I swore by Barry M, sucked into the consumerist ideal that their £3.99 nail polishes were actually saving money when, in fact, I found myself getting so frustrated at how quickly the nail polish chipped and, in some cases, peeling off in one go (thought I'm aware that this may be because off skin oils, it does happen more often when using Barry M). It came to a point where I was using way more product than I should be, just by painting over chips and peels. Cost efficient? Absolutely not.
Testing out some mid-range brands, I found that my particular favourites were Essie, OPI and Ciate. I've got a few polishes by these brands in my collection, but I never really thought of buying more as I was so fixed on cheaper products.
There are so many gorgeous shades and effects by all three of these brands, but my favourite has been OPI's Matte Top Coat - a polish which does exactly what it says on the packaging.
You don't have to buy masses of matte effect nail polishes; instead, you can simply paint this over the top of any polish and it will magically mattify itself! Literally taking seconds to become touch dry, this is my favourite polish to paint over pastel tones to give an instantly summery effect. And, even better, it seems to protect the polish underneath, reducing the chances of chipping or peeling. Perfect!