Best Nail Top Coat

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Best Nail Top CoatNo 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.

Best Clear Top Coat:

Forgetting to apply a top coat to your painted nails is sure to leave them prone to chipping within a couple days or less. Regardless of the price or brand of nail polish, a top coat is always necessary to preserve the appearance and duration of your manicure or pedicure. A clear top coat is simply that finishing touch that gives your nail color or design a polished, often glossy look. The following clear top coats were chosen because they dry the fastest, protect against damage, and deliver the highest-quality performances overall. They also feature superior consumer ratings, so you can trust the results.

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat is a quick-drying formula that penetrates nail color down to the base coat, leaving nails completely coated with a solid, durable finish. It won't chip, peel, or yellow - just leave your nails protected and stronger. Read Full Review

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    Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

    Essie Essie 'Good To Go!' Top Coat

    Essie Good To Go is a non-yellowing top coat finish that dries in under five minutes. It goes on smooth and easily, imparting a glossy shine that protects nails against chipping, fading, and peeling. This clear top coat has a long shelf life and actually removes imperfections from your nails. Read Full Review

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      Essie Essie 'Good To Go!' Top Coat

      INM Out The Door Top Coat

      Out the Door Fast Drying Top Coat is an affordable, yet professional, clear top coat that imparts a glossy finish on nail color and bare nails. It sets in under a minute and resists denting, smudging, and chipping. This top coat is the perfect consistency - not too thick or thin. Read Full Review

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        INM Out The Door Top Coat

        OPI Top Coat

        OPI Top Coat is another high-performance top coat that strengthens and adds a shiny touch to your nails. It also protects against dents, chipping, and smudges, so your nails will remain beautiful longer. Read Full Review

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          OPI Top Coat

          Sally Hansen Insta Dri Top Coat

          Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat is salon-tested product that guards nails against fading, chipping, smudging, and discoloration for up to 10 days. It sets in just 30 seconds and leaves nails ultra shiny and professional-looking. This top coat contains no added formaldehyde and is not tested on animals. Read Full Review

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            Sally Hansen Insta Dri Top Coat

            Best Matte Top Coat:

            If you're not in the mood for a glossy shine, a matte top coat can instantly give your nails a flat, smooth finish. You can also use matte top coats to create interesting textural contrast or any unique custom design imaginable. Matte top coats also benefit your nails by protecting against chipping, denting, and all those other calamities that ruin gorgeous nail art. Like all nail products, matte top coats aren't all created equal; some provide better results than others. The matte top coats featured below were chosen because they protect your nail designs, provide the best shine-free finishes, and are recommended by consumers.

            OPI Matte Top Coat

            OPI Matte Top Coat is a quick-drying, mattifying top coat that imparts a shine-free finish on your nail color for about one week. It guards against chipping, as well, and only costs about $7 per bottle. This product is very popular with consumers because of its impressive performance and value. Read Full Review

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              OPI Matte Top Coat

              New York Color Matte Me Crazy Mattifying Top Coat

              New York Color Matte Me Crazy is an affordable top coat that instantly mattifies your nail color. Just one coat is all you need, and it really does protect against chipping. This product features a special control-flow brush for dispensing the perfect amount of product, as well. Read Full Review

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                New York Color Matte Me Crazy Mattifying Top Coat

                butter LONDON Matte Finish Shine Free Topcoat

                This matte top coat by butter London provides the perfect shine-free, matte finish that won't chip for several days. It goes on smoothly, dries quickly, and even helps underlying nail color dry faster. Expect nothing but professional results from butter London Matte Finish Top Coat. Read Full Review

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                  butter LONDON Matte Finish Shine Free Topcoat

                  Julep Suede Matte Top Coat

                  Julep Matte Top Coat instant transforms your nail color from shiny to frosty. It dries quickly and does a great job of protecting against chipping. Expect your nails to stay gorgeous for about one week with this matte top coat. Read Full Review

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                    Julep Suede Matte Top Coat

                    Deborah Lippmann Flat Top Matte Top Coat

                    Deborah Lippmann Flat Top imparts a stylish matte finish to all nail polishes, including glitter and metallic. It resists chipping and leaves your nails looking professional for two weeks. Although expensive, this matte top coat delivers high-quality, tasteful results you can count on. Read Full Review

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                      Deborah Lippmann Flat Top Matte Top Coat

                      Best No Chip Top Coat:

                      Chipping is a common tendency with most nail polishes, even some expensive ones. Just one small chip can lead to even more chipping, then soon your gorgeous nails don't look so fabulous anymore. Fortunately, you can prevent chipping by applying a chip-resistant finish over your painted nails. Chip-resistant top coats are perfect for individuals who put their nails through a lot of wear and tear, but love sporting flawless nails. The following top coat products were chosen because they dry rapidly, resist chipping, and preserve your nail color the longest. These no-chip top coats boast the highest consumer ratings, as well.

