Are you tired of waiting for nails to dry? Perhaps you’ve tried dipping your nails into ice water post painting, this may dry them but there are quicker and more comfortable ways. As a nail artist, I frequently see people trying to hack the system with weird and wonderful ways to get nails to dry, from people literally hair drying their nails to applying baby oil, people seem to try anything to avoid waiting for nail varnish to dry.
If you’re impatient (who isn’t these days?) or sick of trying odd methods that have popped up on your Facebook feed, I have some good news for you. There is such a thing as a ‘fast dry top coat’. Yes, all you need to do is paint another top coat onto your nails and it will dry in a minute or less. No more waiting around, blowing onto your nails.
I’m always shocked that not many people know about drying top coats, they’re a lifesaver – especially if you’re prone to painting your nails last minute. So, here are the 10 best fast-drying top coats out there right now!
Seche Vite Dry Fast is a very trusted and popular brand. Their classic top nail coat is trusted within the industry and many of my colleagues personally use it if they’re painting their nails in a rush. The best part of the Seche Vite Dry Fast top coat is the fact it provides a high shine and glossy finish to your nails without having to wait around for them to dry.
Obviously, if you’re after a matte nail look this might not be your best bet. However, the shine and gloss that this product provides create a professional manicure look that most crave. The Seche Vite Dry Fast top coat creates an ‘invisible shield’ which prevents the nail polish underneath from nicking and dulling – protecting your nail paint for a longer amount of time.
A bonus to this paint is the fact no UV light or LED light is needed to secure it, all it needs post-application is a full 60 seconds to dry. No-fuss is needed at all. As a bonus, the formula is also cruelty-free and completely safe to use. I recommend this to anyone prone to painting their nails in a rush, less time spent painting, and more time for showing your new manicure off! Perfection.
Sally Hansen is another great industry trusted brand; this household name creates great nail products that I also love. The Insta-Dri Anti-Chip polish is perfect for those of us who are clumsier than others. I personally favor an anti-chip coat, as I seem to always manage to ruin a manicure in a short amount of time. Using an anti-chip top coat is so important, especially after getting some nail art – the last thing you want is cracks and chips ruining the look!
The polish protects your nails for up to 10 days, making it very reliable for an anti-chip look. I love that you can apply this and be protected for over a week, all you have to do is wait 30 seconds for the coat to dry. Makes hair drying your nails dry sound very insane! The acrylic polymer formula hardens and dries on any nail color, so it doesn’t matter what color nail polish you’re protecting.
I’d personally recommend the Sally Hansen top coat to anyone that lives a busy life but still wants to look fabulous, keep that new manicure as fresh as possible. With an application time of 30 seconds, this product is great for those who live fast lives. Don’t let your busy schedule leave you with chipped nails!
As a nail technician, I often deal with natural nails and also artificial ones (acrylics, gels, etc.). Having a quick-drying top coat that works on both types is very important to me, why switch between two top coats when you can use one that works on all nail types? If you’re someone who often switches between natural and artificial nails, this could help you!
The Excuse Me Quick Dry Fast polish works with nail applications and extensions as well as natural polished nails. It can cater to gels, fiberglass/silk, and acrylics – very versatile for those who like to switch up their nails. The nail polish keeps your color lasting longer and prevents nails from staining or yellowing over time, great for nail maintenance.
I would recommend this product highly, it will save you time in terms of waiting for your nails to dry and it will save you time as you won’t be searching for the right top coat. If you do use artificial nails, this will strengthen your nails – an important factor as nails should be healthy as well as pretty. This must be considered, as prolonged use of acrylics or gels can dry nails out.
As the name suggests, with this top coat you will be out the door very fast – no waiting required. This nail coat is yet another very fast drying solution for a top coat. INM’s brand has been trusted by those who do their nails at home for decades, but the secret is even us salon professionals own it! I swear by this and love to recommend it to my friends when they need a quick-drying coat.
The top benefit to INM’s Out The Door top coat is its value; the amazon link sells a three-pack for $13 – so affordable and great quality. Purchasing this is a no brainer if you’re looking to stock up on reliable nail products. Make sure to store in a dark place though, as you don’t want it reacting in the bottle and spoiling the nail polish.
If you want to keep your manicure fresh and glossy for a long time, make sure to check this top coat out. The three-pack will keep you stocked up and your nails looking glossy and fresh for a long time. If you accidentally bump or dent the polish, this coat can also be used to even the nails out – a secret tip there for those of you who didn’t know!
I find more and more clients asking for vegan or cruelty-free nail care these days, which is a good thing! We are becoming more and more concerned about what we use on our bodies and the impacts our choices have on animals and the environment – so vegan nail products are becoming more prominent! A great cruelty-free choice is the Duri Miracoat, I often promote this to those looking for a conscious top coat.
The Miracoat is another great quick drying option that leaves a slick glossy finish. It’s also formulated without DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde – this is also good to note if you have sensitive skin. For those that want a less chemical-heavy option, this is great – no skin irritation here. The product is made in the USA too.
