best budget nail polish

Best Drugstore Nail Polish Under $10 – Quality Manicures for Cheap

Everyone deserves to look and feel their best, and manicured nails are often a part of that. To save you money, I’ve compiled a list of the best drugstore nail polish under $10. Check it out!

I love the feeling I get when my nails look freshly manicured. Perfectly polished nails make me feel put-together even when I’m just sporting a simple nude color. When it comes to manicures, I am all about DIY. Sure, going to get your nails done at a salon is fun. Unfortunately, it can be surprisingly expensive over time. Let’s look at some numbers:

  • According to CostHelper.com, a basic manicure can range from $10 to $45 depending on where you go.
  • In my area, a basic manicure consisting of a clear coat, color, and top coat costs about $20 at a mid-range salon.
  • If I got my nails done once per month (and we all know polish doesn’t even last that long), I’d be paying $240 per year.

To me, the price tag simply isn’t worth it! Especially when I know it’s easy to create an impressive DIY manicure with the best drugstore nail polish. There are tons of different cheap nail polishes that are superb quality and highly-rated (by myself and others). I’ve made a list of the best finds under $10 below. These picks are based my personal experiences as well as reviews and ratings found online. Without further ado, here are the winning options:

Best Drugstore Nail Polish: Top 10 Under $10

1. Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel

best drugstore nail polish

This is a recent addition to my collection of nail polish; I had to give it a shot after reading rave reviews online. This gel-like polish has the shine and longevity of a UV gel manicure, but it’s more affordable and convenient. I tried two shades – one dark gray and one nude/pink hue. The brush is a bit more rounded than your typical nail polish brush, and it makes it easy to apply a perfectly even coat. When paired with the top coat, both held up with little to no chipping for about a week. Very impressive for around $5.

2. Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear

best cheap nail polishes

Sally Hansen has tons of high-quality nail polish, but the Xtreme Wear line is my personal favorite. I’ve got at least 10 colors from this line ranging from jet black to classic red to robin’s egg blue. I usually do two coats of color along with a base and top coat. This product lasts about a week without noticeable chipping, though touch ups are such a breeze if needed. There are dozens of colors to choose from with this line. On Amazon, you can buy a set of 10 colors for less than $14 – that makes each bottle less than $2!

3. essie Nail Color

best affordable nail polish brands

As you may notice, essie Nail Color is on the higher end of the drugstore nail polish cost spectrum. However, I still think it’s fairly affordable – especially for the quality that it offers. Salons use essie nail polish, and they’ve been producing their high-quality polish since the early 1980’s. The polish is pretty long-lasting, and the color gives off an impressive shine. On Amazon alone, essie has over 400 reviews with a stellar star rating. This popular nail polish costs around $9.

4. L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Nail Gold Dust Nail Color

best budget nail polishes that are good

If you like trendy designs and eye-catching colors, you’ll love the L’Oreal Gold Dust Nail Color line. Each color features shimmery specks that make your manicure pop. The jewel-like texture is complimented by the semi-matte finish of the color. Colors range from a bright sky blue to a rich all-gold hue. This polish has excellent customer feedback from manicure mavens on Amazon. A bottle of this truly unique drugstore nail polish is about $7.

5. Revlon Colorstay Nail Enamel

best budget nail polish that looks nice

Before the Revlon Gel Envy line came out, this was my go-to Revlon nail polish. In fact, I’m wearing it as a type this! It’s a super budget-friendly polish and surprisingly long lasting. It dries quickly and it leaves an impressive shine. The brush is designed to prevent bubbles, and in my experience, this is 100% the case. The color is designed to last for up to 11 days. For me, it tends to last about 7 to 10 days, which is still very impressive. You can buy this polish on Amazon for under $3.

6. OPI Nail Polish

best salon quality nail polish for cheap

Okay, so OPI is not what I’d truly consider a drugstore nail polish since it’s used in most salons. However, the price makes it an absolute steal and it’s got to be on this top ten list! OPI is a professional beauty brand that supplies their products to salons and spas throughout the world. When I apply this polish, it’s absolutely streak-free and incredibly even. It’s highly chip-resistant and gives off just the right amount of shine. The color options are virtually endless, too. It’s a bit pricier than other options on this list, but it’s still a valuable deal considering one bottle is just about $10.

