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Let Your Nails Shine With The Best Nail Top Coats

No manicure is complete without the finishing touch of a quality top coat. Top coats are essential to extending the life of your manicure while protecting nail color against chipping, peeling, fading, and denting. Depending on the type of top coat, they can also provide a glossy or matte finish, offer a chip-resistant finish, or dry extra fast for your convenience. Refer to the buyer’s guide below to help you determine which nail top coat is best for your personal nail needs. We've compiled the best nail top coats in 2021.

Best Nail Top Coats of 2021 Reviewed in Detail

Seche Vite Nail Top Coat

Protect your nail art with Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, which is commonly known as the world's finest top coat. This high-quality top coat rapidly penetrates nail lacquer all the way to the base coat, creating one solid coating over your nail. It features a durable finish that never yellows, peels, or chips. Instead, expect to experience stronger and silkier nails that look fantastic for weeks. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat also dries extremely fast, so you can spend less time on your nails.

INM Out The Door Best Nail Top Coat

For a long-wearing finish that won't yellow, discover Out the Door Fast Drying Top Coat. Simply apply over your nail polish to speed up drying time and give your nails a glossy appearance. Users appreciate the consistency of this top coat, claiming it isn't too thick or thin. It also dries rapidly and guards against smudging, chipping, and denting. Your nail polish will look great longer, and you won't have to spend that extra money for a professional manicure. Out the Door Fast Drying Top Coat also looks great worn alone without polish underneath.

OPI Best Nail Top Coat

Achieve that salon manicure look with the salon price with OPI Top Coat. This consumer-recommended top coat provides a strong, shiny finish that protects your freshly-painted nails against chipping, smudging, and those unsightly indentations. It also covers up any smudged nail polish, providing a classic, uniform appearance. Consumers claim OPI Top Coat "works beautifully" and, with continued use, even makes nails stronger and longer. It goes on smooth and dries extremely fast, as well.

Sally Hansen Big Kwik Dry Nail Top Coat

Shield your nails against fading and discoloration for up to 10 days with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat. This dermatologist-tested top coat is also resistant to chipping, smudging, and crease lines. The exclusive acrylic polymer complex allows this salon-tested top coat to set in just 30 seconds! You should also expect a high-gloss, shiny finish that makes nails look like they were done at the salon. Consumers love how quickly this top coat dries and hardens on nails. Although the bottle is red, the top coat goes on clear to reveal your nail color beneath.

Poshe Super-Fast Drying Top Coat

Poshe Super-Fast Drying Top Coat was awarded "Best Topcoat" by Allure Magazine because of the outstanding results consumers have experienced. Unlike many top coat products, this formula does not contain formaldehyde or toluene, which give off harsh fumes that are harmful to inhale. It also dries within a minute, providing a high-shine finish that resists peeling and chipping. Users claim Poshe Super-Fast Drying Top Coat seals nails well, dries really fast, and makes all nail polish look shiny. It's performance is very similar to Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, but this top coat has a thinner texture and a milder odor.

Deborah Lippmann Addicted To Speed Ultra Quick-Dry Top Coat

It's difficult to go wrong with Deborah Lippmann nail products, and Addicted To Speed is another exceptional formula that performs considerably well. Although one of the more expensive top coats, this luxury product is extremely durable and dries within one minute. Users claim the high price is worth it because this top coat leaves nails resistant to breakage and chipping. Addicted To Speed will not yellow, but instead gives your nails a lasting shine that looks professional. This fast-drying top coat has it all, you can't go wrong with Deborah Lippmann's Addicted To Speed.

Poshe Super-Fast Drying Top Coat

Poshe Super-Fast Drying Top Coat was awarded "Best Topcoat" by Allure Magazine because of the outstanding results consumers have experienced. Unlike many top coat products, this formula does not contain formaldehyde or toluene, which give off harsh fumes that are harmful to inhale. It also dries within a minute, providing a high-shine finish that resists peeling and chipping. Users claim Poshe Super-Fast Drying Top Coat seals nails well, dries really fast, and makes all nail polish look shiny. It's performance is very similar to Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, but this top coat has a thinner texture and a milder odor.

China Glaze No Chip Top Coat

Experience maximum protection against chipping with China Glaze No Chip Top Coat. It forms a protective shield from harsh detergents and chemicals while providing additional resistance against scuffing, peeling, and denting. This no-chip top coat doubles the life of your nail color, as well, and helps keep your nails healthy. Users appreciate the thin consistency of China Glaze No Chip Top Coat and claim this product makes manicures last up to a week. Expect a smooth, shiny finish that makes any nail color look gorgeous.

Buyer's Guide

A top coat helps keep your manicure looking nice by preventing nail color from smudging, chipping, and fading. Manicures only last a few days on their own, but a top coat effectively extends the life of a manicure for much longer. There are many different types of top coats available which range from no-chip to fast-drying. Most top coats impart a glossy finish while others provide a mattifying effect. To ensure a top coat suits the needs of your nails, you’ll want to consider its drying time, the amount of protection it provides, appearance, as well as its longevity.

Nail Protection

Daily activities leave polished nails vulnerable to potential damage. A top coat’s main function is to protect your nail color from smudging, fading, chipping, and denting. While some lower quality top coats provide an attractive finish, they offer no real protection to nails. A quality top coat should protect nail color with a durable, damage-resistant finish.

Drying Time

Waiting for a top coat to dry is as exciting as watching paint dry. Top coat finishes which take longer to dry may set as hard and are more likely to smudge. However, there are some products which dry faster than others in order to save you time. The best nail top coats dry within one minute and some fast-drying top coats can even deliver results in as little as 30 seconds.

Appearance

Since a top coat completes a manicure, its appearance can determine the overall look of your nails. Lower quality top coats tend to take on a yellowish tinge which is especially visible on whites, pastels, and other lighter-colored nail polishes. The consistency of the top coat can also affect its appearance; for example, thicker top coats tend to wrinkle and dent. A quality top coat keeps its original finish without becoming discolored or the texture altering.

Longevity

The amount of time a top coat remains on nail polish determines the length of your manicure. Lower-quality top coats tend to chip off faster than quality top coats, leaving nail polish exposed and susceptible to damage. Although the longevity of a top coat depends on application techniques, the best top coats will last a minimum of 10 days.

Top Coat Types

Clear Top Coat

As the most commonly used type of top coat, clear top coats are extremely versatile and enhance the look of all nail polishes. These top coats are known for their glossy finishes which provide manicures with a polished look. The best clear top coats dry rapidly and protect nails against damage such as chipping, denting, and discoloration.

Matte Top Coat

Mattifying top coats provide a flat, smooth finish over your existing nail color. They’re ideal for when you want to add an interesting texture to your manicure and change it up from the usual glossy finish. Matte top coats provide the same protection as glossy top coats against fading, chipping, denting, etc.

No-Chip Top Coat

All it takes is one small chip to ruin a manicure. Small chips lead to larger chips and then soon nail polish is nearly completely stripped off a nail. No-chip top coats prevent chipping by providing a durable, chip-resistant finish over your nail polish. These top coats are ideal for individuals who put their nails through a lot of wear and tear.

Fast-Drying Top Coat

When saving time is your highest priority, fast-drying top coats are ideal. These top coats impart a glossy finish while sealing nails and protecting them from damage. Fast-drying top coats provide the same benefits as standard top coats, only dry faster.

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