Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Topcoat Review: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Topcoat

Recently I have been using Sally Hansen Insta Dri top coat. Ever since my Seche Vite began to thicken and bubble I decided to start trying different less hyped topcoats. I went to Walgreens specifically to purchase a yellow polish and saw a display of Insta Dri colours. Each colour was packaged with a free Insta Dri topcoat so I picked the package that contained Lightening. I wasn't sure this topcoat would be as quick drying as Seche Vite, but I was pleasantly surprised. It dried just as fast and had a similar shiny, glass like finish. This topcoat isn't as good for nail art and konad; the big brush makes it easier to smear nail art no matter how hard you try to prevent it.

The biggest downside to this topcoat is it gets thick, stringy, and bubbles. I started noticing this when the topcoat got down to where the word "Dri" is on the bottle. Karen (Frazzle and Aniploish) told me that nail polish thinner can remedy this issue. I'll probably be purchasing some for not only my topcoats but a few bottles of polish I own that could use thinning. All things considered, this topcoat is pretty good. I bought this at Walgreens and it costs around 3-4 dollars.Walgreens has sales on these periodically so sometimes they can be found for cheaper. Walmart and other drugstores also sell this line. This topcoat works perfectly to use before nail art. I usually put a layer of topcoat on before doing nail art/konad to make sure the base colour is completely dry.

Pros: Dries quickly, inexpensive, can be found at Walmart and drugstores, gives a smooth, glassy finish.
Cons: Smears nail art and konad, thickens up towards the bottom of the bottle.

This would be a great topcoat for someone who didn't do nail art frequently, or for use before nail art. I wasn't expecting much out of this and was surprised at how well it worked. It also didn't thicken up as quickly as Seche Vite so you can get lots of use out of it before you need to add thinner. I have already picked out a new topcoat which I will review once I have used it for awhile. Before I review anything I will always use it for three weeks or use half the bottle, whichever comes first. I've already been using it for a week but its too soon to say anything yet.

If you have any ideas of a topcoat I could try out to review let me know! (Especially if you know or have heard that it is good for nail art.)

Have you tried this topcoat? What do you think of it?
Peace and Love,


  1. same thing happened to my top coat from Sally: Beauty Secrets Hardener, is too thick to use, i use nail polish thinner from Orly but even so its gets thick again.

  2. Thanks for liking my current nails! I have a question though. . .how the heck do I reply to someone's comment properly? On my own comments or on their blog?

    Oh, and on the top coat, I use Rimmel's 10 Day Wear. It's not as shiny as other top coats, but it protects my mani for a while. I can't find it in stores anymore though.

  3. @LadyLuck - I'm really hoping I will find a great topcoat that doesn't thicken up! Its so annoying.

    @Starving Nail Addict - Well, I usually reply to people in the comments section on my blog unless they ask me to reply on their blog. If you ask a me a question check back here because I always reply to questions. Email is always a good choice too. I made an email specifically for this blog so if anyone wanted to contact me for any reason they could. There isn't a set way to do things, just whatever works for you!

  4. I love Lightening =] And the clear is cool too!

  5. Thank you for the review! :) I hate top coats that get all goopy when you're almost done with them! :/

  6. i love that you did this review because I've been using this lately too, and have had the same exact experience. mine just got pretty low and started thickening up too. I did add thinner and that helps, but i'll have to add some more.
    I've already bought 3 backup bottles (the packs of two were on clearance at rite aid at a price that was cheaper than buying them individually) - that's how much I like it!

  7. I never used this topcoat but I have it availible so I might buy it when my topcoats run out.
    The one I'm using currently is NO7 topcoat.
    But I have a essence, collection 2000 topcoat as well. But the stupid thing is the they don't dry fast! The fastest one is no7.
    Another bad thing is that I'm SO impatient so they always smudge!

  8. Yeah I tried many top coats: Seche, Posche, Essie, SH Insta-Dri... Right now I am using Mavala but its not the shiniest, but it really does a good job at preventing chipping. I still feel like I haven't found my "HG" top coat just yet. They all get thick and stringy after some time so it is worth it to buy a nail polish thinner it definitely helps. I used Seche Restore.

  9. I heard Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat its really good, my friend use it and she said it dries super fast and helps a lot to keep your mani.

  10. thats not even an the insta-dri top coat! The insta-dru top coat comes in a red bottle! The one you have is just a clear coat! Its completely different!


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