Nail Polish Formulas That Offer Bang For Their Buck

Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Polish

The nail polish formula to try if you're on the hunt for serious longevity. The colours are rich, glossy and unlikely to budge at all during the first few days of wear. The shade selection is a little drab and I wish they would introduce a more variety, but they're really great varnishes nonetheless. Bonus points for the wide brush and one-stroke application.

Shades to try: Hip Hop, Urban Purple, Oh Mr Darcey

Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Nail Paint

The formula to thank for a manicure that lasted well over a week without a single chip in sight. It actually reached the point where I removed it because I was fed up of the colour as opposed to the paint job looking shabby. That said, in the fortnight I tested a couple of Speedy Nail Paints I also happened to be staying at my parent's house. Why would that make a difference? They have a dishwasher. A possible unfair advantage as excessive amounts of washing up usually plays havoc with my nails, but these are great all the same.

Shades to try: Eat My Dust, Pit Stop, Stop The Clock

Kiko Nail Lacquer

If you're usually put off by the limited shade selections offered by many high street brands, Kiko is probably the way to go. Anyone who's visited one of their standalone stores in the UK or abroad will probably have been baffled by the sheer amount of choice available. Their selection of nudes is particularly worth checking out if you're into something a little more understated.

Shades to try: #346 Olive Drab, #372 Nude, #318 Light Mauve

Natural Collection Nail Colour

I've been so impressed with the nail offerings from Natural Collection in the past. The shade range rarely ventures away from pink/purple territory, but if they're the kind of colours you're into then I'd highly recommend giving the formula a try. Many of the ones I own need three coats for full opacity but last really well with a little extra effort.

Shades to try: Red Robin, Antique Coral, Black Cherry

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint

I remember these being all the rage when they were first introduced, and in hindsight it was all for good reason. The colours are glossy and smooth on the nails and they've since introduced a lot of really nice shades to the collection, too. The formula can be a tiny bit thick, but when you build up thin layers of colour they really do stand the test of time. 

Shades to try: Pomegranate, Coconut, Chai

A Hidden High Street Gem: Bourjous 'Upside Brown'

D.I.Y. Eyebrow Tinting