My Nails Hate Me But I Still Love Them

I have very brittle weak soft icky nails. As a girl they were very hard and tough and healthy. I don't know what went wrong in the last 15 years to make them so terrible, but they really are wretched.

I have two choices, keep my nails painted at all times or keep them short buffed and bare at all times. If I try to paint them and then leave them bare they look so damaged its embarrassing.

So for the last few years I have been on a quest for good nail polish. I hate polish that clumps, or requires 4+ coats to cover. Then there is the enigma of the polish that leaves bubbles!. I don't like polish that is too soft and peels or takes hours to fully dry.

I have tried a few new [to me] polish brands lately that I love and I thought I would share.

First drug store brands
I love the new Sally Hansen Insta-Dri [I know it was around pre-little-triangle-bottle, but I never tried it]
So far I have:
Lively Lilac

Snappy Sorbet

Lemon Dash

Source - Steph's Closet

It really does dry so fast and usually only requires one coat. I have found that alot of so called fast drying polishes stay soft long after the surface losses its tackiness. So if you bump any little thing you get dents and smudges.

Another drug store polish I have tried and like is Sinful Colors
I only have one color, but it is so vibrant and goes on really well.

Source - Walgreens

The last in the drug store category is Sally Hansen No Chip 10 Day polish.

The funny thing is I don't like this because of its apparent long lasting chip free coverage [lets be honest there isn't a polish out there that will last 10 without a chip]. I like this polish because again, it drys fast and applies smooth in few coats. The colors are vibrant and opaque. Unfortunately this polish all went to clearance at my usual Rite-aid a couple weeks ago and now it is listed as unavailable on the Sally Hansen site. I hope they haven't pulled it.

Now onto the specialty polishes. These I buy from Sally Beauty Supply or Ulta.

I have tried four pretty common brands and was very impressed with only one.
China Glaze is awesome. It covers great, dries very fast, and barely chips. I just got a bottle of Flyin High and I love it.

I have also tried Orly, OPI, and Chi Ceramic[yeah the same people that make flat irons] polish. Chi and Orly were very similar in coverage. Both needed a second coat, and both bubbled badly. If I took the time to properly dry each layer Orly ended up with a nice hard finish and Chi stayed a little more soft than I would have liked.

OPI has always been a difficult polish for me to wear. It is truly what you call a nail lacquer in that it is very thin and yet very opaque. It even smells like car paint. The issue arises for me with my nails. They are ridgy and warped and not very smooth. Even when I buff them I feel like I need a good base coat under OPI and this is always an issue. Every base I have tried doesn't dry at the same rate as OPI and so I get bubbles. It also tends to show imperfections in my strokes so a clear top coat is also needed and then the entire nail is so heavily coated it never dries properly and I ALWAYS end up smudging it. I even smudge when I go to a salon and have them do it and use the nail dryers. It just never seems to be hard.

I suppose if I have time to paint my nails and wait 40+ minutes to dry then OPI would be the best, because for the time the result is beautiful. I just don't have that kind of time. I suppose I should be happy that the most expensive of the lot is my least favorite. Of course I have never even tried some of those $30 bottles of designer polish, and I can honestly say I never will.


Cat said…
Oh no...say it ain't so!!!! I love the 10 day No Chip Sally Hansen polish (this is the only polish I wear as I, too, do not have blessed by nature nails!). I will have to check out some of your other recommendations. I really dig the coral color!
Silvana Kathryn said…
I haven't found anything totally verifying the product discontinue, but it is starting to look that way. :(

The coral is the best peachy shade I have found so far! I have bought way to many polishes in this color family because I like things that accent my ring!

This one is not too pink, not too orange, its just right.
Malena said…
Thanks for the review! I haven't tried all of these, but I have pretty good luck with OPI. (Except for really dark colors - never even coverage.)

I think the secret, though is the base coat. I use Orly Bonder. It never dries hard. It will be tacky - you put the polish over it and I guess it's supposed to "bond" the polish to the nail. Works pretty good. I've never been able to go a full week between polishes, but with this I can.

Also, I think taking Biotin has helped my nails - they were pitiful. Mane & Tail hoof treatment helps, too.
Silvana Kathryn said…
Thanks for the advice! I wish I had gotten this early today. I just picked up some more polish at Sally's and would have grabbed some of the bonder. I suppose I will just have to make another trip.
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