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.
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Best nail polish 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.
Best 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
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.
Best fast-drying 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.
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Main image: Getty
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