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Opi Axxium

You get this done at a salon, but it lasts—smooth, flawless, never going dull.

Maintenance Factor: Takes 45 minutes to do and 15 minutes to remove.


Lasts For: Never­—literally never—chips. But you go back to the salon every three weeks for a fresh coat.

Sally Hansen Nail Polish Strips

These are stickers­—press one of the six zillion designs on and you’re done. Peel off or use polish remover.

Maintenance Factor: Five-minute manicure, no drying time.


Lasts For: A week or so (longer if you ignore smudge-prone tasks like dishes).

Sula Paint & Peel Duo

Paint on the nontoxic formula and peel off when you’re ready—no remover.

Maintenance Factor: Like a regular manicure, but it peels off in seconds.




Lasts For: A few days to a week­—if you’re lucky.

Sephora Nail Studio Art

You pick from many looks, then have it done for you or buy all the products for DIY.
Maintenance Factor: Twenty minutes or so, depending on difficulty.

Lasts For: It’s regular polish (just looks cooler), so … a little more than a week.

Nutra Nail Gel

An at-home version of salon gel treatments, this takes under five minutes to dry and leaves a patent finish without UV light. We were impressed.
Maintenance Factor: Twenty minutes to put on, five to remove.

Lasts For: One of our nails chipped slightly after 10 days—still way more durable than a regular mani.