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Borghese Nail Lacquer Vernis: Not Recommended

It is not often that I do a truly negative review, but I’m afraid I have to on this one. I honestly don’t think people should pay $8 for this stuff.

I have liked the few Borghese spa products that I tried in the past and I know people love various skin care items from the company. So when I spotted Borghese branded nail polish at an Ulta store, I decided to give it a try. I think the company should stick to spa products!

The first thing I noticed about the polish was that the wand had a short stem with a fat and rather stiff brush on the end. Big packaging error! That combination made it nearly impossible to apply the polish without it getting all over my skin.  It also kept the polish from spreading evenly.  When I did get the polish on, it was very streaky on the first coat and still didn’t look very even after a second. It then chipped off nearly immediately. I am admittedly hard on nails, but on the second day of wear, the polish was so chipped that it looked like I had been wearing it for a week.

This is an $8 polish, which puts it in the mid-upper range. But I found it comparable to the cheapest drugstore kiddie brand. For better choices in the same price range try Essie or Orly.  OPI is also pretty acceptable with a huge range of color choices.  Sally Hansen Salon polishes also are an excellent value.

Sorry Borghese, I still love your spa products, but I just plain can’t recommend your nail lacquer!

Update: I have since tried this polish a second time. The brush, which has a split design, improves over use as it becomes less flat and more akin to a standard polish brush. But until then, I was still not particularly pleased with the polish. It is unfortunate as the shades are quite lovey, but in the end I recommend other brands.

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  1. Thanks for this review! I will definitely think thrice before buying this product.

  2. I disagree with your comments. The brush made it a quicker application and much neater than the thinner ones. The colors are soo rich and luxuriant! They are truly unique colors. I am also hard on my manicures but these with a good topcoat lasted over a week for me.

  3. Borghese Nail polish: the color is great but THE BRUSH is awful! I had to put it in another polish bottle to keep using it. It was so bad my nail gal couldn’t even use it – refused to use it again (they couldn’t control it from touching cuticles).

    DO NOT CONTACT ME for any promotional purposes and DO NOT share my information with any other entity.

  4. Carleenp says:

    Note: Because of the phrase in the above comment “Do not share my information with any other entity,” I edited the comment author’s name.

  5. Carleenp says:

    Yes, the brush really was the main problem for me as well, although the polish also didn’t wear very well. But the poor wear could have been a function of the brush causing the polish to be too thick. It is unfortunate because I liked the available shades!

  6. I actually love the brush, its slightly curved and fans out to exactly the shape of my cuticle! I can even paint my right hand (difficult for me) with no mess-ups. It went on streaky at first but evened out when it dried.

  7. I paid $13 for a bottle of Borghese polish (capri coral) and fell in love immediately. Extremely shiny and vibrant color. No problems with the brush.

    So far, after a full day and a half, it is wearing well on both my toes and fingernails – and I am one of these people who is lucky to have regular polish last an entire evening before it starts chipping off (literally). It may have helped that I buffed my nails well to rough up the surface before applying.

    Given the price, this product has met my high expectations, and I’d recommend it.

  8. I must also disagree with your post. I tried it, and that has been one nail polish that has stayed on. I have a problem with ridges in my nails, and it didn’t chip for the week. $8 dollars is a lot for a polish, but it’s definitely worth it.

  9. Cindy Sedge says:

    I was so exited to see the Borghese Nail Polish back and it has not let me down. I have natural nails and it stays on for 7-10 days. Welcome Back Borghese!

  10. Chantal Brugère says:

    I do not agree with you. I bought the nail lacquer vernis Borghese for the first time and I live it. The brush is perfect and the vernis last a good week.

  11. Kirbydog says:

    I LOVE this nail polish! It is shiny and the brush is fabulous, the polish goes on perfectly. This polish lasts longer than my Chanel polish and doesn’t streak. I bought Cannoli Cream and it is the perfect sprin and summer color, very natural and healthy looking. I get lots of complements on this polish. Highly recommended!

  12. I have to disagree with you as well. Borghese has amazing colors that hold up very well. As far as the brush goes it is much quicker and more efficient. It may take a few tries to get used to but actually works great. It is specially designed for better application. Everyone is just used to those tiny crappy applicators that take multiple strokes for even application.

  13. Carleenp says:

    I’m definitely out voted on this one it seems! But I gave it another try and I still hate the brush. I could likely get used to the short stem, even though I am not fond of it, but the brush is simply too stiff for an even application.

    What I haven’t checked is whether they have changed the brush since my initial review. I simply retried my existing bottle. I love the shades this line has, so if the application were better for me, I would happily buy it.

    I’ll see about giving it another shot just in case I got a bum bottle or something.

