If any of you know me in real life, you’ll know that my true beauty passion is actually my nails. Of course I love wearing makeup too, but I don’t do it every day, however it’s really rare to catch me without a full manicure and (usually) nail art.  

I’m seriously addicted to buying polish, and I keep a big scary spreadsheet to help me keep track of what I have (123 bottles, not including top/base coats or minis). This sounds like I must spend an absolute fortune on nail varnish, especially as barely any of my collection are high street brands, BUT, I hardly ever spend more than £4 per bottle, and I am an absolute pro at getting them cheap.

Fragrance Direct

Despite this website’s name, Fragrance Direct is actually our number one site for buying polish, and we’ve never bought perfume from there.

One top tip before you buy is to Google the shade name you’re looking for for swatches, as the little square they show you on Fragrance Direct isn’t always that accurate.

It sells Essie polish for between £2.49 and £2.99 a bottle (usually £7.99), and has an absolutely massive selection of colours to choose from. Most of the shades are from previous year’s collections, at the moment there are selected shades from the Resort 2016 collection available which only actually dropped less than 6 months ago. we’ve also bought some on FD that are actually in their permanent line before, too – like Mademoiselle and Maximilian Strasse Her. New colours are added all the time, so keep checking if you love Essie.

There’s also a huge choice of OPI colours on Fragrance Direct, the main OPI line is £3.50 (usually £12.50), and Nicole by OPI is £2.39 (usually £7.99). There are lots of names available that you’ll remember from past collections, as well as old favourites like You Don’t Know Jacques, but you’ll also see colours you’ve never heard of, and when you Google them nothing will come up.

It seems strange, but what they are is re-named polishes from collections where OPI only had the rights to use the names for a short time, i.e polishes named after songs from collections with pop stars like Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj – if you’re interested in reading more about this there’s a pretty cool post from I’m a Beauty Geek about it, if you’re wondering what the shade you’re looking at actually is.

Brands like Orly and Nails inc seem to be constantly re-designing their packaging, which is all the better for us, as they often get seriously reduced on Fragrance Direct. Orly is an amazingly cheap £1.99 at FD (usually £10.95) and so are Nails inc (usually £12).  

Always look out for extra discounts to help you save even more money, there’s usually a free delivery code on the site, and they just started offering student discount with UniDays.

Nail Polish Direct

For China Glaze, our favourite site is Nail Polish Direct, most bottles are £3.95 and there’s free delivery on everything. It’s a less well known site, but we’ve always had amazing service from them.

TK Maxx

Now, we’ve written about the bargains we’ve found in TK Maxx before, and they sell absolutely masses of nail polish. It’s really common to see gift sets or mini collections from Nails inc and OPI, but also individual bottles from brands like Illamasqua, NARS, Dior and Ciate. It’s definitely worth stopping in if you’re mani-mad.


There’s also a fair selection at TK Maxx online, if you can’t get to a store.


We love a good sale (obvi) and our favourite for nail polish is Illamasqua’s, it’s only on twice a year, in the summer and after Christmas, but their polish is great quality and gets reduced down to as low as £3 a bottle.

It’s also worth a look at the ASOS beauty sale and LookFantastic outlet for the occasional nail bargain, too.

eBay and Amazon

As a general rule, we don’t recommend buying makeup from eBay or Amazon Marketplace, as so much of it is fake. However, we’ve picked up so many nail bargains that seem 100% legit to us. It’s definitely worth while having a look if you’re looking for one shade in particular.

Where do you get your bargain polish from?


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