With an obsession for nail polishes comes an obsession with anything nail related. I love my cuticle oils, hand creams, nail art tools and top coats and over the past 2 years I've tried a lot!
As soon as I got in to nail polish and nail art I soon discovered a good top coat could make a huge difference to how the nails looked and lasted. I've now found my absolute favourite in Seche Vite (not as pricey as you'd think!) which I thought I'd talk about today and also a cheaper alternative that I was more than pleased with before Seche Vite came in to my life.
The Benefits of a Good Top Coat
The two main benefits of applying a top coat over nail polish is the glossy appearance to the nails and making the nail polish last longer without chipping. If you find a good top coat such as Seche Vite you will find you have to remover/change up your nail polish due to the re-growth gap at the base of the nail rather than the nail polish being chipped. Other benefits of using a top coat are - faster drying time, to soften lines over nail art (it just makes nail art look better), to prevent dints/smudging over the nails. You can also re-apply a top coat to refresh a manicure if it's starting to look dull.
Professional Dry Fast Top Coat
14ml Full size bottle - £5.48 Amazon here
3.6ml Mini size bottle - £2.80 eBay here
When I first got into nails I instantly dismissed Seche Vite as I thought it was out of my price range at over £10. However I eventually discovered it actually isn't that pricey at all if purchased from Amazon or Sally's (costing under £5 for a good sized bottle)... or even eBay if you want to try out the mini size. Even since this has been my favourite top coat to use to give my nails a super shiny finish and to make my nails last for up to 7 days! The top coat also dries the nails in a quick amount of time and leaves the surface of the nail hard so even if you scratch the surface by mistake it won't ruin them.
As for the formula it is quite thick so only a little is needed and it coves the nail in two quick brush strokes. Talking of the brush, it isn't my favourite as it is quite slim but it does the job just fine.
There are a few downsides to this top coat however... mainly that is does thicken up before you can finish the whole bottle making it unusable. Also it can shrink the nail polish underneath slightly so it isn't as close to the cuticle or the tip (though I always make sure to paint the tip of my nails now with my base colour to prevent this and chipping).
NYC Quick Dry Nail Polish in
Grand Central Station
9.7ml Bottle - £2.59 (£1.79 on offer) Superdrug here
Before Seche Vite this was my top coat of choice as it's just amazing for a high street polish. This strangely isn't marketed as a top coat, but a clear nail polish in the NYC In A New York Color Minute Quick Dry range so in a way is the same consistency as the other coloured nail polishes making it really great for a high street top coat.
Similar to Seche Vite this has a wonderfully glossy finish (not as wow though of course) that is highly chip resistant. However this is thinner and with a wide brush that covers the nails nicely and quickly. I'd actually say it's kind of like Seche Vite's little sister... does the same job but isn't as amazing... but then again it is amazing for the price.
Seche Vite or NYC Quick Dry?
If you're a nail junkie then I would without a doubt recommend Seche Vite, it really will impress you. However if you just like to paint your nails then the NYC Top Coat is the best on the high street.