Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, £9
BEST FOR: Speedy Results
Seche Vite is the world’s best-selling top coat – for good reason. Loved by the pros and regularly used in salons, it helps any polish dry at record speed. Need to do your nails last thing at night? Or five minutes before a meeting? Use this and you’ll never get any of that tell-tale peeling or creasing, just a high-shine finish that lasts for days.
Chanel Le Gel Top Coat, £22
BEST FOR: A Gel Finish
You’d be forgiven for thinking a Chanel top coat is an unworthy extravagance, but trust us, this is worth the money. It makes even a bad, patchy polish look expensive and what’s more, it ensures your manicure lasts another day or two. The only downside is it’s thick texture, so make sure you give it maximum time to dry. It looks equally chic worn solo, too.
Essie Gel Couture Clear Nail Polish Top Coat, £9.99
BEST FOR: Long-Lasting Shine
When it comes to long-lasting results, Essie’s Top Coat delivers every time. The wide brush coats the entire nail in one easy swipe, locking everything down firmly in place. The consistency isn’t as thick as others on the market, so not only is dry time fast, you won’t get any bubbling or creasing, either. Apply two coats for a plump, gel effect.
Jessica Brilliance High Gloss Top Coat, £9.56 (was £11.95)
BEST FOR: Brightening Effects
Created with anti-yellowing in mind, this clever formula brightens the nail while simultaneously preventing smudging and chipping. Apply to wet nails for a speedy, glossy finish, or over the top of existing colour for an instant refresh. Expect it to last with zero peeling for at least four days.
Kure Bazaar TOP Final Touch, £15
BEST FOR: Natural Ingredients
This do-it-all formula is quick-drying, ultra-glossy and colour-enhancing. But, best of all, it’s made with up to 90% natural ingredients. Using wood pulp, cotton, maize, potato and wheat, it respects your nails' natural regenerative cycle without drying them out. Expect your tips to feel stronger and less brittle – you’ll also find your regular polish doesn’t peel as much with a few layers of this on top.
OPI Top Coat, £8.95 (was £13.90)
BEST FOR: Easy Application
The wide brush means you could apply this with your eyes closed and still get a seamless result. Offering protective shine, a couple of coats keeps your nail polish from chipping or smudging, while a single coat to a bare nail looks equally sophisticated.
Rimmel London Finishing Touch Ultra Shine Top Coat, £4.49
BEST FOR: Affordability
At just £4.49, this is a true, high-street hero. Ideal for those on a budget, it’s chip-resistant formula extends the life of any polish by at least seven days. The in-built UV protector is an added bonus, too – working to lock in colour, the formula lends a glossy, 3D finish that doesn’t dull too quickly.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat, £9.99
BEST FOR: Preventing Colour Fade
Described as a ‘gel-like effect without the need for a UV lamp’ this effective top coat has earned a string of rave reviews. It prevents colour from fading by sealing it down for long-lasting results. The reflection-like shine belies the affordable price tag, too, with a finish so glossy, it still looks wet.