Just ask any nail technician: The secret to a long-lasting manicure is a solid layer of top coat. (Or, as Christine of Simply Nailogical calls it, a “taco.”) Shiny, gel-textured, glossy, and everything in between, those clear polishes are primed to keep your polish in place and chip-free for as long as possible. We know — top coat isn’t the sexiest part of doing your nails.
But if you’re going to take all that time to create tortiseshell nail art or choose all those colors for a tie-dye manicure, your nails deserve the best protective layer possible. “Top coat is the icing on the cake, aesthetically and structurally,” says Evelyn Lim, chief educator at Paintbox nail studio. “It completes the look by delivering a smooth, high gloss or matte finish while protecting your manicure, and by sealing in your polish with top coat it will help prevent chipping.”
Ahead, we’ve rounded up top coat options for all your nail needs. Keep scrolling for 13 fail-safe top coats, all the better to keep your manicure in place.
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