Monday, July 15, 2013

Butter London Hardwear Topcoat (a.k.a. Holy Fucking Expensive) vs. Nubar Diamont Seal & Shine Fast Drying Topcoat

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I'm just going to say it: The best topcoat I've used is Butter London Hardwear Topcoat, and I've used a bunch. (I know I said before that the Sally Hansen one was better, but life goes on, minds change. After I used the Butter London more, I realized that this one is shinier and easier to apply, so it has the edge.) The brush is nice and it's super shiny and it dries really quick and doesn't shrink or bubble and it levels and the bottle doesn't get goopy especially fast, etc. It's pretty much flawless. But it is FUCKING EXPENSIVE. $19? Fuck right off. There's no justifying that. I got it magically once in a set that included two Butter London polishes and this topcoat for $15. It was a miracle, never to be repeated. And I have been considering using a $10 Amazon gift card that I have to replace it now that my bottle is empty . . . but seriously, even $9 seems like a lot for topcoat.

I don't think that it is better because it is expensive: I think it's just a fluke. There is probably something just as good out there for less, but I haven't found it. In an attempt to find it, I bought Nubar Diamont Seal & Shine Fast Drying Topcoat, because I read a rave review of it on a popular nail blog. And it's $6 on Amazon. But I'm not blown away.

It dries really fast, which is a must in a topcoat for me. It's shiny. But it bubbles a little. Just small bubbles that probably are only noticeable to me, but they're there, and they bug me. They're unnecessary. The worst part is that even if I wait a few extra minutes before I paint on this topcoat, some of the nail polish transfers from my nail to the brush. I'm not sure why. I have never had that problem with a topcoat before. I don't know if it's the shape of the brush, which seems to flare a little at the bottom, or what. It scrapes off some of the polish, though, usually just from the first nail, and I worry about it getting into the bottle. Maybe I should wait longer before I use it, but waiting kind of defeats the purpose of quick dry topcoat.

Has anyone else had this problem with it? Did I get a bad bottle?

So, meh. I've heard that NYC has a good topcoat for 2 or 3 bucks (not this one), so I'll look for that before I decide if I'm going to cave and get more Butter London. But without a gift card, I would definitely opt for the Sally Hansen topcoat before I would ever spend $19 on clear nail shit. It's a little better, yes, but not enough to be worth its weight in fucking gold.

What's your favorite topcoat? What's the most you'd pay for one?


  1. I've been using Poshe topcoat and it's pretty fucking rad! It's nice and shiny, and while it bubbles on occasion, it doesn't shrink my polish like Seche Vite did. I haven't had any issues with transferring. The only downside was that it did get goopy about halfway through, but I added some Poshe Polish Reviver and that got it back to it's original consistancy.

    $19 for a topcoat is crazy!!! The only way I could see myself paying more that $10 would be if it had a really awesome application and didn't go thick.

    1. I'd say the BL got thick when it had 1/4 to 1/3 left. I thinned it with the Seche Vite thinner and that kept it going for a while. Even when it was thick, though, it leveled really well, so I could pretty much keep using it until I was having too much trouble reaching what was left at the bottom of the bottle.

      I liked the Poshe stuff too, but I liked the Sally Hansen a little better.

  2. Apparently Diamont switched their formula a little while back, and people have been saying the new one isn't as good.

    Seche Vite is still my go-to for the super fast drying. I've yet to find anything else that dries anywhere near as quick. If I have a really gritty glitter that eats topcoat, I'll usually throw on a coat of Revlon no-chip topcoat then a coat of SV. If I use Seche top and base and wrap my tips, I have no problems with shrinking. When it starts to get goopy, I just add a little nail polish remover, rather than buying thinner. Makes it look a little cloudy in the bottle, but it applies and dries completely clear. I usually get mine online here Because all the stores near me that sell it charge $10+, so I'll buy 5 or so bottles at a time online.

    1. Oh, good to know, thanks! The review I read was only about a month ago. Funny she wasn't aware of that. Sigh.

      I had tons of shrinkage with SV, and I've found lots of others that dry as fast, for me. But I'd still buy SV before I spent $20 on BL. It's not my favorite - but it was my first quick dry topcoat, and that's kind of a life changer. That sounds over dramatic, but I probably wouldn't have so much nail polish if I still had to wait 45 minutes for it to dry. Come to think of it, maybe that's not a good thing . . .

  3. I use Rush 60 Second High Speed. I bought it at Sally Beauty and I think it was around $6. It dries pretty fast for me, though I am not sure how it works on glitter polishes, as I don't wear them. No complaints thus far, though!

    1. Oh, I haven't tried that one. I don't know if I've tried any Rimmel nail polishes at all, but I've heard good things.


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