Just when you thought all the polish textures possible already existed, along comes wax finish. Somewhere between a cream texture and a matte, wax finish makes it look like you've been dipping your nails in the candles at an old-fashioned Italian restaurant. (This looks nicer than it sounds.)
I tried Royal Flush Wax Coat Polish ($12) from cult brand Ginger and Liz, a gorgeous deep merlot shade, and was delighted with the results. It's a semisheer shade that becomes opaque in about three (fast-drying) coats, and it looks good on both cool and warm skin tones. I've been wearing Royal Flush for four days now without topcoat, and haven't seen much chipping so far. Just one catch: while free of DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde, the polish does contain phthalates. So if you're wary of them, you might want to give it a pass. Otherwise, wax on.