First of all, I COMPLETELY apologize for the disgusting, clickbait-y title, but I have discovered a drugstore beauty product that I have tested and approved numerous times, and I believe that its greatness needs to be shared with the public.
Finding cheap drugstore products that actually work well is like finding treasure, and there aren't too many products out there that I completely believe in like this one.
My mom purchased this Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Nail Hardener for a bargain price of $7.40 at Target. Previously, I had purchased two separate bottles of OPI Base Coat and OPI Top Coat for $8 each, and neither of them worked well.
I don't paint my nails often. I do LOVE a fresh, clean manicure, but my hands take a beating on the daily that I can't surrender the time required to paint my nails once a week or doing touch-ups if they inevitably chip and crack.
The first time I used it, I had freshly painted nails before a weekend of styling for a fashion show. Styling is a hands-on job. 16+ hour days of sewing, taping, zipping, shoving, carrying hangers and racks of clothes to and fro, gluing, lifting, etc. At first, I realized I was dumb to do my nails before a weekend of hands-on work in addition to taking hours to do a customized design; they would just end of wrecked by the end of it. Regardless, I went to work without any consideration of preserving my hands and nails. By the end of the whirlwind weekend, my hands were cracked, dry, and sore, but my nails were PERFECTLY INTACT.
On a more regular basis, I am a full time student, a regular gym-goer, and I work in an office. My job includes a lot of filing and document handling–it doesn't sound rough, but it requires me to constantly shove my hands between packed file cabinets to file or retrieve folders–and my nail polish easily lasts more than a week. I essentially abuse my hands regularly, but my nails prevail.
(I use it as a base coat AND a top coat)