Our 14 top nail polish and top coat picks

Time for a manicure or pedicure? Choosing nail polish can be tricky, so we did the testing for you. Check out these 14 top picks for the hottest nail polish, and top coats that make your polish last.

By Kat Tancock

Beauty testing: Nail polish picks: 1-7
1. N.Y.C. Long Wearing Nail Enamel (Glitzy Grape), $1.79; N.Y.C. Extra Shiny Top Coat, $1.79

Tester says: "I was surprised at how well this product wore. I had always thought I had to pay more for polish and this lasted longer than most of my expensive ones. I loved the colour, a light, sheer pink, and while the top coat didn't seem to make it last any longer, it did add a nice shine that made it worth using – the nails I didn't apply top coat on became quite dull."

Available at drugstores

2. OPI Original Nail Envy Nail Strengthener, $19.95

Tester says: "OPI has always been my favourite brand because of the quality and results, and this product lives up to those standards. The colour is a nice clear shimmer, which suits me as I've always been a natural nail colour lover – less maintenance! Not only does it strengthen your nails, it's a great clear coat when you don't feel like wearing colour. I'd definitely buy again."

Available at professional salons and spas across Canada; 1-800-341-9999 or opi.com

3. Sally Hansen No Chip 10 Day Nail Colour (Tenacious Ruby), $5.99

Tester says: "This is a classic bright red colour that I liked for toes but found too bold for fingers. It was very smooth to apply, and went on very well for a dark colour. I liked that the brush is a bit shorter than others – it gave me more control. Two thin coats were all I needed to cover properly, and it dried quickly without smudging."

Available at drugstores
4. Cover Girl Boundless Color (Fuchsia Girl), $5.99

Tester says: "This is a very bright pink – I love it! It matched to the colour in the bottle in one coat and was very easy to apply. It's the best nail polish I've used for longevity – I've had it on my toes for weeks, and there are still no chips! I really like this polish."

Available at drugstores

5. Bobbi Brown Nail Polish (Velvet and Tomato), $12

Tester says: "Velvet is a dark blood red and Tomato a bright fire-engine red – both are among my favourite nail colours. The polish went on my toenails very smoothly and looked good after two thin coats. It lasted about a week before it started chipping – pretty good since I didn't put on a top coat."

Available at Holt Renfrew across Canada

6. OPI Nail Polish (Boris & Natasha), $9.95; OPI Top Coat, $11.95

Tester says: "Boris & Natasha, from OPI's Russian line, is a sexy, dark plum – and how cute is the name? The colour was a very close match to how it looked in the bottle, though it was a bit more matte than I expected. The brush is excellent, nice and wide so you can limit yourself to the three strokes per nail that manicurists use, and it dried quickly. The top coat prevented the polish from chipping and lengthened the longevity of the colour by a couple of days."

Available at professional salons and spas across Canada; 1-800-341-9999 or opi.com

7. Essie Polish (Alligator Purse and Decadent Diva), $11; Essie Good to Go! Top Coat, $15

Tester says: "Alligator Purse is a burnt orange-red colour that seems perfect for fall; Decadent Diva is a rich burgundy with a hint of shimmer. I like the square-tipped brush and simple handle. Alligator Purse only took two thin coats, which I loved because it meant it dried quickly – and if you're in a huge hurry, one coat would do the trick. Both colours lasted well over a week without chipping, even on my toes, which is one of my favourite things about this brand. The top coat helped keep my colour looking shiny and new and prevented chipping."

Available at salons and spas across Canada; 1-800-232-1155

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