A close-up photograph capturing an array of nail polish bottles in various colors and brands, arranged neatly on a price tag, signifying the average cost of nail polish.

What Is The Average Cost Of Nail Polish In 2024?

With the wide variety of nail polish brands and colors available today, determining the average cost can be tricky. However, knowing the typical price range can help you budget for maintaining a fabulous manicure.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: the average cost of nail polish in 2024 is around $10.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at the factors that influence the cost of nail polish, break down price ranges by brand and nail polish type, and provide tips for getting quality nail polish at an affordable price.

What Impacts the Cost of Nail Polish

When standing in the nail care aisle, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the variety of nail polishes available today. Prices can range from a couple dollars to over $50! What makes some nail lacquers more expensive than others? As savvy shoppers know, many factors influence the price tag.


One of the biggest factors affecting nail polish pricing is the brand. High-end designers like Chanel and Dior command premium prices, sometimes over $30 per bottle! These luxury brands invest in innovative formulas, unique colors, and stylish packaging.

While the quality can justify the splurge for some, drugstore alternatives offer excellent lacquers too.

Salon brands like OPI and Essie range from $9-15 per bottle. Known for long-lasting, salon-quality results, their classic colors and clever names have strong customer loyalty. However, popular mass-market brands like Revlon and L’Oreal deliver comparable performance for just a fraction of the cost.

Nail Polish Type

Nail polish types also impact pricing. Basic creme polishes with a glossy, opaque finish are generally cheapest. However, specialty formulations like gel polish, dip powder, chrome, and magnetic nail polish require more complex technology and ingredients, raising costs to $10-25.

Long-wear nail polish options like the sensationally popular gel manicures must adhere tightly to nails for over a week without chipping. Therefore, they utilize different polymers than regular polish.

While convenient for stretching time between manicures, these advancements bump up expense due to extra materials and application requirements.


When browsing the overwhelming rainbow of choices, you can count on reds, pinks, neutrals, and top trend shades to ring in at standard rates. However, unconventional hues often increase value. Hard-to-formulate colors like true purples, oranges, yellows, and greens entail special pigments and skill to perfect, especially in upscale creamy or metallic textures.

Likewise, the rarest shades like luxe golds, chameleons, and show-stopping special effects call for proprietary technology that’s exclusive to prestige designers. These cutting-edge colors utilize intricate particle science and optical illusions that are fascinating yet cost-prohibitive for affordable polish pledges to reproduce.

In the end, nail polish prices depend on many intersecting traits. But armed with insider knowledge, smart shoppers can balance their budget with their signature style!

Average Cost by Brand

Drugstore Brands ($5-$10)

When it comes to drugstore nail polish brands like CoverGirl, Revlon, and Sally Hansen, you can expect to pay between $5-10 for a standard 0.5oz bottle. These affordable brands offer quality nail polishes with a good color payoff and lasting power, but have more limited color selections compared to salon brands.

Popular drugstore nail polish lines like Essie Expressie and OPI Infinite Shine retail around $9 per bottle.

Salon Brands ($10-$20)

Mid-range salon nail polish brands like OPI, Essie, and China Glaze typically retail between $10-15 per bottle. These polishes offer excellent coverage and a wide range of fashionable shades. Most salon brands offer classic crèmes along with shimmers, metallics, and bold glitter polishes.

Premium salon brands like CND Shellac and Gelish, which require UV/LED lamps to cure, cost $15-20 for colored polishes. Overall, salon nail polishes provide great quality and versatility at an accessible price point for most consumers.

Luxury Brands ($15-$30+)

High-end luxury nail polish brands like Chanel, Dior, YSL, and Tom Ford come with premium price tags ranging from $15-30+ per bottle. These exclusive polishes deliver stunning colors, flawless application, and long wear.

Unique textures like leather, velvet, and chrome effects distinguish luxury polishes. Most luxury brands offer limited edition seasonal collections and cutting-edge polish technology like quick-dry formulas.

While the splurge may not be justified for everyone, luxury nail polishes deliver a supreme painting experience and make a fashion statement.

