5 Best Top Coats – Part 2

Categories: Nail Care Nail Polish

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best top coatsAfter a lot of interest and heated discussion around our first “5 Best Top Coats” article, we went on a quest to find other top coats that deserve your attention. As experience shows, a top coat determines whether your manicure will have a long lasting, smooth and professional finish or look bubbly, or even worst, get chipped within hours. We’ve experienced both and that’s exactly why we’re sharing some more of our best finds with you again – because our nails deserve only the best!

Here’s another 5 best top coats to take your manicure to the next level:

1. Essie Good To Go
Fail-proof, this top coat always works flawlessly. It goes on in a thin layer, evens out any nail art bumps, dries quickly and gives nails a high shine finish. So far it is the only top coat that performed 100% till the last drop*.

15ml. 3-Free. Get it in Australia – AUS $17.95 in Priceline or US $10.00 here.

2. Sally Hansen Diamond Flash Fast Dry Top Coat
Outstandingly fast-drying, high shine top coat. It makes manicures touch dry in 1-2 minutes. This top coat is great for any nail art that requires layering, ie. striping tape nail art when you really need the first layer to dry quickly so you can do the second. However allow 5-10 minutes or a completely dry finish.

3-free. 13.3ml. Get it: AUS $13.95 in Priceline or US $6.99 here.

3. ORLY New Polishield
It’s 3-in-1 formula ensures fast drying time, high shine and anti-chip protection for manicure. A big plus, it contains UV filters to protect colour from fading. When applied to ORLY Polishield, it fuses with the colour to give an extra strong coat.

18 ml. 3-Free. Get it: AUS $19.95 here or US $7.99 here.

4. Poshe Super Fast Drying Top Coat
A 3-Free alternative to Seche Vite. Super shiny, dries quickly and really smooths out nail art lumps and bumps. It’s particularly great over glitter polish!

14ml. Get it: US $7.99 here.

5. OPI Rapidry Top Coat
As with any OPI product, this one is great quality and comes with a signature super-wide brush. It dries to a non-yellowing, high-gloss shine in minutes.

15ml. 3-Free. Get it: AUS $21.99 or US $11.59 here.

Have you tried any of the above products? What is your best top coat? Share! We’d love to hear your opinion!

*We’ve been using a large number of different top coats and we’ve noticed that quite a few become soft and thick, dull or bubbly towards the end of the bottle. So unless you’re willing to mix some concoctions with thinner or two different top coats, it’s normal to expect the last 10-20% of your top coat bottle will become unusable. However, none of that happened with Essie Good To Go, we used the whole bottle!

Related posts:

5 Reasons Why Top Coats is Essential
5 Best Top Coats – Part 1

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  • Carolin

    I’m using sech or essence “better than gel” sealing high gloss. Have just order Glossy glam by Rica and can’t wait to try it!!having high expectations there…..here in Italy it’s really hard to get SH products unfortunately, would love to try the diamond flash aswell…most companies don’t ship to Italy due to awful customs.

    • That’s a pity! But I totally understand you! We don’t have many brands here in Australia, so the only option is eBay or getting them when I’m travelling. Sally Hansen is a really good one. So when you can – get it! x

  • Lucy

    I have to say I was really disappointed with OPI RapiDry. I’m a massive OPI fan and wanted it for ages, and while it does indeed dry really quickly, I found my polish chipped really easily. This has never happened with their Start to Finish top coat, so I was a little shocked. I also found it hard to apply as it dragged my polish unless I put it on in a big gloop one side of my nail at a time. I also noticed for the first time ever that my polish “shrunk” off the tips of my nails, and again can only attribute this to the RapiDry.

    Feel very mixed as it did dry so fast, but I wasn’t impressed with the lasting power.

    I may try a different brand next time and see how I get on. I’ve always struggled with chipping until I discovered OPI, which is why I was sad this chipped too.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    • Hi Lucy, sorry to hear OPI didn’t work for you! I’d recommend you to try ORLY Polishield. The best top coat for long-lasting manicures!

  • gabrielle

    I think seche vite is the best..quick drying,super-glossy,chip-free for days(and I constantly wash/sanitize my hands @work).However,it does get quite thick ,long before I’ve used all of it,so it definitely is a waste. I’ve tried all the ones mentioned,and the only one I liked is the essie good to go.I love the seche vite,tho,so I will probably keep using it.

    • Yes, Seche is really good too! You’re right it’s only disadvantage is that it gets too thick quickly. By the way, Seche was included in our “Best Top Coats – Part 1” post :)

    • Eileen

      There is a product called restore that works great to thin out your seche vite so that it can be used to the last drop! And it is manufactured by seche vite also.

