Best nail top coats to make your at-home manicure last longer

Posted by for Beauty

Is your at-home manicure prone to chipping quickly? Try one of these top coats.

If you’re anything like us, you will have dabbled in an at-home manicure by now. While it may have allowed you to explore new trends on your own – shell nails, anyone? – you might have found your mani doesn’t last as long as when you visited the salon.

The answer? A top coat.

When you’ve finished applying your base coat and nail polish layers, you should always finish your manicure with a top coat. “A good top coat will protect your polish against everyday wear, reduce water penetration to the nail plate and give your manicure a smooth finish,” explains celebrity nail artist Jenni Draper.

“Ingredients in a top coat are harder and more durable than a polish, which tends to have more flexibility. Reapply it every three days to refresh the shine and make your polish last longer,” recommends Draper.

Even if you aren’t wearing nail polish, using a top coat can help protect your nail. Here, we round-up our favourite top coats, from a gel finish to the fastest drying.

  • Best nail polish top coat: Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

    Seche-Vite-Dry-Fast-Top-Coat

    A solid favourite among nail professionals – even Draper says “nothing beats it” – this top coat is a cult product. It’s been formulated to penetrate through nail polish layers to the base coat, forming a single solid coating over the entire nail.

    Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, £6.90

  • Best matte top coat: OPI Matte Top Coat

    opi-matte-top-coat

    Not a fan of a shiny finish? This top coat instantly de-shines your nail polish and leaves behind a velvety, textured appearance.

    OPI Matte Top Coat, £13.90

  • Best gel-finish top coat: Essie Gel Couture Top Coat Nail Polish

    Essie-Gel-Couture-Top-Coat-Nail-Polish

    If you’re missing the high-shine look of a gel manicure, this is the top coat for you. It dries down to seal your manicure while leaving a glossy finish. No UV lamp required.

    Essie Gel Couture Top Coat Nail Polish, £9.99

  • Best fast-drying top coat: Nails Inc 45 Second Nail Polish Top Coat

    Nails-Inc-45-Second-Nail-Polish-Top-Coat

    “Fast drying top coats speed up the drying process of the polish underneath,” explains Draper. This Nails Inc option seals in colour, prevents chipping and is touch dry in just 45 seconds.

    Nails Inc 45 Second Nail Polish Top Coat, £15     

Sign up for our essential edit of what to buy, see, read and do, and also receive our 11-page Ultimate Guide To Making Your Home Feel Bigger.

Main image: Getty

If you’re an avid Stylist fan, you’ll know it’s not always possible to find an issue of our magazine. Often they’re gone before you head into work (they disappear fast!), or you live in a part of the UK where you can’t get your hands on a copy. Add to this the fact that millions of us are not commuting right now, and we wanted to ensure you don’t miss out on the magazine any longer.

Which is why we’re delighted to let you know that Stylist magazine is now available in a digital format, both for Apple and Android users, allowing you to download the full magazine directly to your smartphone or tablet, wherever you may be.

Pricing for our digital magazine starts at just 99p for a single issue, or £21.99 for a full year’s subscription –that’s less than 50p a week! Simply click on the link to activate your Stylist app download from either the Apple store or Google Play and enjoy!

Share this article

Recommended by Hanna Ibraheem