If you want to prolong the life of your nail polish, without the heavy chemicals or animal testing, then 100% check our Duri Miracoat. I personally swear by this product, as I’m also trying to be as vegan and sustainably as possible. This top coat can be used with any colors and any nail polish too. Just remember to wash and dry the nail brush after using it to avoid clumps.
Securing your nails with a top coat is important to protect the manicure, but another important feature of a top coat is the ability to not smudge your nail paint. The amount of times I’ve applied a top coat and accidentally smudged the nail paint/art underneath is a joke, so when I heard about Brush’n Go and their non-smudge formula I was over the moon.
The formula seals and protects the manicure whilst also drying the nail polish; this two-in-one top coat protects the nail style from chipping and from being distorted. The ingredients are free from DBP, toluene, formaldehyde, and camphor. This makes the product another great option for those with more sensitive skin, or those who are generally after a polish with fewer chemicals. The formula also strengthens and prevents nail staining. The nail polish also finishes the nail look with a ‘shiny wet look’ finish, a very glam and salon-style look.
So, if you are very protective about your nail art this is a good pick for you. Preserve the work you put into painting your nails with Brush’n Go, there’s nothing worse than spending time getting your nails perfect and then ruining them when applying a top coat.
The most common top coat will give you a nice, glossy finish. However, sometimes you might want to switch things up and try a new look. Seche Vive has another great nail product that can give a gel effect, this will change the texture of your nail polish and give more versatility to your looks. Seche Vive has already been mentioned on this list, but their range of products are all worth considering – trust me.
The gel top coat adheres to natural nails, to leave a gel effect. The coat provides a more durable layer than the standard top coat does, due to the gel. This obviously depends on how much activity you do with your nails, but the non-chip aspect is pretty good in my experience. For best results use this product on regular nail polish, you can use it on gel-based polish – but gel on gel may lead to a bulky and clumpy look.
Do not forget this top coat’s quick-drying qualities – you’ll have your gel manicure dry in no time at all. So, if you’re on the hunt for a top coat that will change the look of your nails, be sure to check out this Seche Vite top pick!
Revlon is another household name that we all know and trust. Their top coat is another great option if you want a speedy drying time. I like Revlon as a brand, they’ve always produced great colors and their top coat is great too. A bonus to their top coat is that it doesn’t distort the color of your nail polish! Sometimes I find that once a top coat is applied, the color slightly changes from the original. Revlon’s gives a smooth and even color with no distortions.
The top coat also helps protect against chips, breakages, and even yellowing of the nails. This is a trusty top coat if you have a nail routine in place, no added features of gel finished – just a simple fast drying coat. The formula is free from heavy chemicals (no formaldehyde, DBP, and camphor), which is again great for those with sensitive skin.
This is a great buy if you like to stick to the classics, no extra features of confusing applications needed. Plus, if you’re a color fan it will keep them popping for a good amount of time.
In my line of work OPI is a commonly used brand, and for good reason! These reliable products are great at giving some of the best nail-looks you could ask for. Their formula has been perfected to be long-lasting and very protective. Their top coat is another I’d recommend having on hand at all times. They use the original ‘nail lacquer’ polish formula that ‘reinvented’ quality nail colors.
The top coat seals in the color to protect it from any damage, like scratches or chips. When using OPI, always remember to pull it over the tips of the nails to make sure that the full nail is covered and secured for ultimate coverage and extended wear.
OPI has won numerous awards and has over 200 polishes on the market. If you’re after a trusted brand and don’t want to risk buying something that might not work for you, this would be the top coat to purchase. OPI is tried and tested by thousands worldwide and customer satisfaction is through the roof – making them the number one brand worldwide.
Finally, this one is for all of those out there who love the matte nails trend. I’m such a big fan of this look; it’s so neat and chic. You can use any color polishes you like and all you have to do is apply a matte top coat to transform the look from shiny to matte. The best matte top coat is by No Wipe, their Matte Mirror Top coat works wonders with transforming nail looks.
The formula uses natural extracted ingredients, such as purified water, extracted natural resins, and mineral powders. This leaves skin un-irritated and feeling fresh after application. The coat, when applied correctly, can last as many as 14 days – a very good amount of time from a top coat! No Mirror also offers a money-back guarantee on Amazon, so no need to worry if you don’t like it.
This is a must purchase if you’re a nail art fan – so many different and on-trend looks can be created whilst also securing your nails. The coat is also quick-drying, so you can get on with your day after painting.
I see so many people ruin their home manicures by not waiting until the look is dry, this results in scratches and chips. Plus, there are so many added benefits to using a top coat, from different styles to non-staining properties; it just makes sense to use one. Even in salons, we always make sure to apply a top coat, it gives a professional finish that can be achieved at home. Instead of wasting your time and nail polish, do consider buying a fast dry top coat as these are game-changers – especially if you’re on the go and don’t have the time to wait for nail polish to dry!