A vibrant close-up photograph of a colorful nail polish display at a bustling beauty store, showcasing a wide range of shades and brands, enticing customers to explore and purchase.

Where To Buy Nail Polish: A Comprehensive Guide

If you love painting your nails with fun, creative colors, you may frequently find yourself wondering where to buy nail polish. With so many brands and stores to choose from, it can be overwhelming trying to find the perfect polish.

To help you on your nail lacquer quest, here is an in-depth guide on the best places to buy nail polish.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Drugstores like CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid have affordable basic polish collections. Sally Beauty Supply has professional and salon-quality polishes. Ulta Beauty and department stores like Macy’s offer high-end and luxury brands.

Online retailers like Amazon and specialist sites like Live Love Polish have huge selections.

Drugstores for Convenience and Affordability

Drugstores like CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid offer nail polish buyers a convenient and affordable option. With locations across most neighborhoods and cities, you’re never far from these major chains. Their mass market buying power also means competitive prices on leading nail polish brands.


With over 9,900 stores in 49 states, CVS is the largest pharmacy chain in the US. Their enormous selection covers drugstore classics like Sally Hansen and Revlon, as well as higher end brands like Essie, OPI and even Chanel. Prices range from $2.99 for basic polishes to $10-15 for premium lacquers.

Special sales and BOGO (buy-one-get-one) offers help stretch your dollar further.

CVS also carries their own line of polishes under brands like Studio 35 Beauty. These decent quality lacquers retail between $5-8 but routinely go on sale for 40-50% off. With frequent ExtraBucks rewards and coupons too, savvy shoppers can often score polishes for just a couple bucks each.


Right behind CVS in store count is Walgreens, with over 9,000 locations covering all 50 states. Their nail polish selection features trusted names like Sally Hansen, Revlon and L’Oreal alongside higher end options from OPI, China Glaze and Orly.

Walgreens polish prices tend to run $1-2 more than CVS for the same items. However, with Balance Rewards points and Register Rewards coupons, you can frequently purchase polishes at steep discounts. It’s not uncommon to grab them for $2-5 each when they run special Buy One Get One 50% Off sales.

Rite Aid

Trailing slightly behind the top two is Rite Aid, currently operating around 2,400 pharmacies in 18 states. Their nail polish assortment covers drugstore staples from Sally Hansen and Wet n Wild as well as salon brands like OPI and Essie.

Standard polish prices at Rite Aid match up closely with CVS, normally ranging $3-15. However, their Wellness+ loyalty program offers more frequent discounts and bonus cash back. It’s easy to snag quality lacquers for under $5, with special buys dipping as low as $1.99.

Chain # of Stores Rewards Program Average Polish Price
CVS 9,900 ExtraBucks $2.99 – $15
Walgreens 9,000 Balance Rewards $3.99 – $15
Rite Aid 2,400 Wellness+ $3 – $15

So while CVS may edge out its competition in store count and low-priced drugstore brands, savvy shoppers can score fabulous deals on quality nail polish at any of the big three chains. Check their weekly ad circulars for bonus coupon offers and polish promos.

For maximum convenience, download the CVS app here, the Walgreens app here, or the Rite Aid app here to manage rewards, view sales, and order items for easy in-store or curbside pickup.

Beauty Supply Stores for Salon Brands

Sally Beauty Supply

Sally Beauty Supply is one of the largest beauty supply retailers in the United States. With over 3,000 stores nationwide, Sally’s offers a wide selection of professional hair care, nail care, skin care and beauty tools at reasonable prices.

Many of the products carried at Sally’s are salon-quality brands typically only sold through salons and beauty schools.

Some popular salon nail polish brands available at Sally Beauty Supply include:

  • OPI – Known for its trendy shades and clever names, OPI is a top choice among professionals and DIY manicurists.
  • China Glaze – This brand offers one of the largest color selections with over 300 long-wearing polishes.
  • Orly – Orly nail lacquers contain a special gripper cap for easy application and vibrant colors.
  • Essie – A celebrity favorite, Essie polishes go on smooth and have cheeky names.
  • Gelish – Sally’s carries the full Gelish gel polish system perfect for long-lasting chip-free manicures.

