I tested this best-selling, under-$10 top coat, and it kept my manicure flawless for days

·2 min read

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For a long time, I kept my nails bare because the process of watching my nail polish (aka my money) chip off within a day or two was like torture. I tried going the gel manicure route, but the process of removing that polish was brutal. Every time I went for a new manicure, my nails just looked weaker and thinner.

Given that’s it’s 2021 and like, people are going to space now, it occurred to me that there had to be a top coat that kept my manicure chip-free for longer than a day or two. A quick Amazon search led me to Seche Vive’s Gel Effect Top Coat. It’s an Amazon’s Choice product with more than 4,800 ratings and 4.6 out of 5 stars. It also happened to be on sale when I came across it, so I decided to buy it and put it to the test.

Seche Vive Gel Effect Top Coat, $6.89 (Orig. $9.95)

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Seche Vive Gel Effect Top Coat review

This is my manicure when I first got it done:

Credit: Jeanine Edwards
Credit: Jeanine Edwards

This is my mani on day three:

Credit: Jeanine Edwards
Credit: Jeanine Edwards

And this is my mani on day five:

Credit: Jeanine Edwards
Credit: Jeanine Edwards

As you can see, there are a few small chips in the corners after five days, but that’s mostly due to my bad habit of peeling labels off with my nails. Also, I refuse to wash dishes with gloves, so there’s that. Given those two contributing factors, I have to admit that my mani is pretty good shape, which has basically never happened a with regular (non-gel) manicure.

If you like the look of a thick and shiny gel manicure without actually having to go through the hassle of getting a gel manicure, then I highly recommend the Seche Vive Gel Effect Top Coat. It’s super affordable, and as you can see from the pic above, it really does extend the life of your mani.

P.S. In case you’re wondering, the nail color I’m wearing in the pics above is Emilie Heathe in Public.

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