If there's one thing you need to know about me, it's that I am the at-home manicure queen. I've been doing my nails myself ever since I was a tender wee babe, and now as a beauty editor, it's part of my job to test every lacquer under the sun. So believe me when I tell you that I have found the polish that is going to change your life.
Allow me to introduce you to Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish ($10, Ulta). This is not just the best nail polish at the drugstore, it may be the best nail polish, PERIOD.
How do I love it? Let me count the ways...
It comes in an incredible array of colors.
The formula is amazing.
Most shades I've tried have been completely opaque in a single coat, or very nearly so. It doesn't matter if they're shimmery, glittery, or cream (like DigiTeal is, pictured above), you won't have to apply a million coats to get the color of your dreams. Bonus: Each coat dries completely within five minutes with no UV light. YAAAAAAAS.
The brush is awesome.
Anyone who has ever picked up a polish knows that a good brush is crucial for a good manicure. The Miracle Gel brush is large and fans perfectly across the nail. It delivers the exact right amount of lacquer, so you're not blobbing it all over the place and flooding the cuticle (my personal hell). Plus, the cap is comfortable to hold. These may all sound like small things, but when they're wrong, it can REALLY mess up your nail game.
It wears beautifully.
My life of typing constantly and scratching my dog's back puts any nail polish through the damn ringer — but Miracle Gel holds up in a way I genuinely didn't think was possible. This photo was taken after eight days of hard wear. There is no chipping, fading, or wear at the tips. The only way you'd know this photo was taken over a week after application is that it's grown out a little around the cuticle. Amazing. And when it's time to remove? It comes off with nail polish remover, just like regular polish does.
An important caveat: Properly prepping your nails is essential for decent wear. I always apply a base coat, two coats of polish, and a top coat any time I do my nails, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next. Just a DIY PSA.
And the top coat is my new favorite.
If you haven't already noticed, I have REALLY high standards for nail polish — and this is the best top coat I have ever tried in my life. Not only is it affordable ($9!), it's amazingly shiny, makes any shimmer or glitter look even prettier, and hardens like a damn rock. I'm also happy to report that this top coat doesn't get gluggy halfway through the bottle — it's good until practically the last drop.
In short, you need these polishes in your life.
And you can get them practically anywhere. Go forth and rock amazing nails!