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The Best Polish for a No-Chip Manicure

Every color under the rainbow — and then some.

Ever since I started accompanying my mom to the nail salon as a kid, I have been triggered by the sight of chipped nail polish. It drives me nuts. I’ve been known to carry a spare bottle of polish with me, and sometimes I have no choice but to whip it out at work, because if I need a touch-up, I can’t focus on my actual job.

I’ve tried every polish trick there is over the years, including CND’s Stickey base coat (which does actually work pretty well), and at-home gel machines, and running my nails under cold water after painting, to seal in the coats (also measures that helped my polish last longer). But what I really wanted was to simply slap on a color on Sunday and not have to worry about it all week. Without paying $40 at the salon.

Then, one morning in 2014, I tried a pale shade of Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel (The Cut actually did, too). It takes just two steps. You apply the color (no base coat necessary) and then a top coat. Then, it dries in about 20 minutes, and then …

No, it did not endure for the two or even three weeks of a salon gel manicure. But it easily went a full week, and since then even a week and a half. And just like that, I became an addict, for the totally non-debt-inducing cost of about $7 a bottle (the top coat has lasted me since 2014).

In the beginning, there were only 47 shades, which didn’t include the less traditional colors I typically go for, like puke-yellow or toothpaste-green. But now they’ve got about 75, and counting; I have a Container Store drawer that looks like a rainbow exploded inside. When I walk by that little bucket of powdery blues, strawberry pinks, and juicy purples, I sometimes actually smile. No lie. Not to mention: Miracle gel comes off just like regular polish, with a remover and cotton ball.


Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail ColorFrom $5, Amazon

And of course, don’t forget the long-lasting top coat.


Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top CoatFrom $5, Amazon

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