It’s good to be cheap. I mean thrifty.

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Readers will know that most of my polish comes from the drugstore, big box store, or chain beauty store and is in the low (~$5 and less) to mid (~$5-$9) price range.  I don’t own a single Chanel, Dior, or Yves Saint Laurent.

A recent news article made me feel even better about that because an independent test from Consumer Reports found that $2 Sinful Colors outperformed $27 Chanel by quite a large margin.  Makes me feel great about the Sinful Colors I own!  Also note that Chanel was outperformed by CND Vinylux, Revlon Colorstay, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure, and Cover Girl Outlast Stay Brilliant.  As you might imagine, many news outlets picked up the story and ran with it; here’s an article from ABC News.

They’re not saying and I’m not saying Chanel is bad.  Of course not.  I’ve never tried one to compare.  But when you look at prices, can one polish really be thirteen and a half ($27 divided by $2) times better than another, or are you mostly paying for the cachet of the Chanel name?

Would I take a Chanel if someone gave me one?  Yoobetcha.  But will I buy one?  Probably not.

I’ve shown you several Sinful Colors before.  Here are two of my faves.

Fig, one of the best purples I’ve owned.  Ever.

Fig outd light

Forget Now

Forget Now closeup

Of the other brands listed, I’ve only tried one CND Vinylux and loved it.  The wear was fantastic.  I reviewed it in October, and here’s a picture of Pretty Poison again:

Pretty Poison outd

I have a few Cover Girl Outlast Stay Brilliant polishes.  Inferno:


And some Revlon Colorstay ones.  Spanish Moss:

Spanish Moss

And Fall Mood, which I totally love in the fall:

Fall Mood cloudy sunlight

So next time you reach for a bottle of Sinful Colors (which is often on sale for $1 at Walgreens), don’t feel like you’re being cheap.  You’re being smart.



28 responses »

  1. Hey! I was just talking about Sinful Colors on Facebook yesterday! They are indeed underrated. I anticipate a price hike after all the publicity they’re getting on the back of this study. I have personally experienced far superior performance from SC over Essie AND even a Zoya that I’d gotten an SC dupe for: SC: Dream On vs. Zoya Charisma. Charisma literally chipped on me THE DAY I applied it while Dream On STAYED ON for days:). Fig indeed is one STUNNING MUST HAVE SC COLOR!! LOVE HER!!! I had to take advantage of the sale this week because I just love me some SC! I will be hitting up different Walgreens this weekend to expand my selection:). I also own Revlon CS in Spanish Moss and CG Outlast’s Inferno. Big fan of those brands as well. Great post – thanks for sharing! XOXOXO

  2. Which ones are non-toxic? That is why I buy Zoya. It’s important to me that I’m not harming my body or the environment by buying chemically laden items or from companies that dump toxic waste into the water or onto the land. Thanks.

    • It depends on what you mean by non-toxic. Zoya is 5-free (yay!). I believe Revlon is 5-free as well. About the other ones, I’ve read 3-free, but some of those reports are years old and I wouldn’t swear to current chemical composition; they may have improved.

    • From the Sinful Colors website: Our story starts in 1991, when a team of visionary beauty experts developed SinfulColors for professional beauty stores. Their ability to anticipate the next “now” colors made an instant splash. In no time, SinfulColors spread its on-trend color appeal through retail stores and across the country. With vivid shades that pop, wow, flatter and inspire. In cream, glitter, shimmer and matte, and in formulas you want that provide full color coverage. All made in the USA, with the quality you expect from a leading nail brand, without formaldehyde, toluene and DBP.

