Sunday, 13 October 2013

Brightblocks

I'm currently going through a top coat conundrum! I get these quite a lot when I've dried up my supply of whatever my favourite top coat of the moment is - this time it's No7 Stay Perfect. Normally it happens because said top coat is no longer available or no longer on offer/sale!

Most of the ones I have here are now a bit thick and they either leave loads of bubbles or make my mani shrink (exposing the very tips of the nails). In yesterday's post I mentioned that I used the Color Club top coat which I got when I bought s collection of theirs from TK Maxx. At first it seemed like a great top coat: drying time was good and it was nice and glossy but when I woke up I had the dreaded sheet marks pressed in to my nails. I went to bed a whole 8 hours after I painted my nails! Now, that just won't do.

So I have a question for you, one that I ask a lot. What is your favourite top coat? INM Out the Door and Seche Vite always seem to top this list but I want to know if there have been any new discoveries of late. Something (very) affordable and available in the UK would be ideal!



For today's nail art I used Deborah Lippmann Fashion as my base colour with a coat of Essence Better Than Gel Nails Fast Dry Top Sealer.

To create the colour blocking effect, I used Scotch Tape to mark off a 'T' shape on my nails. First with a thin strip straight down the middle, then one across the tip.
I painted on Sally Hansen Water Color over the top and immediately removed the tape. Once that was dry, I freehanded on the outlines using a nail art brush with Models Own Bubblegum.
I finished it off with Color Club Top Coat (because that's all that was available!).





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65 comments :

  1. Cult Nails Wicked Fast is my fave. Absolutely. I'm on my third bottle. It doesn't get thick half way through the bottle the way my Seche used to and it drives fast and is nice and shiny!

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  2. I just buy Seche in the salon size kit from ebay, my last one worked out at about £2.50 per bottle - personally I don't get any shrinkage in the 2 or 3 days I keep my mani on, unless I don't wrap my tips. I have heard fantastic reviews from everyone who has the Hong Kong Girl Glisten & Glow topcoat though, which you can get from Sally Magpies xx

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  3. I use Sally Hansen Insta-Dri but its not the cheapest topcoat out there. Dead fast drying though.

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  4. Personally I like using the Sally Hansen super shine top coat. You can get it for £2-£3 off either Amazon or eBay.

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  5. I always use China Glaze Fast Forward, it dries fast and it's nice and shiny.

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  6. I like Seche most of the time but I do get tip shrinkage with it. I really like Poshe top coat. It dries fast and does not seem to shrink the polish. Cult nails top coat is nice also.

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  7. I really like Poshe's topcoat which you can get online for around the £8 mark - not hugely cheap but not super expensive either. Sally Hansen Insta Dri is another favourite and Essie's quick dry topcoat is meant to be good! x

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  8. I just love the blue colour and the way you do the lines in pink... They're so neat!

    XXX <3

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  9. Don't you like Sally Hansen Dries Instantly? What happened to that? :)
    Sally Hansen Clearly Quick's okay, not the best but good for a little while.

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  10. My favourite top coat is essence ultra gloss nail shine :)

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  11. I'm using Poshé, and as long as I use thinner when it starts to get thick, it doesn't shrink :)

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  12. Very clean and so nicely painted!

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  13. I love all of the Sally Hanson Top Coats! I normally buy which ever one is on sale! :) I find that they never get thick, which is a plus, and they are super cheap!

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  14. Hi ! My favourite top coat is Poshé : it dries very fast, I can't wait, I have no patience. It doesn't shrink. I have no problems with it. I buy it on french online shops, so I don't know where you can easily get it. Thanks for your wonderful manies, always of some inspiration for me !