  • Carolin BOiBO

    what about doing one best 5 matte top coats???using ciate but im not that pleased, wich is your favourite?

    • I really like Essie Matte About You! It dries quickly and is as matte as it gets! I’ll try some other brands to see how well they perform, stay tuned for the post! x

  • Tara

    I’m currently using O.P.I. RapiDry TopCoat and it’s generally has been living up to my expectations overall. However, now that I’ve gone through almost half a bottle it has thickened and now I get the odd bubble during the application process. I’m planning on adding nail-polish thinner after I fly home. It does dry reasonably fast and my nails haven’t peeled or chipped which I’m very pleased with. It’s also very nice and shiny and needs to be reapplied ever couple of days. Once I’m done the bottle I want to try the Essie version since I’m using their Cocktail Bling and Double Breasted Jacket colors. I think another reason way my nails haven’t chipped or peeled is because I’m also using Factor X for Sephora Nail Strengthener which has allowed my flimsy nails grow long thus preventing my nails and the polish from getting destroyed.

  • I love that you gave credit to Poshe, in my opinion they have one of the most under rated awesome top coats around. I love it! Thank you!

  • Katie

    I’ve always used Seche Vite, but I guess I’ve been really ignorant. I usually ignored the terrible smell, but then I realized Seche Vite has toluene in it! That’s a huge no-no, but I’ve been using it for a long time. It’s got me worried so when I finish up my last bottle, I’m going to try Poshe instead. Thank you for you input!

  • Two of the best top coats I have personally used are Deborah Lippman’s Addicted To Speed and my favorite Butter London Hardwear PD Quick Top Coat both give your nails a diamond shine and longer then normal wearability. However, Butter London’s Hardwear PD Quick has Lippman’s Addicted To Speed beat even on Lippman’s own nail polish. I’ve used them all and Butter London is the best in my opinion. It’s 3 free as is Lippman’s. I do always have Seche Vite and OPI on hand if I run low and can’t get to Nordstroms or Sephoria. Essie’s Good To Go is a good top coat but this may sound silly but I always manage to go buy it a day before the delivery is expected to the storek. How I manage that I will never know, so I have been out of that for some bit of time. I wear a lot of nail art so a great and fabulous top coat is important to me with all the rhinestones, glitters and charms I wear at any given time. Oh, one thing you might want to pass along to your readers and you may be surprised at the women who don’t do this….tell them they need to “tap” their nails at the end of polishing a nail. That means polishing the tip or edge of the nail. This prevents the nail from chipping too soon and makes your manicure last longer. I’m shocked at the women that never heard of doing this yet they are out there rating polishes and things when they aren’t even polishing their nails correctly. Not fair to the products they are rating. Just a thought. The term is called “tap” your nails.

    • Thank you for such a great comment Sheree! I haven’t tried Deborah Lippman’s top coat yet. But yes Butter London is really good too. It’s just so hard to find and in some countries it’s not available at all. As for the “tapping” yes, I agree with you 100% – this technique is great for making your manicure last longer and also to avoid nail polish/top coat shrinking. We’ve already wrote about this in this article: http://sonailicious.com/avoid-top-coat-shrinkage/ but I’ve heard it’s called “wrapping”. I guess, there is different nail art terminology in different countries :) I should add that you need to wrap (or tap) not just top coat but doing it for every layer starting from your base. Manicures usually start chipping when water gets in between polish and nails, so by wrapping/tapping your nails you pretty much making sure it won’t happen. Maybe we should write a separate mini-post about it. It’s a great tip and it would be great to share. x

  • Nikita

    I’m loving Essie Good To Go, I think I have been through 5 bottles since discovering it at the start of the year. But in my search for the best fast dry top coat, I found a lot go “frosty” on the tips of long nails. I did some research and everyone suggested not using so much polish. But the least I could use (which in turn smudged my mani) still went frosty. I found this with OPI Rapidry (which also went gluggy after a few uses) the first time, then bought another bottle in case I got a dud batch, but still the same. Then after the damage to my hip pocket of 2 bottles of Rapidry, I went with Sally Hansen and got the same result. It must be a particular ingredient in these formulas, but no matter how much of Good To Go I use, it has never gone frosty. Have you experienced any of this?

    • Oh yes, the annoying frosty tips, I was wondering what’s that all about. And yes, Sally Hansen caused frosty tips a few times on nail designs that were thicker than usual. That’s why I’m only using Essie Good To Go now. It never failed me :)

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