  14. I honestly hate this nail polish… not a good run for my money. The drying time is awful, especially since I had to put on at least 3 coats just for the colour to even out. It does not apply even AT ALL- the first stroke always thins out near the end. Precision is another issue with the thick brush. Overall, this is not a product that I would recommend nor do I think it is good value. That’s just my 2 cents though.

  15. I agree with you… This is the worst nail polish I have use in my whole life… and that’s a lot of years. Will never buy Borghese nail lacquer again.

  16. I love like Borghese nail polish a lot, especially the brush, so happy someone fanally came out with something better.

    For the people who find it sheer: did you buy the Sheer »Colors? they have some and Frost and Creams.. maybe tcheck the creams or frost next?

    Over a weel with my base coat and top coat for me too.

  17. I completely disagree! The first reviewer is correct about what she said- but after a few uses you get used to it and find that the brush is excellent, the wear is fantastic and Im online now because I wanted to see other colors. I LOVE THIS STUFF. It is worth $8. I must add that I have a sheer color so I have not tried it with a primary red, this could make a difference. YOU JUST NEED TO PRACTICE.

  18. You also really need a good Fast Dry Top Coat.

  19. I have to disagree with you on all your comments. I had never heard of Borghese until I found a bottle at a closeout store for $2.99 so I gave it a try, and I LOVE IT. I Would definitely pay $8 for this product. It went on so smoothly and evenly I even went back to buy a red color. (I try to avoid red due to all the difficulties applying.) Needless to say my nails look GREAT! I work in retail and work on unloading trucks and this nail lacquer stands up to the test of heavy work loads. Maybe you just got an old, bad, bottle?

  20. Try it again. Maybe they’ve been reading your blog. I actually tried this *after* I tried Sally Hansen Complete Salon and like both this brush and color selection much better.

    (P.S. Do use basecoat.)

  21. I totally disagree about the brush. I found this to be the absolute easiest polish to apply, EVER! I love it.

  22. Carleenp says:

    A quick author note: A person named Sally twice attempted to leave a comment stating satisfaction with the product and disagreeing with this post, which is fine, but then included a personal attack in violation of our comment policy. Accordingly that comment cannot be posted.

  23. I disagree, I found it extremely easy to apply and the colours are gorgeous! I’ve been wearing it for over two days now with very very minimal chipping. Perhaps you just need to find a proper base/top coat.

  24. I had the exact same experience. Chipped on the 1st day even before all the color that smeared on my cuticles and fingers was chipped away. The brush is awful. I am so glad it isn’t just me. Definitely not worth $8.

  25. ibnanaof9 says:

    if the nail polish has been frozen, it will peel and chip after the first day. it could be that the store where you bought it had the box in the storage room and it froze and he didn’t know it. or i could have froze on the trip there or in the warehouse.

  26. i am using my 1st bottle and i HATE it! someone said to practice with it. i’ve been painting my nails for over 30 years, that’s a lot of practice.
    the first coat goes on streaky and lumpy, if that is at all possible. the second coat is just lumpy and thick. someone find me a cotton ball with remover…..this stuff is coming off and going back to Ulta.

  27. I am very satisfied with my Borghese polishes and presto topcoat. The opaque colors are saturated. 2 coats have worked well. I love their color selection, the formula, the wear and the brush how it applies. My only concern is the stem on the brush could be a bit longer. The history of Princess Marcella Borghese and product is interesting. Worth a look for the younger girls who missed the great Beauty department store shopping xperience of the 70′s +. Borghese was like the metallic and pearl color queen that others copied, classy with an edge! The trend setter and also natural and organic face and body products like no other. When I saw the polish at the drugstore for $8., I had to try it. In the past of would have been very costly. the same company who owns LaPrarie owns Borghese. This is very good. Borghese is a high end product sold in drug stores. Occasionaly I see Barielle (not colors) in drug stores too. Whether it’s from Saks, Boomingdales or CVS it’s the name and formula. My polish lasts minimum 4-5 days but with a good quality topcoat! I have been using Borghese Presto. By the way their polishes are 3Free and no formaldehyde resin either.

  28. Jane Kennedy says:

    I recently purchased a bottle of Borghese Duro nail strenghtener from Rite Aid. Listed price was 15.00, I bought it on sale. Instruction was to follow insert directions but they were not inside package. For direction I went to the website and noticed this product looks pink. The brush was pink but the actual strenghtener was yellow. Any comments?

  29. Candy Apple says:

    Sorry to hear that. ORLY and Borghese are my favorite brands and I feel they wear pretty much evenly. Adding a topcoat gives you a good week or more without much chipping.

    As for the brush, it may be your own personal painting technique, because I actually love the fat brush.

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