I'll warn you in advance - I have short nails, and slightly raggedy cuticles. If this offends your sensibilities, I suggest you skip my nail polish posts! I always keep my nails short because if they get longer than my fingertips they start to annoy me.
I've found that short nails chip less, so nail polish tends to last longer on me than on the average wearer, even though I use my hands a lot. I get tipwear quickly but that can easily be covered with a new coat of the same polish.
I use Barry M's clear basecoat/topcoat. I really like the consistency and it has two ball bearings in the bottle so it stays smooth.
Barry M's 'Lilac Foil' (£3.99)
This picture shows one coat after three days wear. The tip wear was not overly noticeable but on day two I acquired a few dents in the middle of the nails which looked a lot like smudges although the nail polish had been dry for ages. After taking this photo I gave one thumb an extra coat to cover up a really obvious dent. Despite this, it's a beautiful colour and I would buy it again. It surprised me as I usually don't like metallic-effect polishes very much.
Sinful Colors' 'Let's Talk' (£1.99)
I am in love with this colour! It's definitely my new favourite purple polish. I took the photo with a bar (okay, a bit of a bar) of Cadbury's chocolate so that you can more easily judge the colour, but it's bluer and brighter and better, in my opinion, than the Cadbury's purple shade! The photo shows one coat, I'd been wearing it for four days. There was some tip wear and the polish had worn quite thin on my thumbs, I could see the natural colour of my nails through it. I gave the thumbs a second coat, and then I applied:
L.A. Colors' 'Jewel Tone' (99p)
I've never liked this polish all that much - it's just purple, magenta and turquoise-blue glitter in a clear base and it doesn't look very impressive alone or over dark polish. However, on top of Sinful Colors' Let's Talk, it looks brilliant. I will definitely be repeating this combo. It applies easily, although the brush is on the small side, and dries fast. After a few days wear I've found that the colour starts to come off the glitter near the tips. I'm still wearing it now, and I keep admiring my nails!
Have you tried any of these polishes? I was so excited when Boots started to stock Sinful Colors, but 'Let's Talk' is the only one I could find from my wishlist, and now the stand seems to have vanished.