I am always on the lookout for the perfect top coat. I have tried...many to say the least. As I once joked on the blog before I have "dated" many top coats. I tried committing only to have my heart broken. I decided to do a grading of all the top coats I have used over the last few years. The Good, The Bad and The Meh.
First up is NYC In a New York Minute. I wanted to like this one. I really did. I had heard good things about and the price point is fabulous. But...nope. This was a turnip for me. It did not dry in a New York minute. More like 15-20 minutes with a slight bit of squishiness underneath left behind until morning. As someone who does nail art and needs my polish to dry fast that doesn't work for me. I used this one to finish the bottle but only when I was simply painting my nails and nothing more complicated than that.
Grade: D *The price point saves it from an F grade.
I am still on the fence with this one. I bought it a couple of months ago because I was having a falling out with my Seche Vite and wanted to try something new. Essie Good To Go is more like Okay To Go. It is fast I will give it that. Not as fast as Seche Vite or Poshe Top Coat but it got the job done in a fairly quick amount of time. I wouldn't use this one for nail art though. My issue with this top coat was the shine factor. I am used to the super glossy finish of SV and this just didn't have it.
Poshe is a top coat I started using some time ago after yet another falling out with Seche Vite (are you sensing a pattern, here?). Poshe is a good top coat. The price point is reasonable it dries fast and it has a great super glossy shiny finish. But - bubble city!! I got half way through the bottle and it turned into a gloopy bubbly messy. The gloop factor is common with top coats so I just a bit of nail polish thinner for that. But the bubbles? Could not get rid of them. I tried all of the little tricks to get rid of bubbles in polish and nothing worked. And the bubbles wound up on my nails, dried like little Mars craters. Not a pretty sight. If you can figure out a way around this issue then I say give Poshe a go.
Grade: B -
This one is an oldie for me. I haven't used it in ages. I used to use it all the time before I got into nail art. It is a decent top coat for the price and does dry pretty quickly. Wear-time was the issue for me with this one. After a couple of days (usually 3-4) I would start to get cracks in the polish. No chips but weird fault line cracks all over the nails. A friend of mine used this one and was the one who recommended it to me and she had no issues with this at all. So it could very well have just been my nails and this top coat not getting along. I say try it out and see how it works for you. I think if I didn't have the cracking problem this one would still be in my top coat rotation.
Grade: A -
And now we come to my on again off again boyfriend, Seche Vite. I can say a lot of great things about this top coat: It dries faster than literally any top coat I have ever known in the history of top coats. It has such an amazingly shiny finish that it can make the nail look like glass. I can say a lot of bad things about it as well: it is not 3 Free (which I know is important to a lot of people), it is also not holo friendly and tends to dull holo polish. And then we have the shrinkage issue...those of you have have used SV know what I'm talking about. SV has this annoying little habit of shrinking your polish. Yep you heard me right. Once the bottle is a little more than halfway full it turns into a mean-spirited little bugger, ruining manis at every turn. You apply it and gaze adoringly at your now completely dry and super shiny nails. Five minutes later you look back down and notice that the polish on the sides and tips of your nails has pulled away from the nail bed. It's an ugly scene, man. And yet I keep going back... Why? Because it's just so darn FAST. But no more SV - this time it's over for good!
Grade(s): A (when the bottle is fresh) and F (when it isn't!)
So you may have been wondering what has made me breakup with SV once and for all. It is this little bottle of wonder called HK Girl from Glisten & Glow. I have heard about this top coat for ages. So many of my favorite bloggers have waxed poetically about it, but I was still in the clutches of SV and their musings fell on deaf ears. But it was time for a clean break and I was on the hunt for something better. I have been using HK Girl now for about three weeks. And I love it! It dries super fast, is 3 Free, super shiny and I can use it for nail art. The price point is also awesome at only $6.95 a bottle. Winning!