The most frequently asked question you have all been emailing me about is top coat. Top coat is an essential part of any manicure. It protects your pretty nail polish from chipping, extending the life of your manicure and should give it a mirror like shine. Whether you are at the salon or at home there are so many different products that choosing the right one can be very overwhelming. By no means have I tried every product available but I have made my way through my fair share of them. I will be doing comparison reviews with pictures down the road but for today I will start with my current three favorites. I have found that a good quality top coat will make even the most inexpensive nail polish look amazing, just as a bad top coat will ruin the look of your best brand leaving you frustrated. Last but not least is the drying process. Choose the right product and you can have dry nails within five minutes! That alone is the deciding factor in what I reach for most of the time.
Essie - Good To Go Top Coat
Essie Good to Go was one of my very first purchases when I went looking for a top coat. I was frustrated with my existing top coats that after a day or two lost their shine and left me with chipped nails. Considering the crazy number of top coats I had to choose from I feel I did very well. My time was limited and I needed something that allowed me to get my nails done between loads of laundry, before bed time or any time I could squeeze it in and patience is not one of my virtues. I headed out to my local drugstore instead of ordering something online because I wanted pretty nails today. Essie Good to Go is readily available and easy to find. It is not thick which makes the application process easy and once dry it's pretty shiny! The dry time is exactly what I was looking for. Most nights I do my nails at the end of the day. I can go to bed five minutes after applying Essie Good to Go and not wake up with sheet marks in my polish! I was also happy that it lasted a good five days before my first chip and there was very little wear on the tips.
Seche Vite Top Coat
Seche Vite is a unique top coat. It's thick, tricky to apply and dries very quickly so you have got to be fast and precise so ignore that incoming text, the boy can wait! This polish is super shiny, in fact I've yet to find anything that leaves my nails more glossy, they look wet even the next day. It's so thick that it makes an excellent top coat for glitter nail polish as it fills in the ridges around the glitter easily and leaves a smooth surface. If you check out my post Gift of Sparkle by Color Club from yesterday you can clearly see the difference.
Before Seche Vite
After Seche Vite
I find that Seche Vite does have a stronger odor than the other top coats in this post, but all nail polish does have a smell so you just need to decide if it is something you can handle. It is something I can live with and I love my awesome glossy nails! Wear is not quite as good as with Essie and on day three I have signs of obvious tip wear. The other big problem with it is shrinkage. As it dries it shrinks and can pull your polish with it leaving you with less then the perfect nails you envisioned. I only have this issue if I am not careful when I am applying it. I have heard and experienced first hand that the formula does get goopy in the bottle even before you have used up a quarter of the product. This makes people very unhappy but I believe it's simple chemistry. The same reason it dries super quick on the nails is the reason it gets thick and goopy in the bottle. Seche Restore is a thinner available for it. Just a couple of drops and one of my favorite top coats is as good as new. I have heard regular nail polish thinner works as well but have not tested it myself. I have not come accross Seche Vite in my local drug store but it is available in beauty supply stores and online.
Poshe Top Coat
Poshe is the newest of my favorites. I found the dry time to be between Essie Good To Go and Seche Vite. It does have a little shrinkage issue as well, if I am not super careful applying it. Poshe does have a thinner consistency making it easier to apply and work with. It is a 3-Free formula and dries to a beautiful shine.
These are the top three in my rotation currently but I find that the nail polish I am using determines what I reach for. What works for me may not work for everyone because we all have our own body chemistry. I always recommend you play with them and make your own decision. Some people produce more natural oils in their nails, so will have troubles keeping nail polish on. I hope this answers some of your questions. I am also working on a post about base coats that everyone has been asking for. Keep watching and keep those emails coming, I love hearing from you!