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  15. I stand by Seche Vite!! Its the best topcoat i've used,because of its super fast drying time and smooth glossy finished. Sorry i couldn't help

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  16. Cute look, the contrast is great!! My absolute favourite topcoat is the Color Club topcoat from the TK Maxx sets (the one you mentioned), for me it's perfect no smudging, shiny, extremely fast drying and I got no sheet marks like you mentioned. I'm going to hoard the Color club topcoat when I can. Frankly that topcoat has been the only good one for me, I wasn't a fan of stay perfect cause it smudged on me. I don't recommend the Rimmel topcoat, the smudging was really bad there. I guess what I'm saying is maybe give the Color club another try as it's beyond perfect for me, but maybe that's just me :)

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  17. I use Sally Hansen Insta-dry. It doesn't have the same uber shine as Seche Vite but its more affordable and dries really fast with a good shine. Also, the brush reaches to the very bottom of the bottle so you can use it all up unlike Seche Vite where you can get at the last third of the bottle!

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  18. I'm using Glisten & Glow HK Girl Top Coat at the moment. You should be able to get it here: http://rainbow-connection.co.uk/

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  19. How strange! CC top coat is currently my favorite top coat ever, even more than Seche or Poshé. I started by using color club top coat from a CC set and them moved on to Color Club 0-60s dry because not only it dries fast, but it never smudged my nail art and is glossy. Well, I never had bed sheet marks and I go to bed normally 2h after painting nails. In UK you should try Kinetics Kwik Kote from Kinetics, although I'm not sure how much it cots in UK. Kisses,

    Cristina

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  20. Seche gave me the WORST shrinkage! Cult Nails Wicked Fast is amazing; as is Rica's Glossy Glam. I think you can get both via mail in the UK! Good luck!

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  21. I love Revlon quick dry top coat! Stays shiny for days, and dries really quickly. I've never had issues with shrinkage, smearing or smudging

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  22. My favorite top coat is Sally Hansen Dries Instantly. I know you have used that a lot. I love it because of how fast it dries and it never gets sheet prints in it.

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  23. I am obsessed with Glisten & Glow's HK Girl!!

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  24. Seche Vite is my go-to forever. Although, I find Revlon's Quick Dry Top Coat quite good. However, I don't know if you can get it in the UK or exactly how much it is....but it dries fast and is very shiny!

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  25. Seche Vite is my go-to forever. Although, I find Revlon's Quick Dry Top Coat quite good. However, I don't know if you can get it in the UK or exactly how much it is....but it dries fast and is very shiny!

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  26. Revlon top coat, it says on the bottle that its like a gel top coat finish

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  27. I love Sally Hansen's Insta Dri! I live in France so it's not always easy to find but I'm going to buy A LOT of bottles when I come to London around New Year! It gets thicker around the end of the bottle but I never found another top coat that dries so fast!

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  28. my go too is NYC 202 Grand Central Station. not sure if it is available in the UK. it dries fast, glossy, no shrink. the only thing is I find it a bit on the thin side when I put it over nail art, I see bumps sometimes, but I just look past that.

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  29. I really like the Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat (the one with number 960 on top), too. It should be no problem for you to get it, whenever friends of mine travel to the UK, I just send them to the next Boots to get me a bottle (or two or three :-D ), and they were always lucky at their first try. :-)

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  30. I managed to fine Seche Vite on Amazon the other day for £4 which I thought was an acceptable price. I can't find it now but shop around a bit - also its nearly Christmas 3for2's and £5 off No7 galore at Boots soon I'm sure.

    as for the 'bit thick' problem, get your hands on some IPA (isopropyl alcohol ) its super cheap from ebay and co ,its what they use to take the sticky layer of gel nails and manicures but its also usually an ingredient in both nail polish and the various thinners out there. I have found it the perfect thinner for the majority of my polishes that have dried out.

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  31. I love Seche vite, of course, but China Glaze's Fast forward is also amazing! A bit thinner than seche vite, the smell is also horrible but wears off rapidly. And drying time is ah-may-zing. Stays glossy as well as Seche vite. I don't know if it's available in the UK, but you can find it cheap on beautyjoint.com (as well as seche vite, it's one of the cheapest place I've found).

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  32. My Singaporean friend moved to the UK and started rainbow-connection.co.uk. She carries Hong Kong Girl topcoat from Glisten & Glow and it's the best topcoat I've ever tried. I used to only use SV but since I was converted, I only use HK Girl :D

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  33. I use Poshe fast dry top coat or Nubar Diamont on myself but I use Seche Vite on my clients because they prefer it. I don't have issues with shrinking on any of them, but I always cap the free edge with base, colour and top.

