But now a range of new, innovative and high-tech DIY formulas have hit the high street, promising gel-look shine and up to seven days of chip-free wear. Sounds pretty good, right?!
After putting them to the test, here are the top three that really lived up to our expectations...
1. L'Oréal Paris Infallible Nail Polish (with top coat included) in Fuchsia for Life, £7.99
This nail polish is a true gem - each tube comes with two bottles, one being a thick, pigmented colour and the other a tinted, souped-up top coat. There are 12 shades to choose from and the polish has a wide brush, making it easy to coat each nail in seconds. The formula is very opaque giving great coverage even with just one coat, and it's super-glossy too - someone even mistook our handiwork for a real gel manicure! But the best part of this polish is the lasting power. After seven days, we only noticed tiny chips on the tips of a couple of nails.
2. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish in Red Eye and Top Coat, £9.99 each
Another two-step system, this polish comes in a whopping 47 colours and promises the look of gels without the need of a LED/UV light. The formula applies very thickly so you could just leave it at one coat, and it doesn't go streaky either. We followed up with the top coat - which can be bought separately - and our talons were touch dry in just a minute or two. The end result was a vibrant mani boasting mirror-like shine, and after seven days of wear, we barely had any chips. Impressive!
3. Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel in All or Nothing and Top Coat, £6.99 each
First up, how gorgeous is this pale pink colour?! The Revlon range boasts a choice of 30 shades which can all be teamed with the same plumping top coat (bought separately). The formula is very creamy and a little goes a long way, so apply sparingly to begin with. The square-tipped brush covered our nails in just a few swipes, and the finish was much glossier than your regular standard polish. We wore it for seven days straight - including two days spent at a music festival - and the lasting power was great with just a few chips.
What's your favourite nail polish? Let us know by commenting below as the best comment across the site each week wins £50!
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