Battle of the Topcoats

I realised not long back that my nails were ridiculously chipping within days of painting, with this in mind I decided it was time to resist the plethora of colours provided by the likes of Barry M and start snooping around for something less aesthetic like a top coat.

Sally Hansen seemed like the obvious choice, there's something slightly superior about the Sally Hansen stand in Superdrug that makes me feel as though I'm getting something salon-standard for a slight fraction of the price. I chose the Sally Hansen Gel Shine 3D Topcoat. Needing a topcoat to use for my standard go-to french mani, I wanted something that would add that professional shine I've paid for in salons. I was immediately impressed with the longevity of the formula. After five days the only sign of chipping was on my right index finger and only due to me falling up the stairs at work and not general wear and tear.

The overall consistency of the product is slightly thicker than average polishes but is remarkably smoother and easier to apply. I tend to be lazy when applying clear polishes and just paint my whole finger as the smears and smudges aren't overly visible. However, with Sally Hansen, I learnt to be less cack-handed as the thicker consistency lead to every cat hair within a five mile radius attaching it's self to my finger tips. Sally Hansen claim that the Gel Shine 3D Topcoat has a quicker drying formula, personally, I didn't notice it this - arguably because I like to distract myself when waiting for my nails to dry as they always seem to take forever. The finish of Gel Shine is as it as says in the pot, if it weren't for the slightly wonky white tips my nails could easily be presumed to have been done in a professional salon making that £6.95 price tag a blooming bargain.

The next contender in the battle of the topcoats is the Seche Vite dry fast topcoat (found in Boots for £9.00) which, according to the packaging is the "world's finest top coat" and "unmatched" I disagree with this. Seche Vite is, undoubtedly a top notch top coat but not the greatest in the world and it is a pretty good match for Sally Hansen. I found that the quick drying formula may have let this product down a little. I've not had the best experience with quick drying products, finding the majority easily chipped the same can be said for Seche Vite.

I did find Seche Vite a blessing when used with those irresistible glitter polishes that have to be used during the festive season but are an absolute nightmare to remove. Seche Vite penetrates the top coat right through to the base which allows the all the coats to slide off when being removed or, which is my issue, peel off. I found that three days in of basking in my sparkly red glory some of my nails were peeling off....whole. This lead to picking and peeling every finger off and then feeling a little sorry for my naked nails.

Although Seche Vite doesn't do what is says on the tin for me, I found that used with Sally Hansen as the final final topcoat my nails lasted dramatically longer and the high shine formula of Sally Hansen compliments the strengthening formula of Seche Vite allowing my nails to shine on. The quick drying formula of Seche Vite is just that, within minutes my nails were good to go and could was ready to waft my engagement ring in the face of anyone who was willing to look...or unwilling, I didn't care.

So there you have it, the battle of the topcoats is not so much a battle but more a harmonious union of two products working wonders together, why can't the rest of the world be so easy?



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