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JLeslie's avatar

What is you favorite glossy clear top coat nail polish?

Asked by JLeslie (65190points) December 10th, 2021 from iPhone

Many years ago I used to use L’Oréal glossy top coat and it was awesome. They don’t make the same one anymore unless they brought it back and I don’t know about it.

I’d love another drug store brand that’s great, but willing to spend more on a department store brand.

It doesn’t have to be a fast dry, I just want a very shiny clear coat to go over my color.


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12 Answers

smudges's avatar

I don’t have a favorite. I picked up one I have on my desk and it’s Sally Hansen Hard as Nails XTREME Wear – it’s pretty shiny and truly clear, as opposed to some that are yellowish. I also have a Broadway GEL. Just like colored polish, I find there’s little difference in any of them, from $1 up, although I’ve never paid more than around $15 for any. I have a lot of Broadway brand from the Dollar General store, and if I remember right, it’s $1.00.

Have you ever gotten the high end ones? Like $30–40 a bottle? If so, did you really see a difference between it and the less expensive ones?

JLeslie's avatar

@smudges I have had some Chanel, I have no idea what it costs now? It’s been a long time. Also, some other department store brands. I was a Cosmetics and Fragrance buyer for Bloomingdale’s for a few years, and I got most everything like that for free. The expensive brands seem to last in the bottle longer without getting clumpy. Not really worth the money though. I like Essie, L’Oréal, and Revlon from the drug store. I’ve never been a fan of Sally Hansen, but I haven’t tried her polish in many years.

I used my Revlon top coat I had in my cabinet, and it’s fine, but it’s getting old and not much left, so I’m due for a new top coat and wanted something high shine.

The quick dry color polish are crap, they peel off with a few days. I do use them for a quick polish last minute.

Other cosmetics the expensive brands are fantastic. Lipstick the pricy brands are fantastic. I love Chanel. I also really like NARS fat pencil. Lancôme mascara. I guess I’m going off topic.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t know about favorite—I haven’t tried a lot of them. I use Revlon’s Multicare Base and Top Coat as, guess what, a base and top coat. It’s very clear, no tint, and it does shine, but it’s not super glossy. I prefer pearly colors anyway, so I don’t really need extra shine. For me it’s mainly protection.

Right now, though, I’m doing my Christmas decorations on my nails: two shiny-ornament green, two gold, and the rest bright, deep-toned red. It’s the only time I ever wear red unless I’m getting all July-Fourthed or Valentined.

By the way, have you ever noticed Cate’s earrings in her holiday costume? I went to some trouble (years ago now) to get those on her. The Santa hat and the red dress were much easier.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jeruba I’ve used the Revlon base and top coat too. Right now I have the Revlon quick dry top coat.

Are you using nail decals that stick on for the ornaments? I was just thinking about buying some; I’ve never bought them before. I just bought a periwinkle nail polish. Over the last few months I have been bombarded with shades of metallic blues, purples, and pinks, because they are the colors being used for Disney World’s 50th anniversary. When I painted my nails this blue-purple color I thought some white snowflakes might look nice on it.

I had not noticed Cate’s earings. Actually, I did not realize you had added the hat to the photo yourself. That’s some fancy photo editing.

Jeruba's avatar

@JLeslie, I have lots of Cate variants. You’ve never seen the turkey on her head at Thanksgiving, or the jellyfish, or the New Year’s toast? I did them all very crudely years ago with PaintShopPro 4, so old and primitive that my son tried to take it away from me more than 10 years ago and replace it with something 100 times more complicated.

No, I’m not using decals. I just compared the color to the emerald green and Santa red of glass ornaments, but they’re solid colors. I love nail polish, but I have to be quick and catch my nails when they’re long enough and before they start to chip and break. As soon as that happens, I remove the color and wait until they’re decent enough to look at again. I’m lucky that right now they’re all good. I haven’t seen a manicurist since covid shut us down, so I’m on my own.

I have a gorgeous metallic purple and a deep teal from Essie that I wore over the summer. Love those colors. Had absolutely no idea that they had anything to do with Disney or princesses. That sort of spoils them a little. Silvery snowflakes would look good on them, though.

JLeslie's avatar

They just remind me of Disney, they weren’t marketed as Disney colors. I also bought red for Christmas and white for French. I hadn’t bought new polish since covid until now.

I have barely polished my nails during covid. In my teens through to my early 40’s I was fairly diligent about painting my nails every week. The last five years I’ve been lazy about it. I never went to the manicurist much, maybe I’ve been 20 times in my entire life. A mix between it’s so expensive and afraid of getting an infection. I can paint my nails every week for a year for the price of one mani-pedi.

JLeslie's avatar

Three coats Essie color and one Revlon top coat. Three days and no chips. Not bad.

smudges's avatar

^^I’ll have to remember that. Curious, did you use a base coat? I’m under the impression that not only does it help the colored polish not chip because it’s a bit tacky when dry, but it also protects your nails from absorbing the color. I’ve experienced that myself. I do like Essie; haven’t used Revlon that much – but I just looked them up and neither are cruelty-free. I’ll have to find different brands.

JLeslie's avatar

I used to always use a base coat, but I didn’t have any so I didn’t this time.

Red can stain the nails, also very dark purples and black. The base coat helps prevent the stain. I haven’t seen it with other colors.

I was thinking of buying a ridge filler, since my nails have so many ridge now. I filed then down a little, but I don’t want to make my nails too thin. I don’t know if the ridge filler really works any differently than a coat of nail polish.

smudges's avatar

I have ridges, too. When I do my manicure, I finish up with using the tool to buff and I do it across the nail rather than in the direction of the ridges. What causes those?

Do you have one of those inexpensive kits that has 5 different tool-ends that you insert into the tool which then uses batteries to run and turn the ends? I do and love it, although I still use a nail file for filing the length.

I thought I saw something about them here, but can’t find it now – do you ever use those stick-on decals on your nails? I do occasionally and they’re fun. Christmas is a great holiday to use them. They stay on really well if you use a couple of top coats, btw.

JLeslie's avatar

@smudges Above I wrote I was thinking of using the decals. I never have before. Is there a particular brand you use? I’m sure my husband will make fun of me like he did with the blue polish. Lol.

I buff out the ridges a little with an emery board type thing that has different grades of sandpaper (I don’t know what to call it) using the rough one first then getting very fine to smooth over the nail.

They say ridges are from lack of certain vitamins or minerals. What’s weird is I don’t have ridges on my toes. I developed them in my 30’s I think. I do have some vitamin and mineral deficiencies, maybe I have even more than I know about. Who knows if it’s true.

smudges's avatar

There’s no particular brand I use, I usually just get them at Dollar General. Just be sure to use a pair of very pointy tweezers to pick them up and lay them on. It’s not hard. If you’re putting them on colored nails rather than naked nails, be careful to lay it right where you want it because the sticky ones can be hard to get off. I use a couple of top coats to level up the surface and give them that 3D look, plus really protect them. And if I remember, there are two kinds – ones that you get wet and then lay them on, and sticky ones. Have fun! You’ve inspired me to do my nails again for the first time in a few years.

Yes! I have one of those thingies! Mine is a rectangle block, about an inch across. I’ve seen the ones you use, also.

Sheesh! Why do we love all that make-up and polish and lotions and potions?!

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