  3. I LOVED this blog today. Maybe because I’m cheap, oh yea right, thrifty (HaHa), but due to circumstances beyond my control. Like moving out on my own(again) and having to watch my money.alot more carefully. I bought alot of polish mostly in 2013, and really purchased so many beautiful colors, mostly from Zoya, but also some from Sinful Colors, and a few from Cover Girl Stay Brilliant. And, other inexpensive brands that were not mentioned in the Consumer Reports article. I actually have 3 Sinful Colors “Cool Grey”, “Mauve”, and “Beau Khaki” that I had set aside as part of the Zoya Earth Day promo which I missed this year. I have never tried them for some reason. But, now I’m taking another look at them. And, as luck would have it, I am actually stopping at my local Walgreens today. It’s next to the Albertsons/Savons where I need to pick up a few things, so I stop in from time to time, and I know they have a good selection of Sinful Colors, so I’m going to see if they have “Fig”, and “Forget Now”. And, check out the Revlon Color Stay “Fall Mood” and see if they have that one also. I was going there to check out the Revlon lipsticks. I’m dying for a new lipstick, it’s been so long. Which leads me to an off topic subject. I know your expanding out to different kinds of make up on your blog, and you might have already written on these types of make up. Sorry, I have a poor memory. But, in the future, especially after your busyness of moving settles down, I would love to see some blogs on say foundation(tinted moisturizer), under eye coverage, cheek blush, and lipstick. I read reviews, and have ones I really like, but it’s nice to hear from you, and our other readers too. Well, I’ve written another novel. I’ll let you know what I find at my Walgreens, and thanks for the tips, and for everything else. Your the best. Suzy

    • Thanks Suzy, for the comment and the suggestions. Once the craziness of moving settles down (it’ll still be weeks), I hope to do more makeup reviews. I don’t wear a lot of lip color because I rarely find ones that I like the feel of; however, one of my favorite brands is Hot Lips from Zoya. I can’t wear the shimmery/glittery shades — they really bring out the lines in my lips — but I love the creamy ones like Purr or Disguise, and they feel so light.

  4. Well said .. I own a bunch of Dior and I love the Sally Hansen polishes much more !! Dior always ALWAYS has a tip wear the second day for me

  5. Like you, I don’t own any Dior, Chanel, Estee Lauder or Deborah Lippman polishes. My most expensive polishes are Butter London’s and I got those when Ulta had them on sale, No way am I paying over $10 for a bottle of polish! (Yet.’cos you never know what the future holds) I balk at the $8-9 cost of Zoya and OPI, but still I own a lot of ’em. Now Sinful Colors I have a ton of… and several are complete dupes for some OPI’s that I know for sure as I own both, and and maybe even other higher end polishes too. This week Walgreen’s has SC on sale for .99 each!!! Color me happy happy happy. I love SC and the quality is as good as any of the other brands I’ve tried if not better.

  6. I have a confession — I do own 1 Chanel. I fell in love with Taboo after seeing it on another blog & that was one-half of my b-day splurge this year. The other was Estee Lauder Smoked Chrome. I haven’t worn it yet, but might this week-end (The girls & I are celebrating a birthday). I’ll let you know my results!

  7. SinfulShine which are also .99 with the sale are some of my absolute favorite polishes. There’s almost dupes for the entire Zoya Stunning collection. I buy other polishes and almost always go back to the Sinful Colors ones over and over again. There are some Walgreen exclusive textured shades out now and they are awesome!

  8. Terrific post! I don’t have any Butter London or Deborah Lippmann either. I can’t bring myself to pay those prices. One of the best bargains around is Sally Hansen’s Hard As Nails Extreme Wear line; more variety of colors would be welcome though. I had been buying a lot of indie polishes which can often cost more. I was happy to support them but have cut back because some formulas were sub-par. I just recently bought my first few Sinful Colors polishes and am really happy with them.

  9. I would say the bulk of my collection is Zoya, OPI, China Glaze and Color Club with a good number of Sinful Colors, Sally Hansen, Revlon, Maybelline and Cover girl (along with some oddies) thrown in for good measure. I have been getting more into indie polishes lately, but I still resent paying more than $5 for a bottle of polish (I generally wait until there is a sale somewhere or a BOGO, or I buy from 8ty8 or Head2Toe). My greatest weakness is silver holos and I WILL put out the big $$ for those. I have three Deborah Lippman’s, two of which I HAD to have and one I admired for a long time and later picked-up at a blog sale…and yes, those are my most expensive polishes. Every time I see RBL Fire Queen I have to walk AWAY from the computer (I don’t have any RBLs) – it would appear that $15 is my “sticking point”. I am quite sure I will never own a Chanel, YSL or Dior unless someone gives it to me as a gift!

