Battle of the Top (Coats)

The most frustrating thing after doing a manicure (next to it chipping) is when you apply your ‘fast drying’ top coat and it doesn’t fast dry.  This has happened to me a few times.  I usually do my manicures once the girls are in bed and I know I won’t have any interruptions or have to do too much with my hands.  However, there have been a few times, with top coats I will no longer use, that the next morning when I wake up there are fabric imprints on my nails.  Sure, it creates an ‘interesting’ texture but not one I want.  This is very frustrating.  My job is nails, which means clients are looking at my fingers as I do their own  and I don’t always have time in the morning to re-fix a top coat mishap.

I know Seche Vite is a cult favorite among the polish addicts.  It is one that I often find myself reaching for as well.  There is only one thing I find slightly irksome about it; trying to get right into the lateral sidewalls of the nail bed without it touching and getting a nice even consistency.  Because the formula is thicker and does in fact dry like magic sometimes it can be tricky to do, along with capping the free edge.

That brings me to 2 other top coats that I grabbed on a whim but have thoroughly enjoyed and been using on myself and clients.

Out The Door

Out the Door 0.5 fl. oz. $5.49

Out the Door by INM is a Canadian Company, which always makes me happy.  I find the formula to be thinner so capping the edges is much easier than SV.  It does take about 20 seconds longer to dry to the touch than SV (I did a little test) but, to me personally, that isn’t a huge amount of time difference and I have never had any issues with waking up to bed linen texture patterns.  The glossy finish is glossy and I don’t find any difference with this and SV.  As for protecting my mani I haven’t had any issues.  (A fun note, INM has Northern Lights which is a hologram top coat.  I used it on the Christmas Lights mani I did on my friend Linda, it is very subtle on lighter polishes but with a solid twinkle.)

Diamond Dry

ProLinc Diamond Dry 0.5 fl. oz. $7.99

ProLinc by American International, they manufacture and distribute a lot of well known lines, such as China Glaze.  I find the formula to be the same as Out the Door but it does dry almost at the same rate as SV, but again because of the thinner formula I find capping and getting right in the sidewalls much easier.  Again, no morning surprise textures and the finish is nice and glossy.

I have also heard great things about CND Speedey but haven’t tried it, yet.  When I pick it up and try it I’ll add another review or edit this one at that time.

What about you?  What’s your go-to top coat?


  • Prices from Sally Beauty Supplies
  • Pictures taken by me

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