If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a DIY kinda woman. I have always enjoyed doing my own hair and nails because it allows me to be as creative as I want to be, when I want to be. When it comes to nail polish, I have PLENTY! I could probably open up my own nail shop lol! Finding fun nail colors is easy but for me, finding a good top coat is a trial and error process. In this post, I will be comparing the results over a 14 day period of using two different top coats: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat and Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Diamond top coat.
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Okay, I know…they’re not the same type of top coat. I get that and in the future I may compare gel top coats and fast drying top coats to their competition. However, the reason why I’m comparing these two is because they both claim to resist chipping and make a manicure last a long time. For this reason, I did a little performance test to see which one would make my manicure last longer.
The Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat claims to provide a no-chip shine to your nails for up to 10 days. It is supposed to work on any nail color and dry in 30 seconds. This top coat is sold at drugstores, super stores, supermarkets…just about anywhere nail polish is sold as well as online. I purchased mine at CVS for just under $7.
Newer on the scene is the Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Diamond top coat. I’d been seeing the commercials for this top coat and they did a good job at making me curious about how well it works by showing a picture comparing results between them and their competitor. It is stated to be their “toughest top coat yet” and is a long wearing top coat that provides gel-like shine. It’s important to note here that it is formulated to work best with their Colorstay Gel Envy nail polish. But at just under $9 a pop at my local CVS, I wasn’t interested in buying the top coat AND the nail enamel.
Instead, as I stood in the nail polish aisle, I got on my phone and looked up whether or not it works well on other (non-Revlon) nail polishes and I saw quite a few positive reviews by people who said it made their manicures last as much as 10 to 12 days without using a Colorstay polish! Being that I’m always on the hunt for a holy grail top coat, I decided to go ahead and give it a try.
💅🏾 THE TOP COAT TEST 💅🏾
I first painted my nails with 2 coats of a new nail color I picked up recently by Wet n Wild 1-step Wonder Gel called “Bye Feluschia”. It’s a pretty pink polish with a bit of shimmer to it and I just love the cute name! This line of polish is one I’d like to test out by itself later because it’s a gel polish that’s not supposed to require a top coat or lamp and is supposed to provide up to 2 weeks of color and shine. That seems a bit too good to be true but I will let you know how that goes in another post. I didn’t use the polish holder ring I told you about in a previous post for this manicure.
For this top coat test, I applied the Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy top coat to my left hand and the Sally Hansen Insta-Dry top coat on my right hand. I have had the Sally Hansen top coat a little longer and have used almost half of it up to this point. One thing I have noticed with it is that it thickens over time and tends to create bubbles on my nails. They’re not always visible until after my nails have dried. This was not the case when I first bought it.
The Revlon Colorstay top coat went on my nails smoothly and evenly and 1 coat was enough to see the shine that it provided. I also used 1 coat of the Sally Hansen top coat but had to do so more carefully because it had gotten a little thicker. When this happens, you have to make sure it goes on evenly because it can easily go on thicker in the middle and thinner on the sides of the nail. This top coat also left my nails with a decent amount of shine.
Throughout the 14 days of this manicure, my nails went through regular day-to-day routines like hand washing, cooking, opening packages, jewelry clasps, and swimming that tend to break down the polish over time. I did not re-apply either top coat during this test period.Battle of the top coats: Sally Hansen vs. Revlon Colorstay Click To Tweet
My prediction from the start was that the Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy top coat would be longer lasting just due to the type of top coat it is and since it’s supposed to be “tough”. Below are pictures of my left and right hands throughout the two week course of this manicure.
As you can see, my prediction was clearly wrong! Womp, womp 😒. I was very surprised that despite the annoying bubbles the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat left behind, it made my manicure last longer and was way more chip resistant than the Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy top coat. The shine decreased a little on both sides over time but my nails weren’t dull looking by any means.
While the hand with the Revlon Colorstay top coat was left with multiple chips and cracks at day 14, the hand with the Sally Hansen top coat only showed minimal wear at the tip of the nails, minor chipping by the cuticles, and no cracks! There was a small chip on the corner of my thumb nail but that’s it as far as noticeable chipping.
This little test made me think about the power of marketing. Even though this was not the first time I’d used the Sally Hansen top coat, I was still on the hunt for something better and the marketing of the Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy totally got me! It made believe that it would be strong and long lasting by using words and phrases like “diamond”, “gel”, “envy” and stating that it’s “long-wearing”. When you think of it, these words sound good but it’s a bit vague. Sally Hansen is specific about what the Insta-Dri top coat will do: lasts up to 10 days and resists chips. They weren’t lying! For me, my manicure lasted more than 10 days.
Like I said before, the Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy top coat is formulated to work best with the Colorstay polishes from that line so it would be interesting to see if the top coat holds up better than using it with a different polish, even though the polish I used was a gel polish that was supposed to be long lasting all by itself. I just may test it out in the future!
What are your thoughts on my top coat test? If you have used the Revlon Colorstay top coat before, tell me how well it worked for you!