My Relationship History: Top Coats

I’m no expert when it comes to top coats. When I find one I love I stick with it until, for whatever reason, I can’t get it any more. All good things must come to an end right? 
I’ve had my heart broken by plenty of charming top coats in my time so I’m going to round up a few of my favourite top coat love affairs and the longer term top coat marriage that ended in a nasty divorce.
My current beau is Essence’s Better Than Gel Nails top coat. I’m trying not to get too attached because it’s kind of a long distance thing. Essence comes all the way from the continent. Despite technically being in Europe, there’s nowhere in the UK (that I know of anyway) where I can buy Essence products.
After a cry for help on Twitter, a couple of lovely ladies recommended this to me. I was in desperate need of a fast and hard drying top coat on the cheap and Bregje from Oooh Shinies was lovely enough to send me a few bottles. 
Better Than Gel dries really fast, it doesn’t smudge my nail art and it’s really shiny. I recommend it to everyone. 
Essence Better Than Gel €2.59 from Continental Europe
This is ‘The Big Ex’. I used NYC In A New York Minute as a top coat since before I even started blogging up until about May this year. I noticed a change in the formula, even though there was no indication on the packaging, and it just ‘stopped working’. The formula now is super runny and just seems to make my manis worse if anything. I’d wake up every morning with sheet marks on my nails even if I’d painted my nails hours before going to bed.

Needless to say this relationship did not end amicably. I was determined to make things work and even continued buying it in the hope that it was just a bad batch and things would work out eventually, but no such luck. We don’t even talk any more.

NYC In A New York Minute £1.79 from Superdrug

I met Sally Hansen Advanced Hard as Nails right after my divorce from NYC and we have a very casual relationship. Generally speaking, Sally Hansen products are very reliable and do just what they say on the tin. This one’s no exception, but it takes a little while to make your polish ‘Hard as Nails’  – 2 hours at least.
As I said, we’re keeping it casual. I don’t use this top coat all the time but we’re both cool with that.

Sally Hansen Advanced Hard as Nails £2.99 in The Original Factory Shop
Cult Nails Wicked Fast is way out of my (price) league, but we were thrown together when I was lucky enough to win a bottle in a Cult Nails contest. I knew things would never work out between us but it was fun while it lasted. Cult Nails do ship to the UK but $8.00 is out of my price range for top coats so we probably won’t be reunited. Plus, last time I ordered from Cult Nails, I ended up paying import tax on the package which I wouldn’t risk again.
 It’s by far the best top coat I’ve ever used. It really does dry ‘wicked fast’ and it lasts and lasts.
Cult Nails Wicked Fast $8.00 from

Have you tried these top coats? What’s your all time favourite top coat?
If you’re in the UK and you have any recommendations for me, let me know. It’s got to be something fairly cheap that I can pick up in Boots or Superdrug!