I’ve been a nail polish lover for as long as I can remember. I used to come home from high school everyday and design new nails because I found it to be a calming and creative way for me to express myself. This still stands true today (although I don’t do them nearly as often).
Nail polish is awesome, but what will really help you keep a long-lasting mani is a great top coat. I’ve tried countless top coats over the past 10 years of doing my nails. Some were good, some not so good. I found my holy grail top coat and 4 other top coats that are easily just as great. So keep scrolling to read the deets on the 5 best top coat nail polishes!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my site and read more about my disclosure policies here.All prices are accurate at the time of the article and are subject to change.
What’s The Best Nail Polish Top Coat?
Take a look below to see the best top coat nail polishes. All of these can be found on Amazon and/or Ulta. Plus, they are all super affordable, sitting right at typical drugstore prices (because you shouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for long lasting nails).
O.P.I Top Coat
Starting off strong, we have the O.P.I top coat. O.P.I has a ton of top coat nail polishes, but this one simply named “Top Coat” is truly the best out of all of the others.
This polish is one of my favorites because it’s smooth to apply and gives the nails a beautiful shine. It spreads evenly, is extremely long-lasting, and the wide brush makes for easy application.
Essie Gel Couture Top Coat
Essie Gel Couture Top Coat is great for people looking for a similar finish to gel nails you would get at a salon. There is no lamp required and it helps nail polish last up to 14 days. Plus, it’s very easy to remove. I love how glossy the finish is and it’s fast-drying as well.
Essie has some amazing polishes in general! They have the most unique colors and I love how consistently long-lasting they are. Want to check out the best Essie nail polish colors? Click here.
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat
Sally Hansen has some great nail polishes and their Insta-dri top coat is no exception. It dries in about a minute (I like to play to safe and let it dry a little longer than that, just in case). It also keeps your nail polish locked in for up to 10 days.
This top coat is chip resistant and also has double UV filters to help prevent fading and discoloring. It definitely is the whole package.
Ella+Mia Quick Dry Top Coat
Ella+Mia is an incredible nail polish brand that I’ve loved for years. They have one of the best top coat nail polishes and are 17-free which means they don’t contain 17 toxic ingredients typically found in nail polishes. They are also vegan, for any of my vegan friends out there!
This top coat contains a UV inhibitor, which helps present yellowing. It dries up to 4 coats of nail polish and also dries in under 3 minutes. It doesn’t get much better than that!
You can buy Ella+Mia on Amazon ($10.49).
Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Nail Coat
To wrap up the best top coat nail polishes, we have my absolute favorite. Seche Vite Top Coat is the best of the best. It’s the longest-lasting polish I’ve ever tried and I haven’t gone back to any previous top coats since discovering this.
Seche Vite is also incredibly quick drying and creates a beautiful, gel-like finish on your nails. They are also “Big 3-Free” which means they’re free of 3 toxic ingredients typically found in nail polish, including formaldehyde.
Is Top Coat Good For Your Nails?
Top coat is good for your nail polish in terms of having it last a while and avoid chipping. It doesn’t affect your actual nail bed, to my knowledge, simply because you’re not applying it directly to your nail.
If you were to apply a top coat to your nail bed just for some shine, your nails will be fine especially if you put a base coat underneath.
What Is The Longest Lasting Nail Polish Brand?
It’s hard to say which brand actually has the longest lashing nail polish because there are so many factors behind determining that. If you work with your hands all day, your nail polish likely won’t last as long (this was the case when I worked in retail). But if you work at a computer all day (like me), then it will last longer than if you were doing the alternative.
My personal opinion is that the Seche Vite Top Coat is the best to extend the longevity of your nails. I’ve been using it for years and have never had much of an issue besides the normal wear and tear over the course of two weeks.
How Long Should Nails Dry Before Applying A Top Coat?
I like to let my nails dry for at least 20 minutes before I apply a top coat. This gives it enough time to settle and dry a decent amount. I’ve found that applying a top coat over wet nails can sometimes mess them up. If you want your nail polish to be completely dry before applying the top coat, I suggest waiting at least 20 minutes, maybe even a little longer.
How Often Should I Apply A Top Coat?
If you want your manicure to last for roughly two weeks (that’s how long I typically aim for), I suggest applying it 1-2 more times throughout the course of the week. If you do it any more than that, the polish may be too thick on your nails.
What Is The Best Top Coat To Prevent Chipping?
All of the polishes mentioned above are great at preventing chipping. I personally believe the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri is the best when it comes to a great anti-chip formula.
Let’s Wrap It Up
I hope this article was helpful for you to narrow down the best top coat nail polishes. None of these top coats will let you down! Enjoy your long-lasting nails and thank me later.
With love or whatever,