail polish selection and like to be more daring, Rimmel falls a bit flat. However, their quick-drying polishes don’t disappoint, and their black nail polish is a dark, delicious, one coat hue that shines like there is no tomorrow. I don’t like Rimmel as much as Pure Ice for the lack of cooler selection, but the polishes are awesome.
Petites nail polish are usually around a dollar, and are great in their one coat abilities and they don’t thicken over time. For the casual polish wearer, these little tiny bottles (.25 oz) are handy because of how small the bottle is for tossing in your purse. However, once again there is not an amazing assortment to choose from, but the colors go on dark and great first coat, and drying time isn’t too great. For the price it’s OK, but for major nail polish junkies the tiny bottle is gone fast. I do like the matte colors in this brand the best for the elegant shades and easy coating.
The absolute worst nail polishes under $3 hands-down are the NYC and anything from the dollar stores unless it’s a major brand (like Maybelline or Loreal nail polish). NYC is thin at best, and at $1 or so is a waste of my money. It takes about 3 coats to begin to get the advertised color, and you have to wait FOREVER for the color to dry. Likewise, dollar store brand nail polishes typically come in boring colors and go on so thin you have to coat again and again to get even minor results.
My pick? Pure Ice, hands down. 90% of my 100+ nail polish colors are from this brand. I find it to be cheapest at Wal-Mart, and the color selection is awesome and the price definitely worth it. Quite often I’ll be surprised at Claire’s store brand nail polish colors, and will dab into those, but only when they are on a sale of “buy one, get one free” type deal. I’ve found the most success in nail polish with Pure Ice.