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It was kinda hard to come up with a title for this post. Top top coat, top coat top picks, top top toppity top top. Now that I’ve gotten over that hurdle, let’s talk about my top top coats . .crap!
I used to really love seche vite, and it seemed like everyone on the internet did at the time too. I think at the time all I cared about was the shiny finish and how shiny it was. But honestly, it always shrinks back from the edge of the nail and chips right away and then your manicure looks screwed up by like the next evening if you’re lucky.
We’re we all under some sort of hocus pocus spell? I honestly liked it and used it all the time! I mean it’s great if you need super pretty nails that are done quickly and will last for 24 hours I guess. There must have been fewer options back then, or at least I didn’t know how many more options there were. Dark times, dark times.
Nowadays I have three favorites, a drugstore one, a mid range one and a high end one. All of them are pretty good, they aren’t all 10/10 but my picky ass finds them all to be acceptable so they are worth noting if you share my criteria for a great top coat.
I am pretty picky, I’ll admit it. The best top coat has to dry quickly, because otherwise I will ruin my nails immediately 100% of the time. It needs to be super shiny, and thick enough to cover the lines and ridges in my nails. I like that thick, glass like finish that almost makes it look like a gel manicure, ju know what I mean? Finally, it needs to do all of this without shrinking or chipping quickly. It’s a lot to ask, but it can be done.
Drugstore – Nicole By OPI Quick Dry Top Coat: $6.99/.5 oz This Topcoat is great in the it dries quickly, it doesn’t cause your polish to chip fast and it never causes shrinkage (even if you use several layers). The price is great and its readily available at target, ulta and some drugstores which is really convenient if you need to just grab something to use right away. I’m not in love with the packaging though, the wrapper on the handle shifts around a lot and then it gets in the way and crunches next to your fingers as you use it. It’s not detrimental, it’s just annoying. It also can be hard to get the second half of the product out once you use some up, I think that’s because of the weird bottle shape. It’s also not quite as thick and glassy as I like my top coat to be, but that’s me being a tiny bit picky honestly. All in all, for the money this is a pretty great top coat. Definitely the best one from the drug store in my opinion.
Midrange – Sephora Formula X Shine Top Coat: $10.50/.5 oz This is probably my most used topcoat. It has all of the best parts of Seche Vite – The glassy finish, the quick dry time, the mid-range price, but without the annoying shrinking and chipping. The only downside is that I find that it gets too thick to use when you’re about 2/3 of the way through the bottle. I keep nail polish thinner handy and just add a few drops, but I feel like its never 100% as good after you do that. Does anyone else feel that way or am I being crazypants?
High End – Butter London PD Quick Top Coat: $19.00/.6 oz To be honest this is probably the best one in the bunch. It applies easily, its super shiny and makes your manicure look glassy and perfect. It also dries quickly, but doesn’t dry out in the bottle. It makes my manicure last super long and there is absolutely zero shrinking. The only downside is the price, because for a nail polish . . .sweet baby jesus. It’s really really good and at least you get the consolation that it’s slightly larger than the other two, but still $19.00 is just . . .damn.
And those my friends are (in my opinion) the best top coat from each price range. As always if you have any that you swear by, let me know in a comment! I love reading about what you guys like, and I’m always up for trying something new 🙂