  10. Love this post, thank you for Sharon that article! SC is my go-to for basic cremes and undies. Glad to know they are as awesome as I thought 🙂

  11. Went to Walgreens, and yes the the Sinful Colors were 99 cents. I picked up Fig, and love the color. I don’t have another shade of purple that color. I couldn’t find Forget Now, but am going to Walmart tomorrow to return something, so I’ll take a look there. They may not be 99 cents, but I’m sure they are cheap nonetheless. I did pick up 2 more, Folly(thinking it might be close to Maura), but don’t really think so, seems more red. I have Maura on my Zoya wish list. I’m not good at some color comparisons. Also, picked up one called Ruby Mine. I think I was drawn in by the red shimmer. LOL But, seems close to my Sally Hansen Red Velvet. I was going to return them, since my pink lipstick(returning) I picked up was a little too light. But, I’ll keep them. I can always give what I don’t want to my grandaughters. I do have Zoya Disquise lip gloss on my wish list, and it is only $6, so I may include that it in my next order.. I’ve never bought lip gloss, just lipstick. Is it at all sticky? I’ve heard some are. Also, how does it wear? Does it stay on long, or do you have to reapply often? I’m addicted to chapstick myself, and apply often regardless of the moisture content of any lipstick I buy. Thanks for listening.

    • Some lip glosses are sticky and I hate that feeling. I haven’t found Zoya’s Hot Lips glosses to feel sticky, though. In general, I’d say lip glosses don’t wear as long as lipsticks, but they’re more for a bit of shine and color than heavier coverage.

  12. Montréalaise

    I own just one Chanel polish, and it chips like crazy! I know that other bloggers rave about Chanel polishes, but apart from the fact that Chanel does have some gorgeous colors, I don’t get it. I’ve tried every trick in the book, using different base coats, top coats, etc and it still chips the day I put it on.

  13. Hey, hope your moving is going well. Put on Fig last night, and love the color. Thanks for the tip. I’ll be on the lookout for some of the others when I’m out at either Walmart or Walgtreens. Suzy

    • It’s going well but I’ve lost count of the nails I’ve broken and the cuticles I’ve smashed. Life goes on. So glad you like Fig!

    • Montréalaise

      I just read the Consumer Reports article and am very disappointed that they only chose to test a small handful of brands. What about OPI, Essie, Butter London, Zoya, Nars and others? When CR tests other products, such as vacuum cleaners, they test just about every brand on the market, so why the teeny tiny sample of nail polish brands?

  14. I’m not gonna shame or judge any woman who chooses to splurge on beauty products — I feel like people are close to doing that. I only own one Chanel, Paradoxal which is an amazing color, not because I can’t/ won’t pay the price but because it’s the only one that’s really called to me. I also own the Revlon dupe for it, Naughty. I have a few other high-end polishes that I bought because I loved the colors. Most of my polishes are mid-range, Zoya and OPI, mostly OPI. I try to buy when they’re on sale because then I can buy more! Some women collect brands and I don’t see that as a problem. Only have a handful of SC polishes mostly because I’ve just not been drawn to the colors although I am desperately looking for two in particular: Verbena and Winterberry. But I just added Fig to my list. 😊

    Sometimes it’s not the polish but the base and top coats used in combination. Seche Vite doesn’t play well with some brands. I’ve found my HG base coat in Butter London; it seems to work well with all my polishes. I’ve just started testing Poshe and HK Girl top coats. I haven’t seen that article so thanks for the link.

    Chanel Paradoxal is my favorite. color. ever. Although Nars Purple Rain is a verrry close second. I know the Chanel will chip if I use SV on it but then I only wear it on special occasions. I love that though. Pulling out that pretty bottle to apply knowing it’s for an event. It makes me feel good. And isn’t that what beauty products are about??

    • Hopefully I did not come across as shaming or judging. We love what we love. Some people think Zoya is too expensive but I collect it like you wouldn’t believe!

      • No, I don’t think you were and I hope you don’t think I was saying you were. But it does get a little sticky when people start talking about what they *don’t* spend vs. what some do. I will happily spend $15 on a copper cookie cutter (my other passion 😊) or nail polish. I’d love to spend less but there you have it. So I agree completely — we love what we love!

        Beauty products can be a very sensitive subject. I think we all just want something that works. And what works can be completely subjective.

        • You make some really good points — maybe there’s a whole blog post about this subject one of these days. Are beauty products necessary? Not in the way that air, water, and food are. But they are no more frivolous than most hobbies or collectibles or interests. 🙂

  15. My mom swears by Sinful. And fig is one of her faves, especially for pedicures!

  16. Pingback: Sinful Colors 99¢ sale at Walgreens | The Silver Nail

  17. Pingback: A triple dose of good news | The Silver Nail

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