Wednesday, 28 May 2014


Top coats - a fairly vital component of the nail polish experience. Boring, yes (why would I want to shell out on a clear polish when I could have ALL THE COLOURS?!), but it's a purchase that definitely feels worthwhile when it actually does what it promises on the bottle.

From L-R; Seche Vite dry fast top coat, Sally Hansen super shine, Sally Hansen insta-dri, OPI RapiDry.

First up - Seche Vite. Purchased after seeing it's praises sung by lacqueristas across the land, Seche Vite was my first foray in to a nail products which wasn't just based on 'oooh, pretty!', but rather some genuine research. A poor tactic it would seem, because I ain't gonna lie, I don't love it. I don't even really like it, but used the majority of the bottle in desperation of making it work (and probably would have finished it had the remaining contents not solidified in the bottom. Why do I still have the bottle?  No clue). While it does provide a high shine finish, the nature of this top coat makes it prone to shrinkage - i.e, it's gonna pull the polish away from your nail edges, and that looks pretty naff yo. This is avoidable, but really I'd rather it wasn't an issue in the first place. I also feel that it doesn't actually dry all that fast, nor does it's significantly preventing chipping (only for a couple of days, max). For me, there's just way superior products for less.

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat retails at £9.00

Next, Sally Hansen Super Shine. Not gonna lie, I'm not even sure this is available any more, though the Mega Shine and Diamond Shine top coats are, judging by the names, pretty much the same deal. This stuff is basic, but if you're just starting to get creative with your claws, it's a good'un. It makes no wild promises, but certainly adds shine and some longevity sans shrinkage, which puts it a step above Seche Vite in my books. It doesn't dry particularly quickly though, so patience is required. 

This only appears to be available on Amazon at current, where it retails at £5.95

Now, it's time for the main event. It's my one true top coat love.. SALLY HANSEN INSTA-DRI. Yeah, it's the kitties titties. The only top coat I've actually had strong enough feelings about to make me repurchase it. It can do no wrong - does it dry fast? HECK YES IT DOES. Does it make them talons all shiny shiny? AWWW YOU KNOW IT. Is it actually going to keeping my glorious nail art looking all purty for more than a day? DING DING DING, THREE OUTTA THREE. Although the main selling point for me is the fact that it does actually dry very quickly (I tend to do my nails before I go to bed, which has resulted in waking up with a very sloppy looking mani on several occasions - alas, no more!), I can get a good three or four days wear with this top coat too, which is definitely a bonus. It's a very reasonable price too at £5.99, so this would without doubt be my recommendation in terms of top coats.

Finally, it's the OPI RapiDry. I don't generally go for OPI polishes, but I received this as part of a gift set at Christmas, so it was certainly worth a try. Another fast-dry offering for the impatient amongst us, this top coat is pretty comparable to the Sally Hansen insta-dri. It provides the same shine and extra longevity, though I don't feel that it dries quite as quickly. Given that it's more than twice the price of the Sally Hansen alternative at £13.25, it really doesn't seem like a worthwhile purchase. HOWEVER, this and all the other OPI polishes have got one thing going for them over the majority of other nail products. In addition to having a nice wide brush (though whether this suits you or not is going to depend on you and the shape of your nails), the brushes actually REACH THE FRIGGIN BOTTOM of the OPI bottles! It shouldn't be such a surprise, but I despise getting about 3/4 of the way through a bottle, desperately tilting it to try and fish out the remainder, and them giving up and buying a replacement. Wow, much waste, very uneconomical. So yeah, good job on that point OPI, but your prices still make me sick in my mouth.

And so, to summarise;


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