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Jul 03 2012

Top Five: Top Coats

If there is one beauty product that I go through en masse, it’s top coat!

As a nail polish blogger, I’ve tried a lot of different top coats to find a handful that will keep my manicure looking fresh and glossy – with minimal chippage - for the duration of time I wear it.

While I change my polish practically daily, there have been times that the top coats I’m sharing as my Top Five today have really come through for me, for days at a time!

Nail Life Speed Demon

Nail Life Speed Demon is a quick dry top coat. As you can see from the nearly empty bottle, this is my number one top coat right now. It is the whole package for me: It’s got reliable coverage, it dries quickly and it stays shiny. I get minor tip wear after a couple days with most polishes and hardly any chips up to four days. You can see from the little bit at the bottom of this bottle (my second bottle of this top coat that I’ve kicked!) that it is pink-tinged.

I purchase my Nail Life from Sally’s Beauty Supply. Here’s the link to the product. It’s $7.99, but if you have a Sally’s card it’s a little bit cheaper. I’ll be going back soon for bottle number three!

Qtica Extending Wear Top Coat:

Qtica Extending Top Coat provides great coverage and fast-drying action. The formula is thinner than most other fast-dry polishes I’ve tried, but it is just as powerful. I love that you can purchase this in two sizes – I have the smaller, .25 fl oz bottle, and it’s also available in .5 fl oz.

The smaller is $6.50 and the larger is $10. You can read more about it and find it for sale on Qtica’s website here. Qtica is a sister company to Zoya, and the line has a fantastic array of treatments and lotions/balms/creams!

CND Air Dry:

Even though the bottle design changed in the last couple years, CND Air Dry still delivers for me in the quick-dry, glossy department! This is my third bottle! I like the wider brush this top coat has.

I purchased my CND Air Dry from Image Beauty, and for the life of me I can’t remember how much it cost. You can also get CND at Ulta for $8.

Nubar Diamont Seal & Shine:

I can not even count how many bottles of Nubar Diamont Seal & Shine I have gone through. In fact, the only reason why I’ve discovered any of the above top coats is because I ended up buying an 8 oz refiller bottle of Diamont that quickly turned to a skunk scent that is gross. I can’t stand to do my nails with it! Then Nubar tweaked their formula a year or two ago, and it didn’t dry quickly anymore…but the nail community brought it to the company’s attention, and now it’s back to normal.

I have a bottle that doesn’t stink, and dries quick, and I am happy! If you haven’t tried Diamont, you have to give it a chance. It’s great for stamping, because of how quick it dries! My routine for a long time was Seche after polishing, stamping, then Diamont to finish.

Diamont is available on Nubar’s site here for $7.49.

Seche Vite:

Ah, Seche Vite. My list couldn’t be complete without it. It is probably the first of fast-drying top coats I ever tried. It’s solid. It dries quick, and it stays glossy. Sometimes it does pull polish from the tips but I’ve not noticed that lately. It isn’t as great for me on chipping as some of the other top coats above. But it is still a reliable stand by, and I keep a bottle of it in my treatment drawer!

Seche Vite is available in a LOT of places. I pick mine up at Image Beauty and it’s generally around $5 or $6, I believe!

Everyone has different body chemistry, so what polishes and treatments work for me might work differently for you. And I’ve spent a long time figuring out what does work for me!

What are some of your Holy Grail top coats? Have you tried the ones above? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Disclaimer: Qtica Extending Wear Top Coat was provided to me for review by the PR Firm/Manufacturer last year. Please visit my Disclosure tab for more information on how BeautyJudy.com keeps it real!

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  • http://www.thefabzilla.com Kath

    Great reco’s. So far I’ve only tried Seche Vite. I wanna try Qtica.

  • amber

    I normally use Poshe, and when that gets low I rely on Seche Vite. For me it doesn’t seem to cause any shrinkage at the tips, and I like that. If I use Seche Vite with nail art that has a few layers of polish or more, the worse the shrinkage…and it’s insane and peely if I use Seche Retain as a base coat.. I like that Poshe dries quickly and doesn’t have toluene and that other stuff.

  • http://prettycleverblog.blogspot.com/ Selina

    There’s a couple on here that are new to me I might have to try. My current holy grail is IDB Out the Door, although it’s not easy to get hold of here in New Zealand.

    • http://beautyjudy.com BeautyJudy

      I haven’t given Out the Door much of a chance. I do have a holographic glitter top coat that I like! Thanks for sharing, Selina!

  • http://courtneysmindgrapes.tumblr.com Courtney

    my HG is seche vite. before that it was the sally hansen hard as nails that comes in a red bottle. essentially similar to me. i love love love how seche fills in uneven polish application and makes it appear like i had a flawless application :P it does get thick and goopy, but that’s what i have a bottle of Seche Restore for. and i love that i can buy the huge 4oz of seche vite from amazon.

    i’ve tried Out the Door, and i really didn’t like it.

    a friend of mine bought me some CND Speedy. it dried fast but because it’s so thin it didn’t really help me even out my nail art.

    • http://beautyjudy.com BeautyJudy

      Ah, Sally Hansen has good products too, a few years ago I was really into the silver bottle I can’t remember what type it was.
      Yes – tonight I whipped out my Seche to cover up the glitter piled on top of my Fourth of July mani!
      I haven’t tried Speedy!
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • laura

    “Turned to a skunk scent”?? Aw nooooo :( What a bummer. That big bottle is pricey.

    My HG is Essie Good to Go, but I also really like Revlon’s QD. I avoid Seche because it stains my nails yellow, but it did seem to dry the fastest.

    • http://beautyjudy.com BeautyJudy

      Yes, it smelled awful! I will never buy that big of a bottle again, I wasted more than 2/3 of it. I like Essie Good to Go! I haven’t used that one extensively but I still have a bottle. I may have to give Revlon’s a shot, thanks for sharing your HG!