Of all the products applied to your nails, a gel topcoat is necessary in order to ensure that your nail is looking pristine and beautiful for a long time. Gel Top Coats have now become a staple for many nail beauty enthusiasts and it has definitely been one of the most important parts of keeping your nails looking glorious.
More than just the appearance, the top coat protects your gel nails especially its surface and how the gel on your nails will react. In the following, we will discuss the importance of top coats on gel nails, the type of manicure that needs utmost care.
- 1 Is it okay to not use top coats to finish a manicure?
- 2 What then are the importance of top coats?
- 3 Which ingredients of the top coat make it effective?
- 4 Can top coats be the maintenance in case of chipping accidents?
- 5 How is the top coat removed?
- 6 Common mistakes in applying top coats
- 7 Best Gel Top Coats in 2023
- 7.1 Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat
- 7.2 Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Nail Coat
- 7.3 MODELONES Matte Gel Top Coat
- 7.4 OPI Nail Polish and Nail Lacquer Top Coat
- 7.5 Beetles Gel No Wipe Top Coat
- 7.6 Excuse Me Quick Dry Nail Polish Top Coat
- 7.7 Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat
- 7.8 AIMEILI No Wipe Top Coat
- 7.9 AZUREBEAUTY No Wipe Top Coat and Base Coat Set
- 7.10 GA&EN No Wipe Top Coat Base Coat Soak Off Set
- 7.11 butter LONDON Hardwear Shine UV Top Coat
- 7.12 Probelle Top Coat Sealer
- 7.13 Mineral Fusion Nail Polish Top Coat
- 7.14 Markartt Matte Top Coat and High Gloss Top Coat Base Coat Set
- 7.15 Abgel No Wipe Gel Base and Top Coat Set
- 8 Our Pick
Is it okay to not use top coats to finish a manicure?
No. It is never okay to skip using the top coat especially if you had undergone a gel nail polish manicure. Without the top coat, your nails will look dull and will easily be destroyed in even the slightest disturbance even when performing simple activities like opening a bag of chips or simply taking a cap off a water bottle. The top coats work as a strong barrier preventing any damage from ever getting to your nails.
What then are the importance of top coats?
There is more to top coats than just the shine it brings to your nails. The following are the top importance of applying top coats after a gel-based polish manicure.
It seals the color of the gel
Even if it’s already exposed in UV light and all dried off, it is important to never skip the application of the top coat. This seals in the color and is again hardened under the UV light so that the even spread of the product on the nails won’t have any deformities.
It prevents the color of the nails from fading
Without the top coat, the effect of the UV light will remain, which means that the dried appearance of your nail color will fade over time. A top coat seals the color on your nails preserving its vibrance and maintaining its luster for a longer period of time. sunlight or exposure to natural UV light may cause your nail color to get discolored. however, the top coat prevents the effects of the rays of the sun from causing your nail color to lose its hue.
It fixes dents, clumps, and uneven nail surfaces
Just like the job of a base coat on your natural nails, the top coats are responsible for fixing up the dents and possible clumps on the gel-based polish fixed on your nail. It leaves a smooth surface and hides minor flaws such as dents, clumps and the sort before your nails completely dry up. Your topcoat literally polishes your nail art giving you a smooth finish that will last for a long time.
Which ingredients of the top coat make it effective?
Top coats are made up of different ingredients which are responsible to fix different problems and possible flaws of the nails, from shine up to the brittleness of the nails. Some of which are the following:
If you try to look this up online, this is the number one ingredient necessary in top coats since the ingredient Nitrocellulose makes it possible to let the surface of your nails shine. This is responsible for leaving a glossy appearance for your nails that’s why when the gel-based polish is dried under the UV light, it still leaves a glass-like appearance that attracts the eye.
Oligomers and Photoinitiators
There are key chemical formulas and ingredients such as ethyl trimethyl benzoyl phenyl phosphinate and hydroxyethyl acrylate, where the former, a photoinitiator, is linked up to the latter which is an oligomer. These two work together which allows the top coat to bond the colors of the gel together making the whole manicure as durable as possible to prevent chipping off and peeling of the gel-based nail polish.
Cellulose Acetate Butyrate
This is another one of the most common components of a quick-dry polish, especially top coats. As mentioned, this ingredient is the one that makes the top coat easier to dry up whether it is under UV light or not. The UV light only helps in evening it out and curing it since it is on top of gel-based polish. This helps solidify the top coat better leaving a firm and less damage-prone surface.
Can top coats be the maintenance in case of chipping accidents?
Yes. Sometimes, the chipping off or slight peeling usually happens when the top coat is not evenly spread on the nails, therefore if these kinds of damages happen, it is only right to fix what was not applied properly. Although these kinds of accidents are rare once the top coat is applied, you can go to the nearest salon and have the top coat fixed and cured again.
How is the top coat removed?
In cases where gel-based nail polish has a hard top coat, since it is hardened under the UV light, it can only be removed by filing. This will help lessen the time it will need for you to soak your fingernails in acetone to completely remove the gel nail polish avoiding further risk to damage your hands.
This should be done by a professional manicurist so it is suggested that you go visit a salon. There, an electric file or a 100-grit file may be used depending on its availability for faster removal.
Common mistakes in applying top coats
There aren’t many mistakes in applying these products, but these few mistakes may lead to damaging side effects when top coats are mishandled. Here are some of them:
Too many layers of top coats
Excessive amounts or layers of top coat will have a negative effect when it comes to the health of your nails. This will ruin the surface of your nails making it more brittle, which is the opposite of what the top coat is responsible for.
