Now, I know how excited we all get about top coats… No? Just me. Alright, I’ll level with you. A top coat might not have the razz of a show-stopping red, or romantic milky pink, but they can change the game of your mani completely.It started with Seche Vite (no top coat edit would be complete without the grand dame of nail sealing), but if you experiment, you’ll find the quality of your top coat can determine how luxe or long-lasting your mani will be. Essentially, it seals in the polish beneath and offers another layer of protection. Top tip: make sure to seal your edges by applying a line of polish along the free-edge (at the top) of your nail.
The idiot’s guide to painting a salon-worthy mani yourself
It can completely change the finish, too. For example, CND’s Vinylux Gel-Like Effect top coat is the difference between a novice-like mani and a professional-looking finish. That last lick of gloss can effectively smooth over minor dinks and give a salon-level shine that fools mates into thinking you’ve been to visit a pro.
OPI’s Matte Top Coat on the other hand is a clever way to mix your mani up and add a fresh twist. Consider it a chic new jacket for your nails – the leather jacket of top coats if you will – it adds a slightly tougher, alternative edge that changes the finish from shiny to velvety.
Here are the best top coats to try…Want more nail ideas? Check out our guide to nail designs, acrylic nails and the best at-home gel nail kits, as well as our favourite nail polish shades.And if you can’t get back to the salon for a professional removal, read out insider guide to getting your gels off – without ruining your natural nail.