What can I say about top coats? They are the finishing touch to my manicure routine, leave my nails looking glossy and finished and revive my nails after a few days of wear and tear.

Pretty much an essential in my kit and a product I would definitely not be without, even if I decided to go for a nude nail. A layer of clear top coat is an essential in any nail care routine, just to give an overall polished look.

I think of any product I have tried, top coats are an absolute must buy item. Depending on your budget you can buy a wide array of top coat products offering different results, especially with the influx of gel technology in polishes.

It can be a bit scary if you are currently shopping around for a new top coat with so much choice. But have no fear my friends, depending on your needs, there is a top coat for you!

I thought in this post I could give you a quick overview of the various top coats out on the market, at different price points so you can get good results at optimal prices.


From the drugstore there are several brands offering various top coats which all work reasonably well and have an excellent price point.



Sally Hansen would be the first brand, their Insta-Dri Top Coat, Double Duty and their Diamond Flash Top coat would be favourites.

Choose your formula based on your needs from your top coat, either quick dry, multi purpose or extremely glossy shine. These three are definitely worth a try.




Revlon’s Extra Life No Chip Top coat would also fall into this category, I put this top coat on trial not too long along and it held up well for the price.

I only got minor chipping with this polish after day 6 which is a small miracle with my clumsy hands and nails.



imageFor gel effect formulas from the drugstore, Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel top coat along with Essie’s Gel Setter are excellent gel effect formulas with unbeatable shine.

They plump up the nail without the need of UV or LED lamps and give the nails excellent wear time. Something to consider if you feel your nails chip easily and you enjoy the look and wear time of gels.






For mid range products you cannot beat Seche Vite Dry Fast Top coat, a cult classic polish which has excellent speed dry formula and leaves a beautiful glossy shine.

A polish I enjoy from time to time and know I can rely on to dry super fast when I am trying to get out the door and have done a speedy manicure.




From OPI, their RapiDry Top Coat is an excellent quick dry topper, with good gloss and a salon professional polish.

A perfect end to finish your manicure with. This also a more speedy formula but works well and is another product I have used over the years.



My current top coat which I am enjoying using at the moment is Nails Inc’s Kensington Caviar Top Coat, which dries fairly quickly and gives a gorgeous gloss to the nails.

I feel it really plumps up the nails and give me reasonably good wear time. Definitely a fixture in my manicure routine and something I would consider repurchasing.

I also own a Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Gel Effect Plumping top coat, which I occasionally use as it offers excellent gloss and turns any of my more boring polish choices to glossy delicious delights.

Hopefully Nails Inc will come out with a more durable gel top coat to go with their Gel Effect and Nailkale formulas. I am sure something will be in the works!


imageA polish I have my eye on is the Deborah Lippmann’s Gel Lab polishes, focussing mainly on the top coat.

I have read good things about its longevity and gloss so far. I am waiting for more positive reviews about this polish before I dive into this pool of glossiness, but I think this will be my next top coat purchase.




My main topcoat tip is to apply an extra coat after a few days of wear to revive colour, pump up the glossiness and get extra wear time from your manicure.

It’s actually quite amazing what this does, if like me, you cannot be bothered to redo a whole manicure. This tip can be the difference to getting a longer manicure wear.

Another tip would be to add extra layers of top coat to your most used nails i.e. your thumb, index and middle fingers. These nails are on the working fingers of the hands and tend to chip first.

Adding an extra layer of top coat to these nails in your manicure will just protect them that bit more from chipping. For me this can be the saviour of the forever chipping nails I usually get. Doing this one step in your initial manicure can be enhance your whole manicure routine to get longer wear out of every manicure you do!

Capping the free edge too is a must too with both layers of top coat!

What are you favourite top coats? Any I must try?

Let me know in the comments.