Cheap Nail Polish?

For my first review, I figured I’d review something I’m obsessed with: nail polish! I don’t favor one particular brand over another. In fact, my collection spans the expensive brands AND the cheaper brands. Actually, sometimes the $1 nail polish works just as well as the $15 bottle in my stash!

One of the nail polishes I’m going to review today is a brand called Julep. You might recognize the name from their advertisement for a free “Maven” box. (Mavens get a monthly box of nail polishes for a set price. The advertisement is for a free box for signing up.)

Their nail polishes are originally $15 each, but I got mine for free when I signed up. Along with this expensive brand, I’ll be using a $1 base and top coat and a $1 sparkle top coat.

Both brands are easily accessible: Julep is available at, and you can get $1 nail polish at your local dollar store or Dollar General, where I got mine.

I started with clean, polish-free nails. I always clean my nails with a little bit of acetone before every manicure, even if I didn’t have nail polish on. After that, I painted on a thin layer of clear base coat. It takes between three minutes and five minutes to dry. I always make sure I have a solid, dry base to work with.

Then I painted on a thin layer of Julep’s “Bess” color, which is sky blue. It went on smooth, not chunky. It’s important to paint thin layers because it only takes three minutes to five minutes to dry, whereas it will take longer for thicker layers to dry. That’s when you might get smudges or creases. I also find that painting two thin layers of color covers my nail perfectly. (This is why it doesn’t matter how expensive your nail polish is: It will cover your nail if you use it as directed.)

Once the color layers are fully dry–I usually wait a full 10 minutes for everything to dry–I can play around with the sparkle top layer. The brand I’m using is called L.A. Colors, and the name of the sparkle is “Confetti.” It’s a mix of small sparkles and slightly larger sparkles. I really like how it covers initially, but then I play around with getting the larger sparkles in the blank spaces where the initial layer missed.

I waited a while to make sure this layer was dry, especially since I placed the sparkles to my liking, and I didn’t want the clear top layer to smudge them. As this layer was drying, I realized that I might not need a top coat of clear. Once the sparkles dried fully I determined that I didn’t need a top layer at all! The sparkles dried shiny and smooth, just like my clear base coat.


Julep’s “Bess” (blue) and L.A. Colors’ “Confetti” (sparkle)

My final decision: Although the Julep polish went on smooth and dried relatively quickly, I would NOT spend $15 on one bottle, especially when the bottle is only .27 fluid oz. This bottle will probably last me five or six manicures. (If you don’t want to go super cheap, L’Oreal is a good brand, and their polish is $6-$8 per bottle.) In my opinion, I liked the $1 polish that worked as a 2-in-1: a sparkle and a top coat. The $1 clear base and top coat also worked really well. A good enough polish for me!

You can find nail polish in virtually any store: Sally’s, Harmon’s, Target, Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, Shoprite, Pathmark, A&P, Walgreens, and the list goes on! Like I said, these polishes range in price, and, depending on what you want, you can get a cheap polish that w

orks just as well as an expensive one or a mid-range one that’s just as good.

Nail polish isn’t a necessity these days, but what girl doesn’t like pampering herself every now and then? Well, in my case once a week. So if you like to experiment with a lot of different colors, try the cheap brands first, then you can determine what qualities you like in a polish. The cheaper ones might just surprise you!

Feel free to leave questions or
comments below!

Related posts:
Top Ten Polishes (Pocket Money Polishes)
The Nail Files #3: Nails Inc Snowflake (Small Fish Big Pond)
What’s On My Nails: November 2013 (Bath and Body Works Obsessed)


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