A Battle Of Topcoats

Throughout all my years of being a beauty lover. My passion for a good manicure has always reigned supreme. With such a strong love for a solid long lasting manicure, it means that I need a topcoat that will stand the test of time. In general, I'm pretty a patient person but I have zero time to wait for my nails to dry. And then, of course, there is the awkward I need the toilet shimmy to do. So over the years, I've been testing the topcoats that claim to be quick drying and long lasting and here is how they've faired. 


  1. Keep your polishes stored in a cool area. 
  2. Make sure the nails are clean and dry. 
  3. Apply your base coat of choice to protect your nails from any staining [key when using dark polishes]. 
  4. Work in thin layers with your colour and wait for each layer to dry. 
  5. Finish with a top coat. 

SECHE VITE QUICK DRY TOP COAT: This was the first quick dry topcoat that I ever tried and for years, I was loyal to it. It was a revolutionary step in my routine and gave me the glossiest manicure that I've ever had. However, a common problem with SV is that it shrinks the polishes and I've found that it makes a manicure chip easily. On certain brands, its worse than others, for example, Barry M doesn't work well with Seche Vite but Essie are generally ok and don't shrink as bad. 

O.P.I RAPID DRY: Out of all the top coats that I've got to share with you today, I think this is my favorite. It still has the high shine finish akin to Seche Vite but without the terrible smell or shrinking. It takes a little longer to dry but nothing that will have you waiting around for hours to use your hands properly. When you get to the end of the bottle, things can start to get a little gloopy which makes it difficult to apply to the nail. Thinning it out with polish remover disturbs the formula which is a little bit of a pain as you can't use all the polish. 

CHINA GLAZE FAST FORWARD: This is a cheaper alternative to the O.P.I  top coat and is incredibly similar in formulation. Not quite as shiny but still pretty close. The only area that it surpasses the others is in terms of longevity. But once you get to the end of the bottle it starts to go gloopy and tends to shrink your manicure. 

SALLY HANSEN DIAMOND FLASH: I firmly believe that Sally Hansen polishes work for you or they don't at all. Their colours work amazingly for me but their treatments, base, and top coats just don't seem to do it. I had high hopes for this Diamond Flash top coat but sadly it didn't deliver. It does dry your manicure incredibly quickly which is great but the finish it leaves isn't all that desirable. It's not shiny or glossy which is what the name suggests and it appears to make your nail polish peel off which is a common issue with quick drying top coats but this is the worst that I've found. 


What is your favourite top coat?

R x

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Rebecca WarrinerBeauty