Why These 6 Luxury Nail Polishes Are Worth It (Tried and Tested!)

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In recent years, big fashion houses have been tapping into the beauty industry (such as Gucci cosmetics and Dolce & Gabbana skin care to name a few!). The category with the biggest growth has been nail polish, according to GCI. So I wasn't too shocked when Christian Louboutin decided to foray into the beauty market with a set of 30 luxe lacquers. Pricing them at $50 a bottle and still selling out at Sephora? Now that surprised me. With hundreds of nail polish brands on the market, Louboutin marketed his polish as one of the pricier picks (beating Chanel and Givenchy).

I had to wonder: was it his formula or his name that have women purchasing the luxe lacquer? In fact, are any high-end designer polishes worth their hefty price tags, or is it more about scoring something from the brand at a price you can afford? Naturally, the only way to really answer this question is through some testing — the best part of a beauty writer's job. Take a look at the six fashion-forward brands I'd recommend to any polish fanatic because these formulas really do offer a gorgeous finish and long-wearing results.

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour
Courtesy of Chanel

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour

This iconic fashion house is also a go-to for classic nail polish colors. When I need a subtle nude, white, or black shade, Chanel always pulls through with the perfect neutral.

Price: $27

Texture: The polish is thinner than most, so it's great for layering. At one point I applied four coats just to see how saturated I could make the nude-colored Le Vernis Secret ($25), and the polish didn't come out thick or bumpy. It was just as smooth as if I applied two coats of any regular polish. Even with the expensive price tag, it's worth the splurge because you're able to get multiple colors from one bottle, all with a little layering.

Longevity: No surprise here — with four coats, my manicure lasted over a week. I'm on day seven, and there's just a tiny bit of wear and tear along the tips.

Christian Louboutin Nail Lacquer
Courtesy of Sephora

Christian Louboutin Nail Lacquer

It made sense that Christian Louboutin launched his 30+ nail collection with the color Rouge Louboutin (pictured). After all, ruby nail polish is what brought us his signature red soles. In the early days of his career, the designer grabbed an orange-red nail polish from his assistant and painted the sole of a shoe to make it appear bolder and more vibrant. If he was taking his time to perfect the formula, then I'm glad he waited so long because the lacquers are near perfection.

Price: $50

Texture: This is one of the smoothest polishes out there. I applied just a bit to the brush, and it glided onto my nail in three strokes. And because the polish is so thick and pigmented, one coat even sufficed. At $50 a bottle, it pays that the bottle can be stretched into 20 or more wears. However, when I applied two layers, the polish was shinier and even more opaque.

Longevity: The more coats you apply, obviously the more wear you'll get. With one coat, the polish lasted up to day three, and then chips started to form on the tips. With two coats, wear and tear didn't occur until day six.

Dolce & Gabbana Nail Laquer
Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana Nail Laquer

Although it can get expensive, Dolce & Gabbana Nail Laquer is always my go-to when I want a new seasonal color. Whether it's a pastel or rich Autumn hue, the Italian label's shades are always striking and true to how they appear in the bottle.

Price: $25

Texture: This formula has the perfect consistency, not too thick and not too thin, so it glided right on. The brush grabs a lot of product at once, so I was able to apply as much polish as I needed with each sweep.

Longevity: The polish includes a multi polymer complex similar to gel polishes — that's beauty jargon for long-lasting color. On day five, my manicure was still looking glossy and chip-free.

Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer
Courtesy of Sephora

Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer

When the fashion designer entered the beauty scene last August, he made quite the splash. His metallic polishes provide visual texture with their shine but apply just as glossy as any other polish. The other lacquers can be matte or opaque and shiny depending on application.

Price: $18

Texture: I love this polish because it's so versatile. The first coat is matte and applies smoothly with little-to-no streaking, so you can wear it solo. I prefer a shiny mani, so I added a second coat and got a perfect glossy opaque finish. The brush is thick enough so I was able to hit the entire nail in two swipes — a great tool for those with unsteady hands.

Longevity: This lacquer is perfect for those who don't switch their color often. I'd personally rather have chip-free nails for a week than paint my nails every few days. After day six, I experienced my first flake off at the edge of the nail. The color, however, didn't fade at all.

Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture
Courtesy of Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture

When it comes to nail polish, you need the perfect trio — superb formula, color, and brush. While Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture has classic colors and a solid formula, the lush brush is what really sets it apart.

Price: $27

Texture: Admittedly, I'm obsessed with this brush! One swipe covered the entire nail (except for the thumb, of course) and ensured no streaks or bumps. The color is opaque right off the bat, so I applied one coat when I was in a hurry out the door, but it actually looked like I was wearing two or three layers. This is the ideal brand for women who have five minutes tops to paint their nails.

Longevity: The one coat looked crisp for three days until it started to wear at the bottom. With another coat, I'm sure it would have lasted another two or three more days.

Givenchy Le Vernis Intense Color Nail Lacquer
Courtesy of Givenchy

Givenchy Le Vernis Intense Color Nail Lacquer

Givenchy is one of my all-time favorite beauty brands. From its highly pigmented eyeshadows to its Noir Couture 4 in 1 Mascara ($32), the label really knows how to make dramatic makeup wearable. Givenchy Le Vernis Intense Color Nail Lacquer fits this ideal as well, in that there's a range of bold and natural hues to fit any mood or season.

Price: $20

Texture: Regardless of the color, the polish is really pigmented. The high-coverage formula has a glossy finish that reminds me of a gel manicure — without the long prep time. All I needed was one layer, because it's pretty thick. However, it doesn't streak because the brush only grabs just enough product to fit the nail.

Longevity: The polish kept its glossiness throughout the entire wear. With just one coat, it didn't chip until day four.