I’m often asked which is the best top coat. No wonder, it can be confusing with so many products on the market all with the same promise: to add shine, longevity and to speed up the drying process. I’ve tried over a dozen different top coat brands and definitely can say with confidence the 5 listed below are the crème de la crème.
The 5 best top coats:
1. Sally Hansen Insta Dri
My favorite. It ensures a flawless finish while conditioning cuticles. The Insta Dri formula penetrates from the base coat to the top coat resulting in a completely dry manicure with smooth hard finish in just 5 minutes. It doesn’t shrink your manicure or create bubbles as other top coats do sometimes. Read full review here. Get it for $5.59, here.
2. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
Classic. 95% of nail bloggers are using Seche Vite. It dries fast and is the glossiest of all top coats! However, make sure you have a bottle of Restore too. Keep Seche Vite properly thinned and wrap tips with each coat of base, polish and top coat, and you will have no issues with shrinkage. $9.95, here
3. CND Air Dry
This top coat seals quickly and gives your manicure a fair amount of shine. It’s 3-free, with UV absorber that prevents yellowing. Another advantage – no shrinkage and re-application every 2nd or 3rd day can make your manicure last up to 7 days! $8.50, here.
4. Orly In A Snap
It dries quickly, 5 minutes only, and also adds a fair amount of shine to your manicure. While this top coat won’t add longevity to your mani, even if you have nail art or more than 2 coats of nail polish applied they will dry very fast. $10, here.
5. Nails Inc Kensington caviar top coat
The fastest drying top coat! Almost all manicures you’ve seen on SoNailicious are finished with Kensignton Caviar top coat. It’s super glossy and gives your manicure that wet-look professional finish. It beautifully evens out any nail art. However, it is not as long lasting as CND Air Dry, for example. Get NailsInc Kensigton Caviar – $10, here.
Final Note: Different top coats behave differently on different nail polishes. For instance, NailsInc makes most of the OPI polishes dry within 2 minutes while on Sinful Colors it just doesn’t work. While any top coat from the above list is great, to determine your best top coat you’d have to try a couple and decide which one works best for you.