Average Cost by Polish Type

Traditional Nail Polish ($5-$15)

When it comes to your standard nail lacquer that you can pick up at any drugstore or beauty supply shop, most quality polishes tend to cost between $5 and $15. Popular drugstore brands like OPI, Essie, and Sally Hansen offer high-quality polishes for around $9-$11 per bottle.

You can also find cheaper options for closer to $5 from brands like Wet n Wild and Sinful Colors. These budget polishes may not have the same lasting power or color payoff, but they can be great for trying on-trend shades without breaking the bank.

Salon brand nail polishes like Dior, Chanel and YSL tend to skew towards the higher end of the range, costing $10-15+ per bottle. However, with proper application and care these luxury lacquers can last over a week without chipping.

Overall, when buying traditional nail polish you get what you pay for in terms of quality, but you can find great options at nearly any price point these days.

Gel Nail Polish ($15-$25)

Unlike regular polish, gel manicures require a UV or LED lamp to set and harden the polish. At nail salons, a basic gel mani costs around $25-50 depending on your location and the intricacy of the design.

While convenient for lasting 2+ weeks chip-free, frequent gel manicures can weaken natural nails over time without proper care. At-home gel polish kits provide a more affordable DIY alternative, costing $15-$25 for everything you need to start.

Most at-home gel kits like those from SensatioNail, Modelones, or SUNUV come with a LED lamp, base and top coat, and an assortment of gel polishes for $20-$25. Additional gel colors may cost $6-$12 each from brands like Bluesky or Aimeili.

Though it does require some practice, you can safely remove and reapply gel polish at home. Going the DIY gel route saves major money in the long run without compromising on long-wear or high-shine.

Dip Powder Nail Polish ($30+)

Dip powder manicures entered the mainstream in recent years as a durable, chip-resistant alternative to gel and acrylics. The process uses a powder and liquid bonding system to build layers of polish over the natural nails for a smooth, sturdy finish.

At the salon, a basic French dip or nude dip mani costs $45-$65 on average and can last 3-4 weeks between fills.

Dip powder starter kits have also grown very popular for at-home manicures, costing ~$30-$50 depending on the brand and number of powders included. Kiara Sky, Revel, and Triple Vitamin are top professional-grade dip systems designed for beginners.

For the best DIY results, opt for an all-in-one kit with base coat, activator, and sealant liquids plus nail files and tools. Though dip manicures do create a bit more nail thickness, they cause very little natural nail damage with proper removal.

Saving on Nail Polish

Shop Sales and Discounts

One of the best ways to save money on nail polish is to shop sales and look for discounts. Many drugstores and beauty retailers like CVS, Walgreens, and Ulta offer regular sales on nail polish brands. Waiting for items to go on promotion and clearing out clearance bins can result in huge savings.

For example, you might find essie or OPI nail polishes for 50% off or more during a good sale. It’s also worth looking out for storewide sales like Black Friday that often include discounted beauty items.

Buy Sets or Kits

Purchasing nail polish sets or kits is an excellent way to lower the per-bottle cost. Many brands sell sets of 3, 5, or even 10 nail polish bottles together at a bundled discounted price. Going with a set allows you to try out a bunch of fun colors for less.

For instance, a set of 5 Sinful Colors polishes usually costs around $10, working out to only $2 per bottle. Sets can be especially cost-effective if you like using polishes from a single brand for consistency.

Use Coupons and Loyalty Programs

Keep an eye out for coupons and promo codes when buying nail polish. Retailers like Ulta, Sally Beauty, and Sephora often send out coupons for 20% or $10 off a purchase that can lead to huge savings on beauty items.

Signing up for brand or store loyalty programs is another way to unlock exclusive discounts and freebies. For example, Sally Beauty’s rewards program gives members $5 off for every 100 points as well as free shipping bonuses and birthday gifts.

Some additional money-saving tips are to take advantage of buy-one-get-one deals, look for polishes under $2 in value bins, split costs by going halfsies with a friend, or consider lower-priced drugstore dupes of salon brands.

With a savvy shopping strategy, it’s possible to build an amazing nail polish collection without breaking the bank!


With typical prices ranging from $5 to $30+ per bottle, nail polish can get expensive. However, understanding factors like brand, polish type, and discounts available allows you to get a great manicure on a budget.

Armed with the information in this guide, you can determine the average cost of nail polish and find affordable options to suit your style.

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