Painting your nails is one of our favourite things to do...when we have time to do it properly. If we're rushing to get dressed, do our face and stay smudge-free then maybe avoid us for the rest of the morning. The struggle is real.
So to save you from impending break down, we've rounded up our top picks of non-chip nail polish top coats to make sure our manis have the best chance of surviving the weekend.
1. OPI Rapidry Top Coat
High gloss without the hang around time. That's what every girl needs in her life! Rapidry (clue's in the name) dries to a tough, high shine, long-lasting top coat in minutes, protecting your nails from smears and bed-sheet smudges from the get go.
OPI never fails to impress us.
Available from FeelUnique
2. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
Five minutes is a long time to sit still, and without Instagram it's practically impossible. Extend your nail polish wearability by protecting it from all the elements - keyboards included - with the Seche Vite topcoat.
Enjoy a stronger, silky-to-touch manicure that's guaranteed not to yellow round the edges.
Available from Boots
3. Nails Inc Kensington Caviar 45 Second Top Coat
Let the salon come to you with Nail's Inc's best selling top coat. Not only will you achieve the professional wet look finish in the comfort of your own home, you'll also protect your manicure from colour fade and chipping. All in 45 seconds flat. Every woman's got time for that.
Available from FeelUnique
4. Matte Finish Butter London
Texturise your digits with a bang on trend matte mani. If you're a girl that wants flat out fashion forward nails with a velvety finish then this is your dream top coat. We loved Stella McCartney's nude and minimal take on the nail trend for SS15 but you can go for whatever colour you fancy.
Shine-free and runway approved - you'd be mad not to go matte.
Available from Butter London
5. CND Super Shiney
If you love a high-gloss look when it comes to your mani we’ve found your new BFF. CND Super Shiney offers amazing shine and seal to protect nails.
A UV absorber helps ensure that your colour won’t fade or yellow. It “gives a super-hard, long-lasting finish that resists scratches and shines bright.” Phalanges on fleek!
Available from Nicely Polished
6. Essie Good To Go
Set your nails straight in seconds with Essie's fast-acting top coat formula. It adds strength, durability and red carpet shine to keep your manicure good as new and your nail game s-t-r-o-n-g. We're sold!
Available from Boots
7. Jacava Top Coat
Nothing ruins a coffee cup selfie quite like unsightly chipped nails but thanks to Jacava we'll never have to deal with that level of shame again.
The crystal clear top coat is super glossy and chip resistant but the real USP is the UV inhibitors which help keep your fresh white mani exactly that. What are you waiting for? Lock in the colour and block out the rays - it's so good you won't even need a filter.
Available from Jacava London
Top tips for a smudge-free application
We got chatting to Celebrity nail artist Glenis Baptiste to get some inside tips for the perfect top coat. She's worked with the likes of Angelina Jolie, Emma Watson and Victoria Beckham - anything she doesn't know about manis simply isn't worth knowing.
From prepping your nails for a smoother application to layering your lacquer and protecting your polish, here's how to get the perfect mani from start to finish.
1. Nail prep
Prepping your nails is really important to help stop any chipping. You want to smooth out any ridges and get rid of any flaking nails before you start applying the polish.
I would recommend using the smooth roller on the MICRO Nail Elegance over clean nails to gently buff away lumps and bumps, leaving the nail primed for a smooth application.
When it comes to applying the polish, don’t apply one thick gloopy layer as this can leave air bubbles which can compromise adhesion to the nail. Apply 2 – 3 thin layers, no need to dry in between coats as your polish will dry all at once. This will ensure that there are no air bubbles, leading to less cracks and fractures.
3. The top coat
Finally applying a top coat is an absolute must! Using a hard-wearing top coat will extend the life of your manicure, protecting it against cracks and chips. I recommend using Seche Vite because this will protect your polish, from cracking & chipping with a quick dry, high shine finish.
Nails usually start to chip at the top as this is where the brunt of the abuse is taken when you’re tapping at your keyboard all day! So another good suggestion is to seal the tip of the nail when you apply top coat.
If you’ve ever had a manicure you might have seen a nail artist doing this. Essentially, it involves wiping the polish at the top of the nail to seal the edge and prevent tip wear.
Have you tried and tested the perfect top coat? Tweet us @sofeminineUK
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