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Nail polishes come in all sorts of colors, but white polish is a particularly crisp, clean, and classic choice. The best white nail polishes will come in an opacity, finish, and shade that appeals to your taste. While the options may appear similar at first glance, shades vary from bright, stark whites to off-white hues, both sheer and opaque, and finishes can be glossy, shimmery, pearlescent, or glittery. If you’re stuck on which white shade and finish is the best match for you, look for a set with multiple shades to try.
There are many different features and formulations that set different white nail polishes apart, so think about what you want from your polish. Opt for a quick-drying formulation if you often smudge your manicures — it can be safe to the touch in as little as 40 seconds! A base coat can work wonders when it comes to the longevity of your polish, but if you don’t want to spend extra time on that, look for a two-in-one pick that contains both the base coat and color coat. If making nail art is your thing, go with a white nail polish with a thin brush to do precise detail work. For a long-lasting manicure, gel nail polish is known for its staying power — just make sure you have an at-home UV LED lamp to cure it. However, if you want to avoid the harsh removal process associated with real gel polish, opt for a white nail polish with a gel-like finish instead that’ll look similar to the real thing — these picks don’t need to be cured with a lamp (you just paint them on like normal polish!), so they’re easier to apply, too.
If you’re concerned about certain chemicals that are present in some nail polishes, you may wish to opt for a pick that is labeled as nontoxic — though it’s worth mentioning that there’s no definitive evidence that nail polish with these chemicals is bad for your health. The chemicals might, however, cause contact dermatitis if you have an allergy, so these polishes could be a smart pick for those with especially sensitive skin. When choosing a non-toxic polish, the term “three-free” indicates that the polish doesn’t contain formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate. Some picks leave out additional chemicals, and they’ll be labeled accordingly (like “seven-free” or “12-free”).
These 10 nail polishes are the best options to achieve the perfect white mani or pedi at home — and they’re all $20 or less!
1. A White Nail Polish From A Cult-Favorite Brand
OPI is known for making amazing nail polishes, so it comes as no surprise that this white OPI polish is incredible — the formula boasts a solid 4.5-star rating overall on Amazon, after 12,000-plus reviews, with tons of people calling the Alpine Snow shade the perfect white. The three-free nail polish is described as a fresh, crisp white with a cream-like finish. And since it’s totally opaque, you can expect this pick to provide plenty of coverage on your nails. The wide brush makes for easy application, and the resulting manicure should last for up to 7 days.
If you’re not looking for an opaque, snowy white, OPI also sells other white shades that may be of interest, including sheer, off-white, and pearlescent polishes.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I have been using this white nail polish for years and honestly have to say it is the best one out there. It is very opaque and you only need 1-2 coats. Love this polish!”
2. A Sheer Cream-Colored Nail Polish
If you prefer an off-white shade of nail polish, this polish from duri is one of the best options out there. Named Ghost, the color is described as a white cream shade with sheer coverage and a high gloss finish. The polish itself is seven-free, vegan, and not tested on animals, and it comes with a flat fanned brush for easy application. Multiple Amazon reviewers commented that this polish is particularly useful for American manicures, since it’s more of a natural, subdued shade of white rather than the stark white associated with a French manicure.
If you like the nail polish but not the shade, duri also sells this polish in 20 other colors, including a shimmery white.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I've been searching for a good, soft white (NOT bright white) for awhile. I favor the American versus French Manicure styles, and this is it.”
3. A Budget-Friendly White Nail Polish
For less than $5, this white nail polish from Sally Hansen is an absolute steal — and the best part is that Amazon reviewers confirm that the polish is actually a good one, since it goes on smoothly and lasts for a while. Named White On, the shade is described as a bright white that’s opaque with a glossy finish. The polish is three-free, and doesn’t contain formaldehyde, toluene, or dibutyl phthalate.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I bought this in the color ‘white on’. It's pure white, super pretty. It goes on smooth and dries fast. [...] I'm a big fan of Sally Hansen hard as nails extreme wear, 10 out of 10 would recommend.”
4. A White Nail Polish That Dries In As Little As 40 Seconds
Say goodbye to smudged nails — this nail polish from Wet n Wild dries in as little as 40 seconds… yep, you read that right! The shade name is Lovey Dove-y, and it’s described as a bright white with a glossy finish. The opaque nail polish is formulated without toluene, formaldehyde, or camphor. Plus, it’s cruelty-free. You can expect this pick to last up to 5 days on your nails without chipping. If you like the formula, it comes in a few other colors, though none of the other shades are white or off-white.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I am super impatient. I hate waiting for my nails to dry (Especially my toenails). I used this on my toenails (2 coats on the small toes, three on my big toes), its been 3 days (wearing sandals) and I see no wear or tear. Honestly, with quick-dry polish I don't expect it to last very long, even on toes. but this has exceeded my expectations already.”
