Today I have something a little different for you guys. I decided to review and compare the three top coats I have (and have heard about often) so you can get the idea of how they work pitted against one another. I do warn you, this will get wordy!
When I started reading blogs and generally getting more into nail polish, I kept seeing the name Seche Vite and people raving about its mystical polish drying powers so I decided to give it a try. Obviously, wonders happened and I swore I would never forsake it with another. Then I got to the middle of the bottle and my beautiful magic serum turned into a gloopy mess.
Then I saw a couple of posts about Revlon's Quick Dry top coat (mainly this one at Lacquerized) that conviced me to give it a try and had great results at first. It prevented my sheet marks as well as Seche Vite and dried just a touch slower but then I had a problem with bubbling.
Enter Sammy's ravings at TheNailasaurus about NYC's In a Minute top coat. After a while of reading her posts I stumbled onto a bottle at my K-Mart so I decided to try it too.
What I did to compare: I painted two coats on each nail as normal, waited one minute and then applied top coat to each nail (Seche Vite on my index and pinky, NYC to my middle finger and Revlon to my ring finger). After applying the top coat I waited five minutes and started making dents in the polish with my fingernail at 5 minute intervals for every dent so 4 dents total = 20 minutes drying time.
Be sure to keep reading after the jump for more pictures and the final verdict!
As far as performance goes, Seche Vite is still very good, but I cannot get over the shrinkage issues and the not being able to use almost half a bottle. NYC is very good, much better than expected for a polish that cost less than $2 but I have to say I still prefer the Revlon! I know, it's crazy, it was the slowest one but, in Revlon's credit, my bottle is more than half empty and I don't remember it being this slow when brand new.
I think the reason I don't love NYC 100% is because of the shine/finish. It's still crazy shiny but I see some weird brush strokes in the polish sometimes. As if the brush was too stiff for the polish and it dented it when you were applying it (?). It's weird but I know I've seen it on some of Sammy's posts as well. Also, NYC is a tad thicker than Revlon, and you have to be careful to apply it all the way to your borders and cuticle line so you don't leave any polish without top coat because the difference is definitely noticeable. However, since that's just user error it shouldn't affect anyone's decision. The positive for NYC is that, while it feels like it has a thicker formula, it doesn't dry as thick as its counterparts, so I would feel more comfortable doing two layers of NYC (say if I was doing a tape mani to dry the first layer then again to seal everything) than I would with the Seche Vite.
Bottom line: Seche Vite is still the fastest and I do keep buying it because when I'm in a real hurry that's the one I reach for. NYC is a flippin' great top coat even without considering the price (Seche usually retails around $8, Revlon $4-6 and NYC is less than $2), so the price point is just a sweet sweet bonus. Personally, I will keep using the Revlon when I can. The shine is definitely comparable to Seche and I just like the texture more. I will try to redo the experiment with a new bottle or try thinning my actual bottle and report back if I see any difference.
I hope you guys found this useful and if you have any suggestions, either for top coats or other posts you'd like to see, make sure you let me know in the comments!
UPDATE: Click HERE to see my new comparison! Featuring Seche Vite versus Essie Good To Go, Poshe and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri.