Hi and Happy Monday Mani! I hope you had an amazing weekend! Ever since I started getting into nail art I realized how important topcoat is. Yes, it can make your mani more durable not to mention it looks neater, but for nail art, regardless if you are working with nail polish or acrylic paint, top coat will make everything blend together nicely, make your design last for days, and it can be definitely the step that ads the “Wow!” factor or the “Oh….” factor to the design. So, the better the topcoat works, the happier your mani will be!
I have here 3 friends. Two of them I´ve been using for close to 2 years, and they work perfect for me. The other one is new, and unfortunately did not work for me. Here are the swatches and the reason why:
Sally Hansen – Nail Hardener. A.k.a my favorite!
This is meant to be a hardener and a base coat but ironically, it´s the one I always end up using.
-Accessible (Got mine at Wal-Mart)
- Dries fast.
- Thicker formula, you only need one coat.
- No smudging.
- No strong smell. Love it.
China Glaze Top Coat
-Doesn’t smudge images. Friendly with nail art although you have to make extra sure you nail art has dried before applying it, otherwise smudge will happen.
- Dries fast
- Strong smell
- Kind of thin formula. You have to apply 2 coats for long lasting results. Like it.
Sally Hansen – Double Duty
This is the first time I try it and apparently the last:
- Smudges my nail art
- Even if you wan t to protect you regular manicure takes too long to dry, more than 30 minutes. Nobody aint got time for that!
And after using it, for some reason I started feeling really sick. Super dizzy and kind of wanted to pass out. Actually happened after recording the video below, I am not really sure if it was the smell of the 3 of them together or what exactly, but too weird, I´ve never had that reaction with the other two.
Others I have used.
I have used the Out the Door top coat, that I got from Sally Beauty Supply. It wasn´t as accessible for me as the other ones, I just wanted to give it a try, I did and I was ok, I recommend it as well. Dries fast, applies smooth, no dizziness or weird smells.
I then tried the Seche Vite Top Coat from Sally Beauty Supply as well, about 2 years ago, and it was fine, affordable but I cannot quite remember if it had a strong smell to it, because back in the day when I had it there was a rumor going on that SV was toxic, something about some ingredient it has/had (loving my review so far, aren´t ya!), so as soon as I heard (read) about that, I would cover my nose (I would totally feel like a dentist) and would try to work as fast as I could. It was fast drying, but I never repurchased it because of the rumor and because I prefer using my Sally Hansen Nail Hardener.
See some of them in action. Let me know about your as well! – Happy Top Coating =) – Renee -