Sizes of nail polish bottles?

One night I started thinking about sizing of nail polish bottles and how some are so dang small.  I think those companies are pretty slick how they make their bottles small, but their prices don’t reflect the fact that they are giving you less product.  I haven’t found that small bottles of nail polish are any cheaper, have you?  I hafta admit though, I normally I don’t pay much attention to size.  If I see a polish I like, then I buy it.  So I guess their evil plan is working!  But maybe I’ll start paying attention more?  What do you think of that, Hard Candy?

I started sifting through my polish, making different collections of polishes based on like-sizes. I kinda got lost in the process and was constantly moving bottles from pile to pile until I found their rightful spots.  I must’ve looked like a crazed polish packrat!  This goes here, no this goes here, buahahahahaaaaaa!!  (I’m only talking about full-size bottles here and I’m excluding minis from the conversation)  It seemed that one pile quickly became the biggest.  The 15ml bottles.  I believe that this is the most common size for nail polish and lacquers.  Shown below are some of my 15mls (from R to L)— OPI, Sephora, Nicole by OPI, Sinful Colors, Zoya, Fresh Paint, Color Club, Pure Ice and KleanColor.  I’m sure I had more 15ml brands in my stash, but I didn’t actually dig everything out that night.

15 ml bottles

If 15 ml is the average size, then what’s the biggest?  That was a landslide.  Orly is the biggest at 18ml.  Go Orly!  Yet another reason for me to love you!

So what’s the smallest?  In my stash Hard Candy was the smallest at 7.8 ml.  7.8 ???  That’s almost half the size of an average-sized bottle!  The runner-up for smallest was Essence Colour & Go at 8ml.  Essence is very inexpensive in the USA so I’ll excuse them, but I feel like Hard Candy really needs to step up their game.  It’s not like they are marketed as mini bottles, so why so skimpy with your polish?  I am not posting pics because I will not reward them for their stingy practices.  LOL

orly big bottles

We’ve talked about the bigs and littles, but one company just can’t decide on their size.  Sally Hansen!  They’re sizing is all over the map.  Ok, it’s not really a big deal, but it is kind of interesting.  Take a look at this pic- these SH  bottles run the gamut from a tiny 8.8 ml all the way up to 14.7 ml.  But in fact, a lot the bottles appear to be similar in size.  Especially the 8.8 on the end-  I would never guess that it contains so much less polish than the others.  Sneaky, sneaky Sally!

sally hansen bottle size

So now that I’ve got you thinking about sizing- what do you think?  Does the size of the bottle influence your purchase at all?  I just saw some drama over on the Llarowe fb page about her new bottle sizes, so I guess some people are rather passionate about the topic!

32 thoughts on “Sizes of nail polish bottles?

  1. Oh, and once I figured out Hard Candy’s bottles, I stopped purchasing them. Sorry, that’s a teeny size for $4! Same thing with Maybelline’s bottles – so so teeny for $4. The only way I pick up Maybelline’s polishes is if they’re on clearance. LOL.

  2. Hahah, the image of you packratting through your stash just popped into my head and I’m laughing really hard, we’re all crazy colour ladies, with our stashes : P
    That thing about SH is actually really interesting! I’ve always wondered why so many different shapes and sizes in one company and it’s especially interesting when you out them all together and compare.

  3. Reason 238429374 why I prefer Zoya and Sinful Colors over most other things. I do buy Maybelline on sale, because I have found their quality to be awesome. And I am in LOVE with their gold polish. But I refuse to buy Julep! Julie G is not much better, but at least it’s cheaper. And since all I buy from them is textured polish (and who would go through an entire bottle of that anyway? I mean I love the stuff but not THAT much). I totally agree though.

  4. This is something I actually have been thinking about lately too, but was too lazy to do what you did lol. I also recently unsubscribed from Julep. The size of the bottle/cost did annoy me, and the quality of their polish was really hit or miss for me. But usually, if I like a polish I don’t take size into that much consideration. Thank you for doing your research!

  5. Size ALWAYS matters 😉 I love Orly, yes I do. I make polish with my mother, and we sell it in two sizes, a 10ml and a 15ml, and state it clearly, and sell the 10ml for cheaper… because, well, sometimes people only have a little bit of money or only want a little bit of polish, and I want everyone to be able to have the pretties. I’d hate to rip people off! Bad on Sally Hansen. Bad, no biscuit 😀

  6. I’ve noticed that specialty finish polishes (like holos) either cost more in the 15ml size or come in smaller bottles. The SH Prism you show is a holo or duo chrome from back when those finishes were rare due to high material cost. As for other’s? I think they’re banking on our thinking smaller means niftier, more expensive polish. LOL

  7. I do keep the size in mind, unless I notice something I really really want and it doesn’t go over 10 euros. Nail polish is extremely expensive in Estonia. Funny but comparing to size and price the Maybelline Colorshow polishes are actually the cheapest I have (even with the 7ml bottle, they come in 3 euros max). China Glaze is almost 8 euros for 14ml, Sally Hansen starts at 5 euros with the smallest bottles, the more polish in the bottle, the more it costs. OPI comes in above 10 euros. OK Wet n Wild is the cheapest (but I only have 4 bottles), around 4 euros.. it’s just that only 1 store has them and they seem so old and dried out in there.
    Another funny thing, the Colorama (Maybelline) minis have 8 ml in them (weird understanding of mini and normal size, latter is smaller), and they’re given as extras when there’s some Maybelline campaign or smth.
    Unfortunately we don’t have any other cool brands like Sinful Colors, Orly and some other cool stuff I’ve noticed on your blog.
    Well now I’m in the UK, but my budget is so tiny atm, that I’ve bought only 2 polishes during the 2 months I’ve been here and that was a campaign in Boots (get 2 for 1.5 price or smth).

  8. Size definitely influences my buying! That’s the exact reason I’ve never bought Hard Candy polishes before. Even though I never use up polishes (even mini ones), I still just don’t like the idea of them using such small bottles as their normal size.

  9. I will say that if you’re gona charge me a fat fee for a bottle that’s contains LESS than 15ml, then I WILL consider NOT buying it.
    It isn’t a big deal, but I have a problem paying a lot for little when I can get something similar and a lot more of it.
    Essence’s old bottles were 5ml and I’m glad their new bottles give you a 3ml extra! Good! Give us mooooooore!
    Our local brand in SA, Tip Top gives us 10ml which is okay so they’re still winning! Everyone should just stick to 15ml! Lol

  10. I definitely like the 15 ml bottles best – and minis always annoy me. And my favorite shaped bottles are OPI (just because I think it looks good) and Pure Ice (because I love how easily they can be stacked next to each other in a box or a drawer).

  11. Definitely an interesting point! Mini bottles are annoying because usually the brush is tiny and unusable too. That said, if I saw a gorgeous, unique colour in a tiny bottle I probably would still go for it. Plus I never get anywhere near the bottom of big bottles anyway.

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