7. China Glaze Nail Lacquer

best cheap salon style polish

China Glaze is another nail polish brand that you may see in salons and spas. It’s a truly high-quality product, but it’s priced like the other best drugstore nail polishes for cheap. The formula is long-lasting and chip-resistant. I have it in two darker shades and it tends to last about 5 to 7 days. The colors are very glossy, and there are so many unique hues to choose from. One thing I love about this formula is that it contains nail hardeners. This is excellent for people like me who have brittle nails that break easily. The cost of China Glaze Nail Lacquer will depend on the color you choose, but it ranges between approximately $4 to $8.

8. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Color

best drugstore gel nail polish

This is another high-quality drugstore gel nail polish that’s quite popular. This gel-like formula doesn’t require the use of UV lights, but you get the results you’d expect from a typical gel manicure. The polish is super shiny when it dries and looks pretty flawless. You can choose from over 40 different colors including classic red, a timeless nude shade, and a stunning pastel seafoam green. Pair it with the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Color Top Coat to get the best possible results. This budget-friendly product is beloved by Amazon buyers and costs about $7. This is our pick for the best drugstore gel nail polish.

9. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Polish

best cheap gel nail polish

Sometimes giving yourself a manicure can feel like a hassle. This highly-rated polish by Sally Hansen combines three steps into one. It eliminates the need for a base coat or a top coat, and this saves a ton of time and waiting. In my experience, this polish has a high shine similar to gel nail polish. It’s available in classic shades like dusty rose, mauve, and plum. The polish is designed to last up to 10 days and it costs under $6.

10. Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro Nail Enamel

best cheap long lasting nail polish

Rimmel is one of my favorite drugstore nail polish brands. They’ve had a few different formulas throughout the years, but this one really takes the cake. The color is rich and applies evenly; if I’m in a hurry one coat gets the job done. The brush is slightly different from others that I’ve used but in the best way possible. It’s wider but shaped to perfectly coat each nail. You can snag this gem of a product for about $4.

My Must-Have Tools For Perfect DIY Manicures

Lastly, I want to mention some affordable products and tools that I use to achieve great at-home manicures. You likely have things like cotton swabs, cotton balls, and nail polish remover on hand. Here’s a quick list of additional items with a few personal recommendations:

  • High-quality base coat – A base coat creates an even surface for your to apply color to. It also helps prevent darker nail polishes from staining your nails. I recommend Seche Clear Base Coat for great results.
  • High-quality top coat – A top coat increases the longevity of your manicure and helps prevent chipping. One of my favorites is the Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Nail Coat. One of my cosmetologist friends recommended this to me, and I fell in love. Another excellent affordable option is Sally Hansen Treatment Diamond Flash Fast Dry Top Coat.
  • Nail buffer – These two tools are used to prep your nails before you apply any color. It creates a smooth surface and gets rid of ridges. I prefer to buy them in multiples in order to save money.The Sally Hansen nail buffer is super inexpensive and makes a huge difference in how my manicure turns out.
  • Miscellaneous nails tools – If you don’t have a kit already, they’re pretty affordable. A nail file is a necessity for getting the nail shape you want. A cuticle pusher, clippers, and the other tools in these kits help you get professional looking manicures and pedicures. This affordable nail tool kit is highly rated on Amazon.
  • Hand and cuticle cream – This affordable product, Yes To Coconut Hydrate & Restore Protecting Hand & Cuticle Cream, keeps your hands moisturized and helps with cuticle removal and pushing cuticles back. Make sure wipe any moisturizer off of your nails with nail polish remover to create an oil-free surface.

The Best Cheap Nail Polish: Salon Quality Without The Price Tag

As you can see, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get pristine polished nails. You can save a lot of money by using the best drugstore nail polish with a combination of affordable tools. Whether you want an understated neutral color or something vibrant and bold, we’ve got you covered with this comprehensive list.

Do you have an affordable nail polish that you absolutely love? If we’ve missed it on our list, feel free to share it in the comments below. We’d also like to hear your experiences with the brands and products we listed – good, bad, and neutral feedback is all very welcome! We’re committed to sharing highly-rated products that truly work.

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Amy Baum
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Amy Baum

Thanks for reading! My name is Amy. I'm a 20-something mother, avid coffee drinker, freelance writer, and makeup junkie. I'm also a sucker for sales, discounts, and saving money. And that's exactly why I'm sharing my cosmetic and beauty adventure on BaumBeauty!

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Amy Baum
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