                      Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

                      Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat is a top-of-the-line top coat that enriches nails and protects them from chipping for up to one week. It dries extremely fast and leaves a hard, glossy finish that stays put. Nails are left smooth, shiny, and protected with this high-rated top coat. Read Full Review

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                        Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

                        Poshe Super-Fast Drying Top Coat

                        Poshe Super Fast Drying Top Coat is a smooth, fast-drying top coat that imparts a glossy, chip-resistant finish that lasts for about five days. It does not contain DBP, toluene, or formaldehyde, so harsh fumes are reduced. This top coat works great on any nail color and is budget-friendly. Read Full Review

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                          Poshe Super-Fast Drying Top Coat

                          Sally Hansen Insta Dri Top Coat

                          Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat is a fast-drying, glossy top coat that protects against fading, discoloration, and especially chipping. It also hardens your nail color and leaves your manicure looking its best for up to ten days. Read Full Review

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                            Sally Hansen Insta Dri Top Coat

                            China Glaze No Chip Top Coat

                            China Glaze No Chip Top Coat imparts a glossy finish that protects against chipping, scuffing, peeling, and other damage. It keeps your nails healthy, as well, and extends the life of your manicure to about one week. This top coat goes on smoothly and won't bubble up, like some top coat products. Read Full Review

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                              China Glaze No Chip Top Coat

                              Essie Essie 'Good To Go!' Top Coat

                              Essie Good To Go gives your nails a shiny finish while protecting against chipping for about five days. It dries in a flash and won't turn yellow overtime, like some top coat finishes. This affordable top coat is a great value, as well. Read Full Review

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                                Essie Essie 'Good To Go!' Top Coat

                                Best Fast Drying Top Coat:

                                If you're tired of waiting for your nails to dry, a fast-drying top coat product can save you time. These top coats offer the same protection against chipping, denting, and peeling as regular top coats, yet seal your nail color more quickly. Look for a top coat that combines performance with drying speed to ensure the most effective results and bang for your buck. The following top coats were chosen because they have a reputation for drying the fastest, providing the best protection, and extending manicures the longest. Consumers also highly recommend the fast-drying top coats below.

                                Poshe Super-Fast Drying Top Coat

                                Poshe Super-Fast Drying Top Coat is an award-winning top coat that does not contain formaldehyde or toluene. It provides a shiny, durable finish that won't chip or peel for several days. This formula also dries super-fast and seals your nails so they become resistant to damage. Read Full Review

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                                  Poshe Super-Fast Drying Top Coat

                                  Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

                                  Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat is an instant-drying top coat that leaves nails shiny, fortified and resistant to chipping. It's perfect for weak nails in need of a protein boost. The smooth, solid finish seals your entire nail to the base coat, preventing wear and tear for up to a week. Read Full Review

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                                    Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

                                    Deborah Lippmann Addicted To Speed Ultra Quick-Dry Top Coat

                                    Deborah Lippmann Addicted To Speed is a luxurious, fast-drying top coat formula that coats your nails with a glossy, durable finish. Just one thin coat is all it takes to transform and protect your nails. This high-end top coat is on the expensive end, but the results cannot even compare to drugstore top coats.
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                                      Deborah Lippmann Addicted To Speed Ultra Quick-Dry Top Coat

                                      INM Out The Door Top Coat

                                      INM Out The Door Top Coat is a fast-drying, non-yellowing formula that leaves nails hard, shiny and smooth. Your nail color will last longer and experience less chipping with just a single coat of this high-quality product. It glides on easily and protects your nails for several days. Read Full Review

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                                        INM Out The Door Top Coat

                                        Essie Essie 'Good To Go!' Top Coat

                                        Essie Good To Go is a chip-resistant top coat product that dries super-fast and protects nails with a glossy finish. It work great on all nail types and keeps your nail color looking its best. You won't experience chipping or denting for days with this formula. Read Full Review

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                                          Essie Essie 'Good To Go!' Top Coat
                                           

                                          Nail Top Coat 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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