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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at West Chester chapter.

I am one of the girls who would get her nails done every other week at the nail salons. When COVID hit, and nail salons closed, I decided to get the best manicure I could for myself. I always start by pushing back my cuticles, filing, buffing my nails, and then washing my hands to get off any dust. I finish my prep process with rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and wiping my nails off. I think the rubbing alcohol keeps the nail polish on longer because it removes any oil.

Essie Gel Couture 

Essie Gel couture is my personal favorite nail polish brand. The colors are beautiful and carry 118 long-lasting shades. I always pick up a new shade when I go to the drug store or Target. Whenever I’m wearing this nail polish, it lasts for over a week. If you’re interested in purchasing nail colors from their website, they divide the selection into a few popular colors; once you select the color, you can slide a bar to find your perfect shade. Something else that I love from Essie’s nail polishes is their new topcoat gel-setter. This topcoat is excellent because it makes any nail polish dry as a gel nail polish. With Essie, you get the salon UV quality without the UV hassle.

CND Vinylux 

CND Vinylux was the first gel nail polish that I used, and I always loved it. Their color range is extensive, with 165 shaded full of beautiful colors. The nail polish is full of enriching ingredients, like vitamin E, jojoba oil, and keratin; these ingredients keep your nails healthy and strong. The polish glides on seamlessly and is full of pigmentation, so you don’t have to worry about any patchiness. The overall review from customers is extremely positive. The company claims their polish lasts up to two weeks, and satisfied customers can attest to that. 

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel 

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is probably one of the most affordable nail polish brands on this list, ranging around $6. This beloved drugstore brand is always pushing out high-quality, affordable beauty products. This nail polish is no exception; like CND Vinylux, the formula is infused with keratin to make the product extremely smooth and keep your nails healthy. Most customers love the nail polish and state that it lasts up to ten days when paired with their topcoats. If you’re looking for salon nails with drugstore prices, definitely pick up this Sally Hansen Miracle Gel.  

Zoya Nail Lacquer 

Zoya Nail Lacquer has shades for DAYS, with over 400 colors. This brand has so many dedicated buyers, and the reviews on the polishes are almost all positive. Fan swear by it, and after days of gardening, cleaning, typing, and working, there is no chip in sight. The formula hardens and doesn’t budge. One Amazon review stated that her nail polish lasts for around three days after all the wear and tear, but this polish lasted the whole week for me. 

OPI Iconic Infinite Shine

OPI is one of the most well-known nail polish brands, and their gel line OPI Iconic Infinite Shine is a very fitting name because it truly is iconic. With 219 unique shades, the nail polish is loved by so many, and that hype has never died down. OPI suggests you use the three steps to get the best results; start with the primer that comes with the collection, then 2 to 3 coats of the color, and then finish with the iconic shine topcoat. If you follow all of these steps, the nail polish should last up to ten days.

Jacqueline is a senior at West Chester University, located in West Chester, Pennsylvania. She is working towards her Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Culture studies, with a Strategic Communication Concentration. Jacqueline is also working towards her minor in creative writing. In her future, Jacqueline hopes to write a book and find a career where she can pursue her passion for writing and creativity.
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