We have a love/hate relationship with at-home manicures. On the one hand, they're awesome because they are cheap, we can do them while sitting on our couch in PJ pants, and they allow us to play around with the billion polishes we currently have in our collection. On the other hand, it seems like they just never last, smudging and chipping mere days (or in some of our cases, minutes) after completion. Topcoats promise to keep them in place, but outside of Seche Vite, we've never been able to find one that can make our polish paint jobs last longer than a few days.
Enter gel topcoats. Unlike those weird, at-home kits that have been all the rage lately, these new toppers do not involve any sort of at-home UV light. They're just a simple topcoat, infused with polymers or an epoxy resin, that you brush on over your polish and they claim to keep your digit decor in place for double the time of a regular topcoat. It's the Holy Grail of manicures, people.
So far we've found three different brands who have released their own gel topcoats — Dior, Deborah Lippmann, and Julep — but we're certain that once the word gets out that we're going to start seeing plenty more. We mean, what's not to love about a manicure that lasts for a full week, won't damage your nails, is mega-shiny, and comes off with a few swipes of polish remover? Providing they actually do all that, of course.
Don't worry, we'll be investigating these babies in a Product Smackdown soon, so stay tuned for more in-depth intel.