Nails

We Tried It: A Blink-And-It-Dries Topcoat

Can a new clear coat really cure a fresh mani in less than 60 seconds?

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I paint my own nails because 1) I change up my color just about every other day and 2) it's sort of therapeutic. All that trimming and filing and double coating to get that super bold red juuust right. It takes me to my happy place.

What makes the whole process a pain is that I typically do my nails at night, after a 10-hour day of work, an hour in traffic, an hour at the gym and while (struggling) to stay awake to watch the latest episode of "Dexter". Although the actual painting process brings me inner peace, the waiting-for-my-nails-to-cure-so-I-don't-ruin-my-sheets-with-polish process does not.

Essie's Good to Go Top Coat promised to get my nails completely dry in seconds, and I'm naturally inclined to think, 'Yeah, right' about such claims. And even if it does dry in a blink, I know it won't deliver the way a top coat should -- keeping my polish chip-free, shiny, and long-lasting.

I can admit when I'm wrong, and I'm happy to say my first impression of this topcoat was all wrong. Good to Go proved its mettle in a battery of tests. First, there was the fingerprint test dry, wherein I repetitively tapped on my nails to see if any fingerprints were visible in the paint. The harder you press without prints showing, the drier your nails are. Mine were good to go in about a minute.

I also spent a few hours writing and cleaned my entire house to see if they'd withstand a busy lifestyle. Two stories, several washed dishes and a squeaky-clean bathroom later, my nails were still in great shape. I also washed and deep conditioned my hair, exfoliating my scalp with my fingers more intensely than usual to really see if my nails would last. The glossy finish stood up to the challenge and gleamed like I'd gotten a pro mani.

The topcoat even had staying power on painted toes. After a day in sweaty running shoes, I was happy to pop off my socks and see that the polish was still in good shape. At $10 a bottle, it's steal -- and one that will give your mani/pedi a longer lifespan.

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