Personal style is all about showing off your true self. And today, this expression goes way beyond clothing. The men’s beauty industry is exploding, as people of all genders embrace the full spectrum of clothing, makeup and cosmetics. Just head onto any social media platform and witness a slew of guys sporting full faces of makeup for men, painted nails, dresses and skirts. Gender-bending in terms of men’s fashion is a bold statement that all guys need to experience in their fashion choices.
If you’re looking to dip your toes (or fingers) into the world of gender-forward beauty, there’s one product that’s a must-try:
Nail polish for men.
An at-home manicure is a great way to show your nails, and yourself, some love. You can add color to your nails with a traditional nail polish or commit to a shade for weeks at a time with a gel product. However, if color isn’t your thing, you can also try out a restorative polish. Many of these protective products leave a minimal shine behind.
No matter your overall aesthetic, nail polish for men can be a stylish addition to your everyday look. You might find that your outfits look incomplete without it. To get you started on your men’s beauty journey, we’ve browsed the virtual shelves to round up the best nail polish for men. From more neutral options to brighter picks, here are the best nail polishes for men to incorporate into their look.
1. Essie Nail Polish, Glossy Shine Finish
If you’re looking for something that’s both statement-making and subtle, consider this option from Essie. It’s available in a range of muted and deep shades of blue, green, and gray. This polish provides a high-gloss finish. Better yet, it paints on extremely smooth and won’t thicken up if you leave it sitting on the shelf for an extended period of time. An added benefit is that it’s free of DBP, toluene and formaldehyde. While some polishes are designed to go on easily without the use of a base or top coat, these polishes are designed to be used with a base and top coat, so that will need to be purchased separately as well.
Pros: Available in many muted but high-gloss shades. Long-lasting finish.
Cons: Polish is somewhat thin, so it may take extra applications. Additional coats will be needed.
Essie Nail Polish
2. ZOYA Men’s Starter Manicure Kit
This option is specifically marketed toward men who are looking to take care of their nails with a home manicure. It’s designed to provide a natural and neutral look. This order consists of three bottles — there’s a naked base, perfector, and satin seal. It’s designed for restoring and protecting nails. Vitamin B5 improves flexibility and reduces brittleness, and vitamin E supports cellular renewal. In addition to substantively improving nails, it also improves the look of them by reducing discoloration.
Pros: Specifically designed for restoring nails with vitamins, proteins and botanicals. Each order consists of three bottles, making it a reasonable value.
Cons: Can take a while to dry.
ZOYA Men's Starter Manicure Kit
3. Barielle No Bite Pro Growth
BEST FOR NAIL BITERS
Calling all nail biters — this is the nail polish you need so you can finally stop biting your nails. This odorless, invisible nail polish is an excellent pick for dudes who chronically bite their nails because it tastes disgusting. The taste will stay in your mouth long after you’ve made contact, so you’ll never want to bite your nails again. It has no shine whatsoever, so even feel free to put this as a coat over your freshly painted nails, too. It will even help your nails grow faster!
Pros: It does the trick, it will make you stop biting your nails.
Cons: It doesn’t come in any exciting colors, so you’re going to have to purchase something else if you want a pop.
Barielle No Bite Pro Growth
4. Frank Nails Mood
GENDER NEUTRAL COLORS
Frank Nails specializes in gender neutral colors that can work for either men or women, and are made with vegan and cruelty-free ingredients. The polish bottle comes with an oversized, textured cap that’s super easy to grip and hold while applying coats. The polish is also formulated to dry quickly, so you don’t need to wait around before heading out and showing off your new manicure.
Pros: Oversized polish bottle cap that’s easy to grip, gender neutral colors, fast-dry formula.
Cons: More expensive than other polish options.
