Which is best? Comparing Top Coats

Hey everyone! Today has been a great day for the UK, as Andy Murray became the first Brit to win Wimbledon in 77 years. Today is also great because I have the start of a new weekly series I'll be doing; comparing the things we nail girls need and love. Base coats, matte top coats, hand creams, cuticle care, and today's post; top coats. I will be comparing Seche Vite*, Dior Gel Coat*, INM Out The Door*, Guerlain Gel Topcoat*, and Essence Gel Look*. I'm going to mark them on shine, drying speed, if you can prod them (and not leave a mark) after 10 minutes, how much they smudge the design below on application and how well they last, I will give them a ranking of 1-5 and a score out of 10, and then I will give my overall view at the end. The rest of the post will be after the jump because it's going to be pretty long.

In order to test fairly, I of course had to create some nail art. I painted my nails with white, then used a Barry M nail art pen to draw on the swirls, and I then applied a coat of each seperate polish to each seperate nail, in order of the picture above. So my thumb has Seche Vite on, my pointer finger Guerlain.. etc etc. The picture was taken an hour after application

Comparison No. 1 - Smudging:

I left the design for 15 minutes before applying top coat, and as you can see some of the polishes held up very easily, but Out The Door and Essence Gel-look smudged and ruined the design completely. So here are my rankings (1 being best, 5 being the worst):
  1. Seche Vite (10/10) whilst it does look a bit smudged, that was just my application of the design below, it looked like that before the top coat I promise.
  2. Guerlain (9/10) smudged very slightly 
  3. Dior (8/10) one part smudged as you can see
  4. Essence (3/10) as you can see it smudged a lot
  5. Out The Door (1/10) this was by far the worst of the bunch, the design is pretty much unrecognisable. 

Comparison No. 2 - Drying Speed:

I left them all for 10 minutes before testing. So here are my rankings:
  1. Seche Vite (10/10) It's well known that this is brilliant at drying quickly, and it certainly lived up to the test
  2. Out The Door (9/10) I've worshipped Seche Vite for a long time due to it's fast drying speed, but this is definitely a close second. Although, it is pretty thin so that could be why it's so quick.
  3. Dior (8/10) I was definitely impressed by the drying speed on this, but it wasn't quite as quick as OTD and SV
  4. Guerlain (7/10) see the next comparison
  5. Essence (1/10) - this polish unfortunately did not really ever dry, I woke up the next day (having gone to bed 2 hours later) and there were bedsheet imprints
Comparison No. 3 - Anti-Prodding 

I prodded all of them with the end of my tweezers another 10 minutes after the original drying test. If you look carefully in a few of the pictures you can see the results of this
  1. Seche Vite (10/10) nothing at all
  2. (Equal 1st) Out The Door (10/10) nothing at all
  3. Dior (9/10) barely anything
  4. Guerlain (6/10) there was quite a dint but I might have pushed it a bit harder than the rest accidentally. It felt dry to touch and pushing it did with my finger did nothing
  5. Essence (1/10) ended up with quite a dint, and as I mentioned before it never really dried
Comparison No. 4 - Shine

This is based on how they looked 24 hours later
  1. Seche Vite (10/10)
  2. (Equal 1st) Dior (10/10)
  3. Guerlain (8 or 9/10)
  4. Essence (7/10) it looked pretty shiny until I went to bed but as it didn't dry and it got wrecked, it was no longer shiny 24 hours later. 
  5. Out The Door (6/10) as it's a very thin top coat, it takes on the shape of the nail art below, and it seems to have a kind of grainy texture, I cant explain it very well but it's not shiny to say the least.
Comparison No. 5 - Lasting Time 

Again, based on how they looked 24 hours later

  1. Seche Vite (10/10) in the year and a bit I've used this topcoat I've never known it to chip
  2. Dior (8 or 9/10) slightly faded at the end but that may have happened before topcoat was applied
  3. Guerlain (7/10) slightly chipped at the tip 
  4. Essence (5/10) in tact at the tip but the design is wrecked elsewhere so it doesn't really matter
  5. Out The Door (3/10) in all the times I've used this polish, it's always faded at the ends. It doesn't chip but it does wear away
Overall Ranking

  1. Seche Vite (10/10) definitely my favourite top coat 
  2. Dior (9/10) I doubted that anything could even slightly match up to my previous SV, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this did. It dried fast and was super shiny still the next day. I know a lot of people are not big fans of SV, as it isn't 3-free and is prone to shrinking, I guess it just doesn't work for everyone, and this is definitely a close alternative if you're looking for one. Albeit a slightly expensive one. 
  3. Guerlain (6/10) dried pretty fast but wasn't quite as shiny as SV and Dior
  4. Out The Door (4/10) dries fast but smudged way too much and wasn't nearly shiny enough
  5. Essence (1/10) didn't dry and smudged loads

What do you think? Do you own/want any of these polishes? Let me know in the comments!

*the products in this post were provided to me for review but my opinions are entirely my own


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