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  34. Have you tried Kensington Caviar from Nails Inc?

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  35. I recommend Kensington caviar top coat by Nails inc, I always come back to that when tempted by others and have been using it for years. It dries super quickly, has a fab shine and never shrinks manis... And never goes thick. Qvc do duos of it and their prices are good, you can also get it on eBay or of course from Nails inc. x

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  36. OPI top coat is really good, I find. More chip resistant than the No7 topcoat (that one looks great but my nails never last with it for some reason), it costs about a fiver on amazon and I got it within like, two days of ordering. x

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  37. I use Sally Hansen Insta-Dri. Not the cheapest, but you can get it from Boots (poss Superdrug too?) and it's super fast and seriously shiny. No shrinkage either! Xx

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  38. I like Essie To Dry For or Essie Good to Go. But my local distributor no longer carries Essie, so I usually use Seche Vite. And I ALWAYS use DeMert Drying Spray. I ADORE that stuff!

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  39. Sammy, I am experiencing the same conundrum. I use Seche Vite quite a lot but the shrinkage was getting to be a bit too much of a hassle for me. So I recently started using Essie Good To Go. Which is fine. But just fine. It doesn't dry as quickly as SV nor does it make my nails as shiny. I also tried Poshe which was comparable to SV - but would get TONS of air bubbles. I am now thinking of trying HLK Girl Top Coat which is made here in the states by small e-tailer, Glisten & Glow. I have been hearing amazing things about it for awhile now and everyone who uses it says it's comparable in dry time to SV without all the issues of shrinkage, thickening, bubbles, etc.

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  40. I usually use Seche Vite, but only because Sally beauty was giving it away when I bought China Glaze polishes this summer. I let my polish dry a little before I apply, so as long as I'm not doing any crazy heavy nail art I don't get shrinkage. I've also tried the China Glaze Fast Forward, but it does shrink away from the cuticles on me, regardless of how much polish I place on my nails. I also find it's prone to bubbling (but that's likely because I shake it before use, a bad habit).

    Before those I used an amazing quick dry formula from Brazil (Colorama, owned by L'Oreal) which was more a treatment than a top coat. It was amazing. Fast dry, zero shrinkage, and the manis lasted for a week. As I'm from Canada, I haven't been able to get my hands on it again, but Sally Hansen has their Dry and Go Drops, which seem like the same thing. Once I'm out of Seche Vite I'll got for the dry and go drops on top of Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro clear coat, as it's my go-to base.

    Good luck finding one that works for you.

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  41. I love Wicked Fast -- but I know it isn't cheap or easily acquired. I'd say Poshe or SH Dries Instantly. I have lots of Seche Vite but sometimes the shrinkage is horrid, especially if you have lots of polish layers on and it's thicker. If you get the topcoat bubbles, see if you can find Robin Moses' video about minimising those. She shows you how to get them out of the bottle, and demonstrates painting it on so you don't get bubbles.

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  42. I keep going back to Seche Vite but in order to avoid the shrinkage you have to paint the ends of your nails too, I think it's called wrapping the tips. I like wicked fast but I don't think it dries as fast as SV and it's not quite as smoothing or glossy. I also have heard good things about the HK Girl from Glisten and Glow but I've never tried it.

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  43. I usually use Wet and Wild clear nail protectant. It's the cheapest one around and my nails don't chip for days. I've never had it shrink or bubble on me. It's also super glossy and dries quickly. (I hate waiting. ^_^) I tried Revlon ColorStay and my nails chipped the same day I painted them. :(
    ~ Kayla

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  44. Probably not available in the UK since it's a Finnish brand but I'm a big fan of Lumene's Gloss & Care Quick Dry. No shrinkage, dries quickly, and stays strong, considering I'm a cleaner and I keep my manis for a whole week... :)

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  45. The one I use is a strenghtening base+top coat from KIKO make up milano. however they have plenty of other options, and the formula is always good!
    http://www.kikocosmetics.co.uk/