Frank Nails Mood
5. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel
Sally Hansen’s gel nail polish is a great salon alternative. The long-lasting finish is solid and glossy for guys that aren’t afraid of a little shine. Unlike other gel polishes, this product doesn’t need a UV light to set. It stays on your nails for at least a week. This nail polish is on the thick side, but it glides onto your nail without clumping. You can purchase this product in over 20 bold colors. This polish works best when used with a top coat, but the top coat isn’t included in your order.
Pros: Has a deep color that lasts. Easy to take off. Tons of great color options.
Cons: Not totally flake-proof.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel
6. OPI Nail Lacquer, Long Lasting Nail Polish, Nude
BEST NUDE COLOR
Another entry on this list from OPI is this set of neutrals. The popularity of the brand is owed to the fact that they produce tons of great shades that last long. This option comes in many muted blush tones, and some are designed to have a “nude” look. That means that the polish won’t make as much of a statement; they will blend in more with your natural nail color while still having some shine and luster. These polishes are actually lacquers, which are generally thicker, more protective, and give a glossier look than traditional polish.
Pros: Thick lacquers in muted blush shades.
Cons: It can chip somewhat easily.
OPI Nude Nail Lacquer
7. ILNP Eclipse Holographic Ultra Chrome Nail Polish
The worst case scenario with a fresh manicure? That you’ll get all your coats perfectly applied and immediately chip it the next day. This nail polish formula is made to avoid that fate and wear like iron with long-lasting coverage. It’s made of premium ingredients that are 100% vegan and cruelty-free, and the formula is easy to remove as well. This stunning chrome color is glittery and shimmery, perfect for a special occasion or night out.
Pros: Glittery polish that’s easy to remove, chip-resistant formula, made of premium ingredients.
Cons: The thicker formula may cause the brush to wear down quicker.
ILNP Eclipse Nail Polish
8. Sally Hansen – Good. Kind. Pure Vegan Nail Polish
Throw your masculinity in the dumpster with a couple of nail polish colors you typically wouldn’t see men rocking. Coming in a number of various shades of pinks, reds and creams, these gorgeous vegan colors from Sally Hansen will give your nails the upgrade they need by ditching gender stereotypes and feeling yourself in a way you thought you never could. Each shade is tremendously long-lasting and the formula is 100% nature-forward. Even the applicator’s brush bristles are plant-based!
Pros: Totally vegan and comes in a variety of colors to choose from.
Cons: Some guys might feel some of the colors are a bit too feminine.
Sally Hansen Vegan Nail Polish
9. Revlon Nail Enamel Nail Polish
Available in a selection of pink and neutral shades, Revlon’s enamel nail polish is resistant to chips and fades. This is especially true when you apply it with a base and top coat. You should only need two coats to get the results you want, but this will depend on the specific color you choose. Keep in mind that this polish may take a while to dry. However, the sleek results are well worth it.
Pros: Has a great shine. Wide color selection.
Cons: Actual colors might not match the product photos. Prices vary by color.
Revlon Nail Enamel Nail Polish
10. Revlon ColorStay Nail Polish
Another gel polish option, Revlon’s ColorStay product promises seven-day wear and salon-quality results. The nail polish has a creamy texture, and it’s pretty easy to apply with the wide-angle brush. Revlon recommends applying this polish under their Diamond Top Coat, which is included in your order, to add protection and shine. This nail polish may bubble after it dries, but using a base coat can help prevent this.
Pros: Colors are bold and opaque. Top coat is included.
Cons: Might not last as long as some other gel products. Brush can be tricky to maneuver for manicure beginners.
Revlon ColorStay Nail Polish
11. essie expressie Quick-Dry Vegan Nail Polish
This nail polish from essie is designed to dry in about a minute, so it’s great if you need a quick coat on the fly, or don’t have the patience to wait until your polish is totally dry. It comes with an angled brush for easy application using either hand, including your non-dominant one, and it comes in a huge selection of colors. There’s also no base or top coat needed with this nail polish.
Pros: Dries very quickly, comes with a brush designed to be used by either hand, vegan formula that doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients.
Cons: Some users noted that the second and third coats of this polish don’t dry as quickly.