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These Top Coats Will Give Your Nail Polish Lasting Power

No lamp needed
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One of the no-skipping steps when it comes to at-home manicure or pedicure is a top coat. The final polish layer on lacquered nails, the purpose of the top coat is to ensure that the color underneath is sealed and, if the product is good, it will give the color and nails that lasting sheen we so often associate with salon-done nails. There is more to the top coat that the gloss, though; having sealed the color, it prevents premature chipping, fading and peeling. In other words, it allows us to wear our chosen nail polish for longer than one or two days, while keeping it looking fresh thus extending its wear.

When applying top coats, for best results, make sure that you've applied nail polish of your choosing in two thin coats (waiting for the first coat to dry before adding the next layer), and that the nails are fully dry before proceeding and finishing up with a top coat. We will introduce you to some awesome new ones and some firm, time-tested favorites, and each has something special and unique about it — whether the top coat works to mattify the nail color, to give high gloss, to dry within a minute, to multitask by strengthening weak nails, or is made from natural and clean ingredients or hemp seed oil, you can't go wrong picking either one of these — results and loves for them are in, so if you want to give your nails a break from a UV/LED lamp and not worry about your nail color chipping or scratching as quickly or easily, a quality top coat will be instrumental in providing exactly that.

Image via Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty

Green, non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free, these nail polishes are formulated in France using up to 84 percent bio-sourced ingredients. As they say, it will make our manicure everything-proof! Its formula reacts to natural UV light and speeds up the drying time for long-wear and color and texture protection.

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If it's speed you're after, you could become inseparable from this option by Sally Hansen. Applied over your final, dry nail polish coat, this top coat will dry within seconds, leaving you with a glass-like finish.

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The 10-free formula of this quick-drying, chip-resistant top coat goes on smoothly, leaving a brilliant high shine that's smudge-free. UV protection is there as an extra layer of guard against color-fading.

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CND Super Shiney, $14.90
This top coat provides high-gloss and it dries hard, which makes it an excellent choice to seal in any textural add-ons you might be using for your at-home mani. The shine is scratch-resistant and durable, and the formula is 7-free and enriched with UV protection as well.

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