There are some things you shouldn’t have to drop big bucks on—top coat, for example. If you paint your nails often (and according to the still booming nail polish market, that’s everyone) it’s an essential. Here are the most effective formulas you’ll find at the drugstore.
Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Base & Top Coat ($6)
This one’s earned its name, helping your nail polish dry extra fast and imparting serious shine. That it’s a nail strengthening base coat too is just a bonus. Tip: make sure you let the base coat dry completely before painting your two coats of polish.
L'Oreal Extraordinaire Gel Lacquer 1-2-3- Kit ($13)
Whether or not you choose to use the included base coat—it also works wonders, so you really should—you’ll love this topcoat. It gives nails a thick, super glossy finish and keeps them chip-free for days.
Essie Good to Go Top Coat ($6)
If you’re a loyal Essie fan, you’ll love the brand’s quick dry topcoat. The formula is light, glossy, and sets fast.
Revlon Extra Life No Chip Top Coat ($6)
Do you value shine above all else? Revlon’s topcoat makes nails look freshly painted for around five days—plus, it’s incredibly thin, so it dries quickly.
Seche Dry Fast Topcoat ($10)
There’s a reason why Seche’s topcoat is a nail salon mainstay, the formula locks color in place for days.