WELCOME TO MANICURE STADIUM
|(please don't sue me)|
I own a lot of top coats that are intended to smooth out glitter. As many know only too well, glitter can be very 'hungry' and gobble up endless coats of topcoat without batting a proverbial eye, all while remaining rough like taunting sandpaper. There's a small industry within the nail community dedicated to finding ways to smooth out dem glitterbombs, and today I'm weighing in on 10 of them.
For this epic showdown, I began by painting two coats of OPI's Stay the Night on each finger-- because this is a 'first formula' Liquid Sand polish, it is VERY textured, and therefore a good candidate. I then painted on two coats of each type of 'glitter food', using what I would call medium/generous coats (neither thin, nor glooping it on). I then waited an hour, evaluated what the glitter was feeling like, and recorded it. I thereafter went to sleep for about 7 hours, woke up, and recorded once more how the glitter was feeling. Results are below (pardon the dry cuticles in the photos; I was running around that morning and forgot to prep for photos properly).
A few notes: I've done some swapping out, so now my Seche Vite, Poshé top coat, and Good to Go are all slightly thickened, but only as much as would be considered 'average' (not brand new, not in need of any polish thinner whatsoever, able to be applied in a floating manner but do not typically produce shrinkage). I have not evaluated these top coats for drying time; the only one I noticed took longer to dry than the others was the Maya Cosmetics one-- it got some ridges overnight that the others did not, but not due to the product settling into the glitter. I've therefore evaluated it based on its general characteristics, not the ridged spot.
LEFT HAND, THUMB TO PINKY: Gelous, Poshé top coat, Nail'd It Glitter Frosting, Maya Cosmetics Smoothing Coat for Glitter, Seche Vite
RIGHT HAND, THUMB TO PINKY: Dior Gel Coat, Nail Pattern Boldness Glitter Food, Poshé base coat, Essie Good to Go, INM Out the Door
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS: Good to Go and Seche Vite are the same, two coats give good smoothness after about 20 minutes; Nail Pattern Boldness does not self-level; Maya and Dior both seem to be working, but have created a multitude of little air bubbles between each piece of glitter.
AFTER AN HOUR:
Gelous - gritty
Poshé top coat - relatively smooth
Nail'd It Glitter Frosting - semi-gritty
Maya Cosmetics Smoothing Coat for Glitter - very smooth
Seche Vite - relatively smooth
Dior Gel Coat - very smooth
Nail Pattern Boldness Glitter Food - super smooth
Poshé base coat - gritty
Essie Good to Go - very smooth
INM Out the Door - gritty
AFTER 7 HOURS:
Gelous - gritty:
Poshé top coat - 85% smooth, very small amount of shrinkage:
Nail'd It Glitter Frosting - gritty:
Maya Cosmetics Smoothing Coat for Glitter - semi-gritty, lots of bubbles!:
Seche Vite - 80% smooth:
Dior Gel Coat - 95% smooth:
Nail Pattern Boldness Glitter Food - 95% smooth, would be 100% with shiny top coat:
Poshé base coat - gritty:
Essie Good to Go - 80% smooth:
INM Out the Door - gritty:
I hope this comparison has been useful to you! I have another one like this planned, to compare quick-drying top coats, but if there's anything else you'd like to see in this vein (i.e. no colour comparisons, I don't have a big enough stash to be useful on that front!!), please let me know!