Battle me This: Nail Polish Top Coats.

Now I’ve never been much of a bandwagon jumper, in fact I’m usually the one who tries to disband the bandwagon ASAP.  It should not then surprise you that given the massive buzz surrounding Seche Vite top-coat, I decided to see whether it truly deserved the hype in my books.  I paint my nails probably every 4-5 days (my nails are rarely bare), and regardless of when I paint them during the day, I’m always looking for a top coat that will a) dry quickly, and b) leave a finish that amplifies and does not dull down the lacquer colour that I’ve painted them with.  Ideally it won’t chip and fade and dull within the first couple of days of wear as well…but realistically I’m not asking for a miracle worker in a nail polish bottle.  Clearly trials have ensued and I’ve developed my standard issue blunt opinion on each of the ones that made it through the gauntlet.

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Up first on the blocks is the one that I’ve used for the longest, and that I’ve repurchased time and time again.  Out the Door, by INM is most frequently seen in those oversized round bottles at salons where you curiously peer at it as it gets applied post-manicure.  Its consumer-sized counterpart is pretty fantastic though.  One of the thinner top coats I’ve tried, it delivers on getting your nails ready to walk out the door in a very rapid manner.  While it’s not my go-to for long-wearing nails, it is my go-to for rush manicures that need to be accomplished while getting ready at top speed.  Available at many place that paints up manicures, it’s worth hunting down and retails for around $12.  {List of Canadian distributors here, or Sally Beauty Supply}

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Now the product that really sparked the inspiration for this post, Seche Vite.  It’s made the list of products I just sincerely and utterly don’t like.  I can already hear the gasps of sheer shock and horror from a few of my readers, but hear me out.  My rationale for the disdain and dislike really is because it doesn’t live up to its hype.  That, and I feel as though I need a fumigation mask in order to apply the stuff.  Consistency wise it’s quite thick and applies what appears to be a protective coating all across the nails.  A coating that chips pretty quick, and dulls really fast.  As for the literal translation of the name “Dry Fast”…this doesn’t…not any faster than Out the Door.  Realistically it’s just nothing special and pales in comparison to my favourite.  It’s nothing I would recommend hunting down and I will not be re-purchasing it.  Do I dislike it enough to pitch it now?  No, I’ll use it up.  I found my bottle at my local London Drugs, and it retails for around $10.  {Available on Amazon, and at most major drugstores}

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And cue the drumrolls, ladies and gentlemen we do in fact have a winner for a favourite top coat…Essie’s Good to Go.  It realistically is the hybrid offspring of Seche Vite and Out the Door.  It’s a thick coating that’s tough as nails and dries to a finished state in about 10-15 (completely impenetrably and completely done in about 30ish minutes).  This little bottle of clear genius keeps polish looking pretty damn snappy for nearly a week, and I’d almost argue is chip resistant.  Rarely do my at-home manicures last that long…but I can go a whole week with the OPI Privacy Please & Essie G2G combo on my nails without having to re-paint.  While there is a touch of that freshly painted nails smell while in use, it’s not one that hangs in the air post-application.  Definitely worth tracking down and checking out, Essie’s Good to Go is available at most drugstores and wherever Essie polishes are sold (ie. Shoppers and most drugstores), retailing for around $8-10.

Now these are just of course the three that I’ve managed to develop a working knowledge on, but if you’ve got a favourite that you’d like to share with the class, be sure to leave a comment.  Otherwise…happy painting and long-lasting manicures to all, and to all a good day.


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