Seeing red: We nail down the best polish

Essie's Jelly Apple

$8, 0.46 ounce, Walgreens, walgreens.com

FA: "Consistency was perfect for application."

RR: Ranked top for durability. "A favorite."

KS: "Good, full coverage, and it went on nicely." (Bill Hogan, Chicago Tribune / April 4, 2012)

MH: "Chipped the easiest of all the brands."

CB: "Lasted almost a full seven days with no chips through workouts, dishwashing, mopping, showering." (She's the only tester who liked it but she broke our two-coat rule, using three coats of polish instead.)

By Terry's Nail Laque Terrybly, Trafalgar Red

$30, 0.33 ounce, Barneys, barneys.com

RR: "OK coverage with two coats, but really needs three coats for best look. Not as durable as Essie or OPI."

MH: "Not as durable as the Wet n Wild," which costs $1.99 — 93 percent less.

Essie's Jelly Apple

$8, 0.46 ounce, Walgreens, walgreens.com

FA: "Consistency was perfect for application."

RR: Ranked top for durability. "A favorite."

KS: "Good, full coverage, and it went on nicely."

Wet n Wild's Megalast, I Red a Good Book

$1.99, 0.45 ounce, Walgreens, walgreens.com

FA: "Goopy."

MH: "Gloppy but durable."

Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails, Tough Love

$3.99, 0.45 ounce, Walgreens, walgreens.com

RR: "I don't like it. It's chipping after one day."

CB: "The wear isn't fabulous — I would probably look for something that wore a bit longer."

(All testers used Revlon base and top coats, $7.99 each, Walgreens, walgreens.com)

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