When it comes to manicures, long wear polishes are queen! While we all manicures that last longer than free shrimp at a buffet, we don't often want the hassle of curing a gel polish or the inconvenience of soaking it off after 2+ weeks. Many of us opt instead for any polish that promises at least a week of wear. These 5 top coats, paired with most of the polishes I have used in the last several months, have given me at least 6 days of chip-free wear.
Milani Color Statement Quick Dry Top Coat - This top coat goes on smoothly, dries quickly and doesn't shrink the polish underneath (as something like a Seche Vite might.) It clocks in at under $5 which makes it the most cost effective option on this list. $4.99 at CVS.com
Sally Hansen 3D Top Coat - I like this top coat but if i'm not quick as the wind with application I tend to get bubbles. If applied quickly, it does keep manicures shiny and chip free longer than traditional top coats. It also tends to dry out faster than average, so, be sure to keep it very tightly closed between uses. (I feel like Sally Hansen should consider a smaller bottle for this one.) $9.99 at Ulta.com
Sally Hansen Gel Top Coat - Applies beautifully even after I've been using it for a while. I would compare this most closely with the Essie top coat (below.) I would give it a slight edge simply because I love the brush -- It is wider and curved at the corners so it makes application much easier on my larger than life nail beds. $7.19 at Target.com
CND Vinylux Weekly Top Coat - this might be my favorite of all the top coats on this list. It goes on smoothly, dries quickly, offers a brilliant shine and keeps manicures looking fresh. According to the manufacturers, "Vinylux Weekly Top Coat becomes more durable with exposure to natural light." It is also recommended that it be used with only other CND Weekly polishes (I have nevah done that and this is possibly my 4th bottle.) $10.50 at Ulta.com
Essie Gel Setter Top Coat - goes on smoothly and gives a good shine. I love Essie polishes but they all have that skinny brush, a pain for someone with wide nail beds and long nails. While I'm not a fan of the brush, the top coat can keep polish shiny and chip free for up to seven days. $9.99 at Target.com
I have done manicures that last 6+ days without chipping with each of the top coats above. I think much of the problems we have with chipping is user error. Like Black lives, application time and technique matter. Click here to see how I do it.