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  46. I've been using 'Save the Nail 45 second top coat', its from boots and around £6-7, so not super cheap but they're often on offer. Although I *think* its made by Nails Inc, so could be the same version as their fast top coat but a bit cheaper. China Glaze Fast forward is also quite good, but a bit harder to get hold of over here/ more ££

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  47. For some reason I hate Seche Vite, for me it makes he tips shrink something awful. I'm way too lazy and impatient to wait for a regular topcoat to dry so I only use quick-dry ones. For a relatively cheap topcoat I like Sally Hansen Insta-Dry in the red bottle. For a mid-range topcoat I like Butter London PD Quick - the shine and wear on this one is insane! For an expensive one - and this is a splurge - I like Christian Dior gel coat. The shine is outrageous, it's a bit goopy but it levels well, and it really does give a gel-like finish. I hope this gives you some useful ideas!

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  48. HK girl top coat - got a huge bottle from a UK supplier about a year ago for £33 which should last myself and my daughter well over another year. Mine is not marketed from G&G, I thought they just repackaged it... I haven't used Seche since xx

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    Replies
    1. hello.
      I cannot find it in the US. I am looking for the original HONG KONG GIRL topcoat with the YELLOW writing in the huge 36 oz. bottle as I do nails. Can you send the link to the UK supplier. THANKS SO MUCH

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    2. http://www.parksidenottingham.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=279 That's where I got mine from but they only have 16oz bottles now :(. Still good value though!

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  49. Don't get me wrong, Deborah Lippman has some wonderful shades, but the price given on Amazon at $13.00 is way beyond my budget. However, Cover Girl's Outlast Stay Brilliant polish in Forever Fawn Shade #205 is a close color match and have found it for $5.00 at my local Walgreen's; it has very great staying power even w/o a topcoat, lots of shine.

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  50. I'm currently using Poshé's top coat. You can get it on amazon for 8€.

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  51. You HAVE to try Glisten & Glow's HK Girl. You can now get it in the UK from www.rainbow-connection.co.uk. I wrote a review of it on my blog recently. I'm also a fan of No.7 Stay Perfect and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, but I can say I will never use anything else any more. It even beats Seche Vite.

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  52. I absolutely love nails inc albert bridge top coat, dries quickley and has amazing shine!

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  53. I absolutely love nails inc albert bridge top coat, dries quickley and has amazing shine!

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  54. I picked up a bottle of seche restore from boots the other day, not cheap at £9 a bottle but its done an amazing job at, well, restoring my seche vite to its former (glory!) thickness, less gloopy, easy to spread and dries the same as ever, bit pricey but a few drops goes a long way!

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  55. I love the topcoat you get with the Color Club sets. It dries fast for me and stays shiny for quite a few days! I'm surprised it didn't work well on you. :(

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  56. Sally Hansen super shine shiney top coat is my absolute fabourite when applied over bone dry nail polish, always read the label to see if the nail polish needs to be apllied when its wet or dry to avoid bed sheet press! Love your blog xxx

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  57. Color Club is amazing, got four bottles stashed in my Helmer. :) Seche and Inm Out The Door I've got from eBay for £5-6 each, Poshe is £4.90 at Nail Polish Direct. And last week I found Sally Hansen Diamond Flash at TKMaxx for £2.99!

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  58. My top three top coats, in order of atomic fabulousness:
    1. butterLONDON Hardwear (shiny, dries HARD real fast, doesn't shrink or get "goopy";
    2. Glisten & Glow's HK Girl Fast Dry top coat (HUGE bottle at great price, doesn't get the "goops", and
    3. Sally Hansen Mega Shine (Inexpensive, very shiny/almost gel-like, and doesn't shrink. Bummer: takes forever to dry on me, AND it turns into gloppy glue before I've finished half the bottle. But it's so shiny! Grin.)

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  59. My current favourite top coat is Nubar Diamont. I find it has all of the goods from Seche Vite, but none of the bads. It's also a thicker consistency so I find it smooths out nail art better than thinner formulas. At the moment I'm using butterLONDON Hardwear something-something (it's so long I never remember it all!). It's very good, but thinner than Nubar and way more expensive (I got it in a duo with their matte so it was cheaper). Once I'm done I'm going back to Nubar Diamont.

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