Save or Splurge? Nail Polish Edition

Is expensive nail polish worth it? We discuss Chanel, Deborah Lippmann and other high end polish to help you decide whether to splurge on a nail polish shade.
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Is expensive nail polish worth it? We discuss Chanel, Deborah Lippmann and other high end polish to help you decide whether to splurge on a nail polish shade.

We've all seen those enticing ads floating around for the latest Chanel, Dior, or Deborah Lippmann nail polish collections and as incredible as some of the colors look in the ads, on a college budget, most of us have other priorities (food, anyone?) to take care of first.

As amazing as the formulas are, if you're like me and like changing your polish every few days, it really isn't the best idea to always opt for the high end nail polishes. I'm not saying to shy away from them completely, but for 25 to 30 dollars a pop, it's a better idea to pick one, two, or three colors you know you will love and wear longer to invest in.

The old saying is somewhat true: With high-end polish, you do often get what you pay for. The formulas of higher-end products almost always provide foolproof application - that is - they are not streaky, no matter how clumsy your application is, there is no bubbling, and they are just easy to apply in general. That being said, not all of the colors are always a hit and this is where research comes in.

Note: The most popular high-end nail polish brands, because of their formulas and variety, are Chanel and Dior, so this post refers mainly to those (though it applies to all of the high-end brands).

So, without further ado, here is a guide to deciding which high-end nail polishes are worth the splurge.

Find a Dupe

Nail polishes

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Personally, I don't find the need to splurge on expensive nail polish unless I find some amazing color that I know I will wear a lot. I also consider the availability of inexpensive dupes.

If you're at all familiar with nail blogs, you know there are tons of drugstore "dupes" - or lookalike versions of the high-end shades - that cost just a fraction of the designer price. (We previously did a post on some inexpensive Chanel nail polish dupes.) If you don't have time to go through endless blog posts about which polishes are the best dupes for the shade you desire, a quick Google search will produce the top results fast.

Keep in mind that a lot of dupes can be found for creme finish Dior or Chanel colors, but it is definitely harder to find dupes for glitters, shimmers, or other unique finishes.

Invest in a Few Key Colors

If you have the means, I definitely recommending investing in a few high-end shades that you know you'll wear a lot. For example, I've found colors such as Chanel's Frisson, Black Pearl, and Lilac Sky (off the top of my head) are worthwhile to splurge on, as, for me, they're classic colors that I can wear for long periods of time. I have not been able to find a convincing dupe for these colors, as well, making them an even better value for my money.

Sometimes, we get caught up in the idea that a certain line is "limited edition" - for some reason, the idea that there are only so many of a certain thing definitely makes me want to make an impulse purchase. Resist the urge to "add to cart" and do some research first. Sometimes the color you see in ads may be entirely different in real life, which ties in with my last point:

Do Your Research/Read Reviews

If you're still unsure about whether to splurge on that 25 dollar bottle of polish, nail polish reviews can be a helpful deciding factor.

My personal favorite nail blogs are Polish Police, Nails and Noms and the beauty look book. Also, Temptalia is a great site for reviews on high end products and their neatly organized categories makes your searches much easier. (For more, see our list of our favorite nail polish blogs.) If you are on the run, Google can also help a lot for a quick fix. As well, you can do a quick search on YouTube for some "real life" swatches, but I personally find pictures better than video swatches in this case.

Of course, don't forget that you are allowed to treat yourself once in awhile! You don't always have to rationalize and justify every. single. purchase. Just be smart and do your research the majority of the time and you can enjoy the occasional "fun" splurge!

Are there any high-end nail polish shades that you absolutely love?

What are the high-end shades you have invested in? Do you ever splurge on nail polish? Which brands are your favorites? Please leave your comments, questions or suggestions for future posts down below!