5. A White Polish With A Base Coat & Color Coat In One
Don’t want to spend extra time on a base coat? This nail polish from CND Vinylux allows you to skip that step, since it contains both the base coat and color coat in one bottle. Named Studio White, the color is described as a semi-sheer white with a high-shine finish. The nail polish is infused with vitamin E, keratin, and jojoba oil for nourishment. And you can expect that it’ll last for around 7 days on your nails without chipping, according to the brand, though some reviewers report that it lasts even longer.
CND Vinylux sells another white shade called Cream Puff, which is a more opaque option should that be of interest.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “Perfect color for French nails (studio white). I have used CND for some time now and I love it. Last for about 12 days on me.”
6. A 10-Free White Nail Polish With A Gel-Like Finish
This nail polish from Deborah Lippmann will allow you to achieve a smooth, gel-like finish without the curing lamp. The shade is called Amazing Grace, and it’s described as a full coverage creamy white with a high-shine finish. The formulation is 10-free — it leaves out formaldehyde, toluene, parabens, camphor, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, xylene, phthalates, triphenyl phosphate, tert-butyl hydroperoxide, and ethyl tosylamide — plus it’s vegan and cruelty-free. According to reviewers, the polish also lasts a long time. One even wrote: “I love how long the polish stays on my nails without chipping. I’d say easily a week or more.”
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “Easy application. Long lasting. I will purchase more colors”
7. A White Nail Polish With Rainbow Glitter
A white polish with a festive confetti twist, this pick from KBShimmer features rainbow glitter specks (six different shades of them) that’ll certainly bring the fun to your nails. The white nail polish is quite opaque, and it boasts a shimmery finish. Many Amazon reviewers indicated they applied two to three coats of this pick, and that they were pleased with how long the polish lasted before chipping. This pick is three-free.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “Love this color. First off anyone that knows nail polish knows white polish is tricky. Most times it's goopy. Not this polish. Easy to go on. I did 3 coats but only because I wanted more glitter. You can do 2 and it will look great. Very pleased. Fun interesting color.”
8. A White Gel Nail Polish That’ll Last Several Weeks
With a knockout 4.4-star rating overall on Amazon, after more than 11,000 reviews, it’s clear that this gel nail polish from Beetles in the shade French White is a good one for many reasons. [[The reviews are for a wide range of colors, not just white. Tweak this?]] For one, the polish is super long lasting — it can remain on your nails without chipping for 21-plus days — and it’s nine-free, so it doesn’t contain a variety of chemicals. The color is described as a French white with a high-gloss shine, but this polish is also available in a more subdued milky white, or in a number of more vibrant shades.
To use this pick, you’ll need access to an UV LED lamp — each coat cures in 60 to 120 seconds. A base and top coat are also required. [[Include link for this]]
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “Hands down the best white I have ever used. Most are clumpy and dry fast. This one is very easy to apply, does not gum up. White is actually white and hasn’t yellowed. I also cleaned with harsh chemicals and did some home improvements and it’s still looks pretty good. This is going to be the only white I buy.”
9. A Set With 4 Shades Of White Nail Polish
Not sure which shade of white is your perfect match? This set of nail polishes from Eternal Collection comes with four different options to help you decide — or if you just want multiple options to choose from! Included in the set are Blanco Tiza (a pure, creamy white), Snow Frost (a pearlescent white with silver undertones for some sparkle), and Cosmopolitan and French Silk, which are both shimmery, subtle shades. All of the polishes are 12-free and vegan. And at less than $20 for the set, this pick is also totally budget-friendly. Eternal Collection also sells a few other four-packs of nail polish in more vibrant shades, if you want to add some extra color to your repertoire, too.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I love the variety of colors this set offers. They ALL are absolutely beautiful. I tried all colors using two coats, the end results were very professional looking. I recommend a quick dry top coat to prevent smudges. However, this polish definitely has staying power without a topcoat and has lasted a very long time without chipping. I highly recommend this polish. Great for special occasions or for everyday wear.”
10. A White Gel Polish With An Ultra-Thin Brush For Nail Art
If you’re interested in creating nail art, this white nail polish from Beetles features an ultra-narrow brush that’ll allow you to create intricate designs — and it’s great for making a thin line for a French manicure, too. The bright white nail polish boasts a glossy finish, and the nine-free formulation leaves out of a variety of potentially harmful chemicals. Since this is a gel polish, each coat will need to be cured using an UV LED lamp for 60 to 120 seconds. You can also scoop it up in black.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “Great product. Easy to apply and needs only one coat. Would recommend.”