There should only be a maximum of three thin top coats, more than three will result in deformities and clumping of the layers, it will ruin the entirety of the gel polish.
Immediate exposure to water
Just because the nails look and feel hard, doesn’t mean that it is entirely okay already. Remember that the biggest enemy of a fresh new manicure is water, if it is immediately exposed to such, especially warm water, it will ruin the look, and will result in chipping off and peeling of the gel nails, especially the top coat.
Short curing time
In salons, it is unlikely for professional manicurists to make this mistake, but it is not impossible. A short curing time will result in dull-looking nails. A gel top coat needs enough time of curing under UV lights to make the colors and the overall look of the nails be as vibrant as possible and to avoid any damage to the nails.
Best Gel Top Coats in 2023
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat
Experience a brilliant shine in a quick and effortless swipe with the use of this Sally Hansen Top Coat. It comes with a precision brush that makes application very smooth and the coat itself dries rapidly on your nails, so you can assure a convenient use. The coat can also last for up to 10 days and is super durable.
Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Nail Coat
Awarded as the “favorite top coat” by the Nail Professionals Choice and Nail Readers’ Choice in 2017, this Seche Product holds quality in terms of its glossy shine and long-lasting wear. Without the need for a UV lamp, this coat can dry and enhance your nails in a minute or less. Not only that, its formula can match with all colors and contains no parabens and sulfates.
MODELONES Matte Gel Top Coat
You can wear a new and unique effect to your nails with the matte texture given by this top coat. This product is applicable with many kinds of nail polish including UV gel nails, acrylic nails and so much more. And with its non-toxic formula, you can feel safe about applying it to your nails.
OPI Nail Polish and Nail Lacquer Top Coat
The matte effect from this OPI top coat can give you an edge in style whether you’re pairing it with a dark or light shade of color. It is best paired with the OPI base coat and OPI Nail Polish but it still works well with other nail products. This product can also provide your nails with long-lasting protection from smudges as well as prevent yellowing.
Beetles Gel No Wipe Top Coat
If you’re searching for a product that could give you the perfect shine, then this one might just be the one you’re looking for. The Beetles top coat gives an impeccable shine that could last for up to 21 days and is flexible enough to avoid nicks and chips.
Excuse Me Quick Dry Nail Polish Top Coat
This top coat can really save you the hassle of matching product brands since it can work great with any nail polish brand you may have. In addition, it can also be applied to many types of nails including your natural nails and artificial nails like gels, acrylics, and fiberglass nails.
Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat
With only 30 seconds of drying time, you can have a quick and convenient manicure session with the use of this Revlon top coat. It also has a good defense to your color coat by protecting it from fading and to your nails by preventing it from cracking, splitting, peeling, and yellowing.
AIMEILI No Wipe Top Coat
With over 21 days of long-lasting wear from this top coat, you can really make your designed nails worth it. It also gives a beautiful mirror shine to your finished nails, which can make you stand out. On top of that, it does a good job of preventing nicks, chips, breaks, and smudges.
AZUREBEAUTY No Wipe Top Coat and Base Coat Set
Give your nails an outstanding shine with the help of this top and base coat. The proper application of this product can make your nails last for a long time and the top coat is what gives its glossy and impeccable shine. The top coat can also guard against abrasion, so you can keep your nails looking flawless.
GA&EN No Wipe Top Coat Base Coat Soak Off Set
Made with natural resin and other naturally extracted ingredients, this product set can keep your nails and skin safe while being gorgeous. When applied correctly, this product can last on your nails for up to 40 days. It also comes with a carefully selected brush to help you in applying the perfect coat.
butter LONDON Hardwear Shine UV Top Coat
The butter LONDON top coat is just what you’re looking for when you want both shine and protection on your nails. Not only does this product employ a high gloss shine, but it is also made to give your nails UV protection and prevent color fading, so you can keep the vivid shades of your nail polish.
Probelle Top Coat Sealer
Have both health and beauty in your hands, or nails, with the use of this Probelle product. Formulated without DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde, this top coat assures that your health is a priority. But more than just health, it also gives your nails beauty with its high shine and wet-looking finish.
Mineral Fusion Nail Polish Top Coat
Ensure a safe nail application with the use of this mineral fusion product. Made only from natural ingredients and no gluten, no parabens, no SLS, no phthalates, no synthetic fragrance. On top of that, it does not need a UV lamp to cure so it gives you confidence in the health of your nails.
Markartt Matte Top Coat and High Gloss Top Coat Base Coat Set
The top and base coat combination of this product can make your nails last for up to 21 days or more. It has very minimal odor and is made with natural ingredients, which keeps your nails from experiencing damage. In addition, it can be applied along with many kinds of nail products like gel nails, artificial nails, nail tips, and others.
Abgel No Wipe Gel Base and Top Coat Set
If you’re looking for a set that would give you the effect you need, then this is the product for you. This product offers a mirror top coat and a matte top coat. It can also work with many kinds of nail polish, all of this gives you more ways to design your nails and make them stand out.
We highly recommend you pick the Seche Vite Top Coat since it’s really effective in making your nails shiny and it really lasts for a long time. The OPI Top Coat is also a highly recommended pick for a matte coat because it really does great in enhancing the look of your nails.