The Best Brand of Drugstore Nail Polish, According to Our Style Editor
An instant classic, if we’ve ever met one.
If you, like me, are something of a nail polish purist, the classics will always, always have a place on your vanity (looking at you, Bubble Bath and Ballet Slippers). But if you, like me, are also working to diversify your polish portfolio this season, you need to try Zoya.
As with most good things in life, my mom is the one who first introduced me to the brand, wiggling her toes in my direction at the beach. The woman almost exclusively wears Cajun Shrimp in the summer, so it was something of a shock to see her go-to orange-y red replaced with the most retro (in a good way) of Palm Beach pinks. "It's called Sandy," she told me by way of explanation. "By Zoya."
When we got home, I grabbed her bottle and painted my own toes. I fell in love with the color first: A pink as pure as Grease's Sandy herself (pre-Danny and her sewn-on leather pants, of course). And then I loved the consistency: Fluid enough to glide on smoothly and evenly, but viscous enough to cover my nails without having to do four coats to achieve a saturated paint job. Plus, it stayed on for over a week: a real feat when 1) it's on your toes and 2) those toes are a) running around town in sandals or b) burying themselves in the sand.
Zoya's best selling point of all, though, is that it's natural and non-toxic. It's free of those chemical bad boys you never learned to pronounce (toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, and camphor), so you can paint your nails guilt- and worry-free.
Another thing that makes it an easy winner? It won't break the bank. Find Zoya on the polish aisles at Walmart, ULTA, or Target for just $9 or $10 a bottle. And if you don't have a mani emergency and can afford to wait a night or two, you can also score a major beauty deal on Amazon, where you'll find four-packs of full-sized Zoya polishes for just $18.
For me, Zoya was an instant classic, and Sandy officially has a spot on my bathroom shelf right next to my Cajun Shrimp. A shining endorsement, if ever there was one.
WATCH: The Most Iconic Nail Colors of All Time
When it comes to trying out a new polish at the salon, the stakes aren't terribly high: At worst, you may just have to live with an underwhelming hue on your nails for a week or two. But for those occasions when you want a no-fail, perfect-polish guarantee, we can confidently recommend these storied shades.