The selection varies a bit by location, but popular shades are usually in stock. Specialty top coats, base coats, nail treatments, tools and nail art supplies are also sold. Sally’s often runs promotions where shoppers can save big on salon brands with the Sally Beauty card.

Ulta Beauty

With over 1,300 retail locations across the United States, Ulta Beauty is a one-stop shop for all things beauty. What sets Ulta apart from other beauty retailers is that they offer drugstore favorites, prestige brands typically found in department stores, salon hair care products, and professional brands in one place.

Shoppers can find an impressive array of over 25,000 products from over 500 well-recognized beauty brands.

Some salon professional nail lacquer brands sold at Ulta include:

  • OPI
  • China Glaze
  • Essie
  • Orly
  • Zoya – Vegan-friendly Zoya polishes are long-wearing and chip resistant.
  • CND – Creators of the original long-lasting Shellac gel polish.
  • Bio Seaweed Gel – This gel polish brand is formulated with nourishing seaweed extract.

Ulta also offers a wide selection of nail tools, treatments, base and top coats. An added perk is that shoppers can get professional salon manicure and pedicure services in store. Many Ultas feature full-service salons which is perfect for trying out new polish colors.

With regular sales and a rewards program that earns money off future purchases, it’s easy to see why Ulta is a top destination for nail polish lovers.

Department Stores for High-End and Luxury Polish


Nordstrom is a high-end department store known for its exceptional customer service and range of luxury beauty brands. The nail polish section offers top quality lacquers in trending shades and finishes from brands like Chanel, Dior, YSL, Burberry and more.

Shoppers can get professional makeovers at the Beauty Haven to try on different polish colors too. With frequent gift events and seasonal sales, Nordstrom is the place to shop for affordable luxury polishes and nail care accessories.


Macy’s is another favorite shopping spot for fabulous nail lacquers. Their nail bar provides mani/pedi services using salon grade tools and products. The massive beauty department carries around 300+ shades and textures of nail enamel from prestige brands like OPI, Essie, ORLY, China Glaze, etc.

They also offer value sets and exclusive color collections perfect as gifts. Sign up for the Star Rewards program to receive additional discounts and first dibs during annual blowout sales.

Saks Fifth Avenue

For the ultimate nail polish splurge, head to Saks Fifth Avenue. Their impressive beauty inventory features the crème de la crème of color cosmetics. Find hard-to-find seasonal editions from luxury labels like Gucci, Tom Ford and Yves Saint Laurent. Can’t decide on a shade?

Book a complimentary consultation with their pros to discover hues that match your skin tone. Saks also provides free gift wrapping, promotions like 10% off new beauty launches, and value gift sets – fabulous reasons to treat yourself or surprise a fashionista friend!

Online Retailers for Endless Selection

The internet provides access to a seemingly limitless array of nail polishes across numerous online stores. For any shade, finish, or price point imaginable, you’re sure to discover it amongst these top e-commerce platforms.


As the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon offers one of the most extensive nail polish selections around. Browse over 75,000 options across hundreds of brands like OPI, Essie, Sally Hansen, and more. Benefit from free shipping for Prime members and reliable customer service.

Live Love Polish

Live Love Polish exclusively sells indie nail lacquers, offering unique shades you won’t find anywhere else. With over 500 cruelty-free and vegan-friendly shades, you can get creative with velvets, holos, flakies, thermals, and multi-chromes.

Their personalized nail polish sampler packs help you discover new beloved polishes.


As pioneers of the “big 10 free” formula, Zoya nail polishes exclude toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, and phthalates. Their natural and vegan formula also resists chipping and peeling. Peruse collections inspired by nature, like meadow blooms and beachside breezes, as well as all the nudes, reds, pinks, and neutrals you desire.


Julep‘s nail polish goes beyond eye-catching colors to care for nails, thanks to strengthening ingredients like keratin, green tea extract, and bamboo. Their extensive Color Treat collection with over 100 shades empowers you to make self-care statements, from feminine Sheers to edgy Metallics.

Or join their Maven subscription program to get customized boxes of polish delivered.


With so many places to buy nail polish both in stores and online, you’re sure to find the perfect shades and brands for your manicure needs. Drugstores offer convenience and affordability. Beauty supply shops have pro brands. Department stores provide high-end polish.

Online retailers give you endless options. No matter your budget or preferences, you can find great nail lacquer. Happy polishing!

Similar Posts