Get-Noticed (Budget) Nails | Best Drugstore Nail Polishes & Products

If nails are the hot fashion statement, does that make salons the new upscale department store?

There’s a time for nail salons just like there’s a time for department stores– it is an experience to be savored, but isn’t the norm for every hard-working gal. If you’re painting those pointers and pinkies (and hopefully the rest of your fingernails, unless I missed a trend alert somewhere) at home, you can still feel pampered and pretty at a much lower price-point.

Whether you’re at CVS, Walgreens or Target (not really a ‘drugstore,’ but…) there are budget-friendly nail products that promise big results. As a former coupon queen, I found my drugstore favorites quickly; of all the products available at a thrifty price, these are the best. For less than some manicures + tip, you can fill your cosmetic case with hard-working, multi-use products bound to leave your digits darling.

best drugstore nail products | beauty review

Sally Hansen Nail Nutrition Green Tea + Soy Cuticle Oil | This cuticle oil paints on fingertips like lip gloss and is applied daily to keep that back-from-the-salon feeling. Because it dries almost instantly, it beats out all similar products; no one wants an oily feeling when you can moisturized without. ($7.99, est.)

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat | Two coats of this anti-chip polish and your nails will stay stunning. While it doesn’t really dry instantly, it does dry quickly– really quickly, meaning you can go back to playing Candy Crush Saga (or is that just me?) on your phone twice as fast. ($5.99, Walgreens)

Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Base Coat | I change my polish twice per week, which means I need a reliable base coat. This product is inexpensive, fast drying and reliable. My formerly flakey nails are long and strong these days! ($3.19, CVS)

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Dry & Go Drops | If you want seriously dry nails in a staggeringly short amount of time, look no further: after two drops and two minutes, your digits are dry and rocking a glass-like shine. ($8.99, CVS)

Revlon What A Catch Toenail Clip | If the name didn’t give it away, this nail clipper catches stray bits before they shoot into the abyss, or accidentally into someone’s face. ($2.99, Target)

Wet n Wild Fast Dry Nail Color (Shown in Hannah Pinktana) | It dries almost immediately and lasts without chips for 3+ days. The sheer options, like seen above, pair nicely over traditional enamels while still speeding up the drying time. Oh, and it’s cheap. ($1.99, Walgreens)

CVS Nail Polish Remover Pads | Have you ever tried to remove a nail polish strip? How about straight up glitter? These pads are saturated in remover and, thanks to the glories of felt and traction, take off the tough polish quickly. They can even handle a manicure and pedicure in one pad! ($5.99, est.)

L’Oreal Colour Riche Nail Enamel (Shown in Tangerine Crush) | The OPIs and Essies are nice, but some cheaper brands do the job just as well, if not better. This L’Oreal polish stayed put without chipping longer than my last handful of name-brand manis and applied smoothly and evenly. ($4.99, Target)

I’m dying for new ones to try! What are you favorite nail products?


  1. July 14, 2013 / 10:54 pm

    I’m really loving the new Sinful Shine Nail Colors at Walgreens! Rocking “Steel Reserve” now;) And I must get some of those polish remover pads asap…

    • July 24, 2013 / 1:47 pm

      Yes, you seriously must. They are great. And thanks for the tip!

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