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Which green nail polish is best?

Green nail polish can be playful, dramatic, and provide a pop of color that can match or play off accents in your outfit. From pale mints to dark forest greens to sparkly, vibrant emerald shades that evoke images of mermaids, the range of greens can be dressed up for work and daytime activities or can add fun to your nighttime look. If you’re looking for a versatile, high-quality green nail polish, Revlon Nail Enamel in 571 Posh is the top choice.

What to know before you buy a green nail polish

The condition of your nail health

Color isn’t the only consideration when choosing a green nail polish. You’ll also want to consider whether your nails need a little extra TLC. Nails that have experienced a lot of wear and tear or break easily could use a more nourishing formula to strengthen and condition them, so seek out polishes with vitamins or other strengthening ingredients. 

Sparkly vs. solid

A glittery green polish evokes images of open treasure chests and undersea adventure, making shimmery green tones perfect for beach days and fun nights out. Solid, creamy greens can look great with a gown or a suit and add panache to your look. Pale mattes are perfect with a business suit or a light blazer.

Light vs. dark

Few colors can change so much in tone and mood from light to dark as green can. A pastel mint or sage shade is calming and feminine, whereas a dark, rich emerald makes your manicure a bold stand-out. Play with a range of greens to find out which one best fits your style, personality and mood.

What to look for in a quality green nail polish

Level of pigment

You’ll want a thick, well-pigmented green that will cover your nails with one or, at most, two coats. A polish that needs more than two coats can go on tacky or take too long to dry, so look for a nail polish with rich color that offers full coverage.

Fade-resistant color

Green is a very specific color that looks best when it’s fresh, so it pays to look for a shade that doesn’t fade or lose its vibrancy. Additionally, as with any nail polish, a chip-resistant formula helps your manicure last. 

A formula that’s good for your nails

Look for nourishing ingredients in your polish to keep nails supple and strong. Seek out natural formulas with plant-based ingredients rich in vitamins and minerals. Ingredients to avoid include toluene, formaldehyde, camphor and dibutyl phthalate. 

How much you can expect to spend on a green nail polish

Drugstore brands make great green nail polishes for under $4. High-end prestige brands cost between $20-$30.

Green nail polish FAQ

How long can I expect my bottle of green nail polish to last?

A. Most nail polishes will last about a year and a half to two years if properly stored. You can help your favorite shades last longer by shaking them at least once a month to keep the ingredients from separating. Be sure to keep your polishes out of direct sunlight, which can fade them, and away from heat sources.

How can I help my green manicure last longer?

A. Highly pigmented colors like green benefit from both a good base coat and a hardening top coat. Base coats help the color to adhere to your nails. A good top coat prevents chipping and bending, which is particularly key with pastels.

Does green nail polish work well on all skin tones?

A. With shades that are intended to blend with skin tones, undertones matter. With greens, which are so unlike most skin, it’s OK to let it pop. Pale skin may look best with richer, warmer shades, but for the most part, just go with the color that catches your eye and play with the full range of greens from sage to forest green.

What are the best green nail polishes to buy?

Top green nail polish

Revlon Nail Enamel in 571 Posh

Revlon Nail Enamel in 571 Posh

What you need to know: This rich emerald green goes on smooth, true to Revlon quality. It’s a color-saturated, gorgeous color that is sure to get attention.

What you’ll love: Thick and creamy, this toluene- and formaldehyde-free formula goes on bubble-free and smooth and gives full coverage that lasts..

What you should consider: While this shade gets high marks, some users report finding the color to be darker than expected, closer to a grassy hue than a Kelly green.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top green nail polish for money

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Fanta-seas

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Fanta-seas

What you need to know: Inexpensive and whimsical, this glitter nail polish sparkles with a range of greens that evoke a shining afternoon sea. 

What you’ll love: The high-shine color is second to none and will become one of your summertime favorites.

What you should consider: The consistency of the glitter formula means this shade takes longer than average to dry. Don’t rush it or you’ll end up with smudges.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty

Worth checking out

Gucci Vernis À Ongles Nail Polish in 719 Miriam Mint

Gucci Vernis À Ongles Nail Polish in 719 Miriam Mint

What you need to know: This plant-based formula is great for your nails without sacrificing color steadfastness or its strengthening capacity. The red algae adds calcium to the formula and the bentonite allows for uniform distribution of the color for a glossy finish.

What you’ll love: The mint shade is unique and long-lasting, and the vitamin E in this formula will help nails feel healthy and strong. The red algae adds calcium to the formula.

What you should consider: This shade is a splurge and can last a bit less than the average polish due to its milder formula.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora


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Maria E. Andreu writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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