The 10 Best Nail Polish Sets
This wiki has been updated 34 times since it was first published in March of 2015. These nail polish sets will give you the power to create the perfect manicure every time, whether you’re getting ready for a job interview or a date. Our list offers gel, glitter, cream, and metallic varieties, and they dry quickly to a smooth, long-lasting finish. Each collection featured here includes a range of colors, making it easy to swap them out to match your outfit or your mood. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 09, 2020:
In today’s update, we rounded out the list with some highly popular brands that have developed gel-like formulas that are easy to apply and remove, and that look fresh and shiny for an impressively long time. The OPI Infinite Shine comes in a three-bottle set, which includes a color of your choice, to be applied in between a primer and a glossy top coat. These three steps give you finished results that can last up to an impressive 11 days without chipping or dulling. The sleeve-wrapped box makes this set a nice gift option, and it’s also available with multiple bottles of colors, without the primer and top coat, for users who might already have those.
The Essie Gel Couture is a two-step kit that consists of a color and a top coat. They’re easy to remove when you’re ready for a change, by use of an acetone remover, without any harsh soaking or scrubbing. You’ll get two of the signature, uniquely shaped bottles, and each features an ergonomic, curve-hugging brush.
We also swapped out an older SinfulColors selection with the SinfulColors Neon, which might not last as long as the pricier options from OPI or Essie, but it’s hard to go wrong with these at their low price. They’re great when you want to try out some new colors but not invest a lot of money. This set comes with a vibrant shade of every color of the rainbow, and they make for nice summer pedicure colors when sandal weather comes around.
Also making their departure from our list today are the Anjou Eco-Friendly and the BMC 6-Piece, which are unavailable at this time. For more gel options, see our list of the best gel nail kits, many of which are equipped with LED drying lights and tools like files and cuticle sticks.
Sundays Wellness Gift Box This customizable set makes a great gift for a loved one, and you’re sure to pick three of their favorite colors, with more than 50 timeless ones to choose from, ranging from dusty lilac to vibrant pink to metallic rose gold. Each bottle holds 14 milliliters and has a shape and brush that are optimized for precise and quick application. The formula is nontoxic, vegan, and cruelty-free, containing no potentially harmful ingredients like formaldehyde, parabens, or TPHP. What they will deliver is high shine and long-lasting brilliant color. They come in a sturdy square gift box. dearsundays.com
Lakur Londontown Neutral Trio These polishes are made in the United States and formulated to last long while they hydrate and strengthen nails from within. In this set, you’ll get Cheerio, which is a neutral pink that’s perfect for French manicures. Mauve Over is a shade of dusty rose designed to grab everyone’s attention. Natural Charm is a creamy mauve purple shade that can light up the room. Each is infused with a proprietary blend of botanicals called Florium Complex. londontownusa.com
Why Buy An Entire Set Of Nail Polish?
Luckily for nail enthusiasts, there are plenty of polish sets to choose from, which makes it easier than ever to build an impressive collection.
If you love using color to express your personal style, it doesn't have to stop at clothing and accessories. Nail polish sets offer versatility, ensuring you'll always have just the right shade on hand for any occasion.
Luckily for nail enthusiasts, there are plenty of polish sets to choose from, which makes it easier than ever to build an impressive collection. Sets are a smart investment because they typically include a selection of complementary colors. It's a lot less risky to try out new nail art ideas when you know that whatever colors you use, they're going to look perfect together.
Another reason to check out polish sets is the added value. When you buy lacquer tubs individually, the cost can add up. Buying polishes one by one will end up costing you much more than what you'd pay for a collection of pre-chosen colors. Similarly, you can bet that the larger the polish set, the more significant the savings.
Finally, a good portion of the polish sets on the market are carefully crafted, limited edition releases made up of colors that may or may not be available for purchase on their own. If you're a true polish collector, it's critical to snag these special collections before they disappear, so you don't miss out on any special shades.
How To Choose The Right Collection
The sheer number of awesome polish sets out there can make it hard to pick just one. It can be done, though, as long as you know what you're looking for.
The first thing to consider is color, of course. Ask yourself whether you prefer wearing neon, neutral, or dark shades. If your fashion sense tends towards the conservative, go for elegant neutrals. More adventurous fashionistas might find themselves drawn to bright neons or dramatic darks. But you don't always have to opt for predictable shades; with nails, you can experiment as much as you want. If you're not happy with the color you've applied, it can be quickly removed and replaced.
Next time you have a party to go to, throw on some red glitter polish to accent your outfit.
After you've chosen your color palette, move on to finishes. Some common finishes are creme, shimmer, and matte, to name a few. You can recognize a creme finish by its opacity and high shine. Also, cremes never include any glitter. Shimmer formulas have fine glitter mixed throughout for a subtle sparkle. Polishes that have a matte finish don't shine at all, which makes for an understated appearance.
If you want to add more flair to your fingers, give glitter or metallic polish a shot. These varieties are eye-catching and less common. Next time you have a party to go to, throw on some red glitter polish to accent your outfit. It's a fun, easy, and economical way to show off your style.
There is more than just one type of brush, too. If you plan on playing around with shapes and design, thinner, tapered brushes are the way to go, as they afford the user more precision. Wider brushes are suitable for individuals who like to knock out their manicure as quickly as possible. You'll cover more surface area with each stroke if you use a bigger brush.
The size of the nail polish set is something to think about, too. Large collections are a smart choice if your goal is to grow your stash of cosmetics, as they frequently feature a decent number of standard colors and fewer specific, quirky shades. Nail experts, on the other hand, are likely to appreciate smaller, special edition releases made up of unique colors that are often united by a theme.
Polish Application Tips And Tricks
If you're looking to purchase a set of nail polish, you probably already know a thing or two about how to apply the stuff. For those still working on mastering the art of painting one's nails, here are some tips to help you brush up on your skills.
Before you actually begin painting, it's important to prep your hands and nails sufficiently. Wash your hands to remove any oil or dirt — this will help the polish adhere more securely to the nail. If your cuticles have crept up a little bit too far, push them back gently to create a larger canvas. And, of course, file and buff your nails to the shape you desire.
If you apply coats that are too thick, your manicure may end up clumpy and uneven.
Anyone who has a shaky hand can benefit from brushing the area around the nail with cuticle oil so that, when the job is finished, polish accidents on the skin surrounding the nail can be effortlessly wiped away. Plus, cuticle oil is great for combatting hangnails, which can be both painful and unsightly.
When it comes time to apply the polish, you need to remember not to overdo it. Two to three thin coats are usually enough to achieve complete opacity. If you apply coats that are too thick, your manicure may end up clumpy and uneven.
Make sure to allow each coat sufficient time to dry — between 30 seconds and one minute — before moving on to the next. After each layer, swipe the brush across the edge of your nail. This technique is known as capping or sealing the free edge, and it can extend a manicure's life by several days.
Those who have applied gel polish will have to put their nails under a UV or LED lamp in order to cure the formula. This process results in manicures that can last up to two weeks without chipping. Most light-activated polishes require 10-30 seconds underneath the lamp per coat.
Another thing to remember is to apply moisturizer to your hands liberally, as polish and substances like acetone can have a drying effect on the skin. Avoid flaky hands by putting on hand lotion once or twice a day at least, or more frequently as necessary.