Best Long-Lasting Nail Polishes

My Favorite Long-Wear Nail Polish Formulas

The longest-lasting nail polish formulas I’ve tried so far are the Chanel Longwear Nail Colours, the OPI Infinite Shine Lacquers, the Smith and Cult Nailed Lacquers, and the Essie Gel Couture Nail Colors

After having a rollercoaster type of love for many years, nail polish and I are now finally going steady.

I used to feel that putting so much time and effort into a relationship that would start falling apart (A.K.A. chipping) in just one or two days wasn’t really worth it, so I would basically have bare nails approximately 350 days a year.

But now those days are long gone, and there is one brand in particular I have to thank for.

That brand is Smith and Cult.

Hypnotized by their unique-looking bottles, I purchased a couple of shades (celadon green Bitter Buddhist and dove grey taupe Doe My Dear) while I was in Edinburgh back in April, and it was instant love. Not only because they are so prettily packaged, but also, more importantly, because they remain chip-free on my nails for about a week.

A week!

Since then, I’ve added two more shades to my collection: Kings and Thieves (a deep royal blue), and Stockholm Syndrome, my Smith and Cult color of choice for the fall and winter, which I’m wearing in the picture above

After Smith and Cult rekindled my love for nail polish, I was determined to find at least another formula that would last on me just as long, and find it I did in the form of the newly reformulated Chanel Les Vernis. While last summer I couldn’t stop wearing the Chanel Longwear Nail Colour in 534 Espadrilles, lately it’s the beyond iconic 505 Particulière the shade I’ve been obsessing about.

I can totally see why the whole beauty world went nuts when the shade was launched back in 2010: Particulière is pure neutral perfection. It looks good with any outfit (and I’m guessing with any skin tone, too), on any occasion, any time of the year. It’s so beautiful and versatile that if I had to wear only one nail polish for the rest of my days, I’d most likely pick this one (although I really hope I’ll never have to choose!).

Chanel Longwear Nail Colour in 505 Particulière

With their impressive wear-time and color selections, the Smith and Cult Nailed Lacquers and Chanel Longwear Nail Colours have definitely become my all-time favorite ranges, but in the last few months I’ve also discovered a couple of more affordable options that perform equally well.

The first I found are the OPI Infinite Shine Lacquers.

Last summer I was very much in love with Running With The In-finite Crowd, a beautifully bright pink, but this season my heart belongs to We’re In The Black.

Short, black nails can be really chic, don’t you think?

And the last, but most definitely not the least, long-wear nail polish I’ve discovered is the Essie Gel Couture Nail Color in Bubbles Only, which I reviewed a couple of months ago. If you read that post, you’ll probably remember that I love everything about Bubbles Only – shade (a deep red with a hint of brown), performance (8 solid days chip-free), and brush (wide and domed).

Essie Gel Couture Nail Color Bubbles Only Swatches ReviewEssie Gel Couture Nail Color in Bubbles Only

Even though all these formulas have their own special top coats, I have to admit that I always use them in combination with my trusty Essence The Gel Nail Polish Top Coat, and am very happy with the results.

Brushes, brushes brushes! L – R: Chanel Longwear Nail Colour, OPI Infinite Shine Lacquer, Smith and Cult Nailed Lacquer, and Essie Gel Couture Nail Color

If you’re looking for a nail polish with some serious lasting power, I highly encourage you to check out these ones. They’ll hardly disappoint!

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  • Reply
    December 18, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    I have never tried Smith & Cult but Stockholm Syndrome (love the name!) looks intriguing. Chanel’s Particulière is gorgeous too though – may need to check this shade out! Have a lovely week!
    Christina ♥

  • Reply
    Shireen L. Platt
    December 19, 2016 at 5:58 am

    Chanel Longwear Nail Colour in 534 Espadrilles has to be one of the most stunning nude shade that I’ve ever seen in a nail polish. Your blog is becoming a dangerous ground for me, Carol, my wish list is growing every time I’m here.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  • Reply
    December 19, 2016 at 7:44 am

    I own the Particuliere dupe from the drugstore and wear it on my nails at the moment. The color is amazing, but it does not last a week on me. From the ones you mentioned I only tried one Chanel polish and yes, it has some serious lasting power. But these days my nails usually dont chip, they smudge, because you can bet your lipstick collection that the second I sit down and start painting my nails, one of the kids is going to start crying…

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • Reply
    Caterina Sosso
    December 19, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    ” I purchased a couple of shades while I was in Edinburgh back in April” nooooooo :'( speravo avessi trovato un sito o negozio che li vendesse anche in Italia!!!! Spero che almeno a Bruxelles li vendano, perché li voglio provare da mesi 🙁
    Di Essie mi sta piacendo anche “angora cardi” un rosso mattone molto particolare! Penso faccia parte della collezione natalizia, comunque se ti capita di vedere uno stand di Essie dai un’occhiata perché è proprio carino 🙂

    • Reply
      Carol in a
      December 19, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      C’è un negozio italiano che li vende online ( Stockholm Syndrome e Kings and Thieves li ho presi lì! 😉

  • Reply
    Miss Nev
    December 20, 2016 at 3:34 am

    Love the nail polishes! Amazing photos x

    Nev | Miss Nev

  • Reply
    December 20, 2016 at 9:41 am

    I don’t think I tried a nail polish before that stayed on for a week, that would be a miracle. I recently tried a Kiko nail polish that only lasted a few hours before chipping, do you believe that? I painted my nails and after a few hours I took a shower and my nails were chipped, how ridiculous! Stockholm Syndrome is such a gorgeous shade, I love it so much for winter but I haven’t heard of this brand before.


  • Reply
    December 20, 2016 at 11:08 am

    These nail polishes look awesome. I love the look of the funky essie packaging.

  • Reply
    December 20, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    The bottle by Smith and Cult is gorgeous and I just love that dulled Grey shade it’s gorgeous, and the finish is beautiful too. The Chanel one looks ever so nice, I still haven’t tried a Chanel nail varnish!

    Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and NYE Carol 🙂


  • Reply
    December 21, 2016 at 1:18 am

    Gli Infinite Shine 2 mi attirano tanto, così come le formule in gel di Essie.
    Ho usato poco gli samlti effetto gel ma mi sono trovata sempre bene, stupefatta!

  • Reply
    Fashionably Idu
    December 21, 2016 at 4:41 am

    Putting effort into a relationship that would fall apart in 2/3 days got me laughing. These shades look so good on you that I want to try them right away. I love love love Stockholm syndrome.

  • Reply
    December 21, 2016 at 10:30 am

    That Essie shade is SO stunning. I need it. I’ve never heard of Smith & Cult, but that shade looks great on you!


  • Reply
    December 21, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Stockholm Syndrome from Smith & Cult is the most beautiful shade ever. I need that in my life, thanks for sharing. Nail polish always chips so fast on me so I will definitely check out some of these recommendations. Thank you! Xx

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

  • Reply
    December 22, 2016 at 12:40 am

    Gorgeous colors, especially the black one.
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  • Reply
    December 22, 2016 at 6:48 am

    Wow…these are so cool and lovely shades hun…xx, Neha

  • Reply
    Lisa @ Midwest Glam
    December 22, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Omigosh! That Chanel polish is perfect! I’m totally adding that to my wishlist. Here’s to hoping I can track it down. Loving the Smith and Cult bottles!

  • Reply
    December 22, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    I’m yet to try any shade by Smith & Cult, though this colour truly makes me want to! Having said that, I’m a nude-girl at heart (haha) and totally adore this Chanel shade. Beautiful! Have a lovely Christmas Carol 🙂

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