Nail Polish Reviewed

Canstar Blue’s nail polish review has compared OPI, Revlon, Maybelline, Sally Hansen, Chi Chi and Rimmel London on their ease of application, drying time, longevity, variety of colours, packaging design, value for money and overall satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | OPI

Aussies rated OPI best in Canstar Blue’s nail polish review, scoring the brand five stars for longevity, variety of colours, and overall satisfaction.

Fact Checked Fact Checked

OPI nails it in nail polish ratings

Flashy bling is one thing, but nicely manicured nails? Now you’re talking! From standard nail polish to gel and shellac, there are so many ways to express yourself by just adding a pop of colour to the tips of your fingers. Our survey found that just over half of respondents (54%) have tried multiple brands of nail polish, before finding a product that nailed their expectations. So, which nail polish brands are worth a try and which are not?

To find out, we surveyed more than 570 Australian consumers for their feedback on the nail polish they’ve purchased and used at home in the last six months. Respondents rated brands on their ease of application, drying speed, longevity and durability, colour variety, packaging design, value for money and overall satisfaction. Brands that met the minimum required survey sample size of 30 responses are included in our results.

OPI was rated ‘hands down’ the best nail polish in our latest ratings, finishing with the only five-star review for overall satisfaction! It also achieved full marks for colour variety and longevity.

Best Nail Polish

Best nail polish

Here are the best nail polish brands in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s 2021 review:

  1. OPI
  2. Revlon
  3. Maybelline
  4. Sally Hansen
  5. Chi Chi
  6. Rimmel London

OPI is the number one pick in our latest ratings, earning a five-star review for overall satisfaction. Revlon, Maybelline, and Sally Hansen trailed close behind on four stars, followed by Chi Chi and Rimmel London on three stars overall.

Rimmel London got the edge in terms of drying speed, being the only brand to receive full marks for the category. Sally Hansen was similarly seen as the easiest to apply, achieving five stars for ease of application, as did Maybelline when it came to value for money. Sally Hansen and Maybelline additionally saw the same result for packaging design. Most brands except Chi Chi and Rimmel London, also impressed with five stars for longevity.

About the Winner ─ OPI

OPI nail polish

OPI is a leading brand in the professional nail care industry, offering a large selection of nail treatments, finishing products, lotions, manicure and pedicure products as well as nail files and other nail tools. Aside from its recognisable bottles, OPI is also well known for its clever nail polish colour names (just like many other nail polish brands). Some shades include ‘Taupe-less Beach’, ‘Lincoln Park After Dark’, ‘Coral-ing Your Spirit Animal’ and ‘Telenovela Me About It’. Prices start from just under $11 and go up to $37.95 for certain products like the OPI Nail Lacquer Infinite Shine Strengthening Treatment.

  • OPI brushed up best with five-star reviews for longevity and durability, colour variety and overall satisfaction. It got four stars for most other areas, including drying time, ease of application and packaging design. It got three stars for value for money.

What is the difference between regular nail polish and gel nail polish?

The main difference between regular nail varnish and gel polish is that gel nail polish can only dry under a UV or LED lamp, while normal nail polish can air dry naturally with oxygen. Gel nail polish needs direct UV or LED light to cure, allowing the coat to harden and make it more durable and last longer.

But this means it can be more difficult to remove gel nails compared to normal polish. Removing gel polish may require soaking the nails in acetone, while nail varnish can often be removed using a nail polish remover and wipes.

Nail polish facts

Prefer to get your nails done at your own at-home salon? It turns out 44% of Aussies do, too. A small number of our survey respondents also paint other people’s nails, including friends and family (18%). Although it doesn’t always go smoothly, with one in three (32%) admitting they have been disappointed by their nail polish purchases in the past. It’s no wonder our research revealed 54% of consumers have tried multiple brands, while 32% of people similarly picked up different finishes or colours from the same brand.

Getting down to the nitty-gritty ─ Aussies spend an average of $15 per month on nail polish. Nearly two-fifths (38%) use a topcoat and/or a base coat, and a handful of respondents say they need to re-do their manicure once their nails start to chip (20%).

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue surveyed more than 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used nail polish at home (i.e. not from a salon) in the last six months ─ in this case, 574 people.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

Below is the previous winner of Canstar Blue’s nail polish review:

  • 2020: Sally Hansen