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I don't know anyone who paints their nails and having the time to wait hours for them to dry; after all we all live lead busy lives. I like to paint my nails and take my time over it, after all everyone and everyone is going to see your hands and see what a mess or a wonderful job you've done. Even if you don't do it often sometimes it is nice to do it as a treat.
I hate waiting for nail polish to dry, and to be honest I never painted my nails before because of this reason. Every time I did I would have to wait hours for it to dry and even then I would scuff it somehow and would have to start all over again or I just gave up and took it all off. I love watching shopping channel nail shows and seeing all the pretty colours being applied, OPI at the time we're saying about their Rapid Dry Top Coat and how quickly it dries, touch dry in minutes they say. Now I knew nail polish can't dry within minutes but I wanted to give this higher end brand a try and start falling in love with nail polish again.
You can purchased this product from QVCuk.com for £19.13 for a duo, or I have found one at £11.95 from Scentstore.co.uk but by far the cheapest at my favourite store at £6.90 at chemistdirect.co.uk but this is not always in stock because of the fantastic price, all for their full size of 15ml.
The top coat comes in OPI's famous round glass bottle with a black matte screw off lid with OPI at the top. This glass is tough and has survived being dropped on the floor many times while falling out of my nail bag.
The purpose of a top coat is that it should be applied over nail colour to seal in the colour that was applied underneath, seals in moisture so water etc can't get underneath thus damaging your nails and more importantly your hard work, your nail colour chipping or pealing off. Protects your nails and nail polish from wear and tear, thus polish staying great for longer. It creates an instant water/mirror like shine on the nail that lasts for days.
If you don't want to wear nail colour because you don't like colours, prefer a more natural look or your job doesn't allow you to, instead of applying a top coat on your naked nails I would personally apply a base coat first, a top coat straight on to the nail may look pretty and shiny but it can actually damage your natural nail. Top coat is designed to go over polish and sink into the layers to seal it all in; there are a lot of base coats on the market that are very shiny when worn alone.
To apply this top coat, make sure your natural nails are free from oils by wiping over with nail polish remover. Apply one coat of your preferred base coat, two coats of your favourite polish and then one coat of OPI Rapid Dry Top Coat, waiting at least 90 seconds between each coat for better results. Or if you prefer, one coat base coat and then OPI Rapid Top Coat.
OPI Rapid Dry Top Coat is clear in colour with a thickish consistency and can be used on any type of nail. I wouldn't say it's the thinnest top coat I have used but it's defiantly not thick and hard to work with. Upon unscrewing the lid the strong smell hits you, just like all other polishes and nail treatments, but when on the nail it disappears quickly and doesn't linger in the air. When applying over my nail polish, it seems a little thick to begin with but just seems to glide over the nail so smoothly, covering the whole nail without any smudging, dragging, or going over the same spot again and again so no streaks are in sight. Almost straight away it levels itself out over the nail leaving a beautiful shiny finish that seems to intensify the colour you applied underneath. The brush itself feels light on the nail and good quality.
All the nail polishes I have used are not all high end, yet when OPI Rapid Top Coat is applied the polish instantly looks more expensive.
Drying time with Rapid Dry Top Coat I tried two ways to tell the difference, I would say with just Rapid Dry Top Coat on it's own on top of nail polish is touch dry in a few minutes like they say, but it still feels tacky so you need to be careful not to scuff your nails. Within five minutes I would say it's safe to carry on with your normal activities, personally I would still be careful. My personal and more favourable way to dry nail polish is to do the same as above but apply oil over the top; my favourite oils to use are OPI Avoplex or Creative Solar Oil. Nail polish stays wet because oxygen is all around the polish feeding it; oil applied afterwards kills the oxygen thus drier quicker time. I find this way every time I polish my nails they are completely dry within 10 minutes.
Just remember when applying any polish is to not apply it thickly as this can lead to pealing and longer drying time.
I have used polish in the past, which starts to chip within a few days, looks dull and in need to start again. With this my polish is still intact and looking great a week on, with no chips or pealing in sight. With my daughter on hand my hands take a beating and on some polishes I can see scratches but they still look great.
The only thing I would recommend and I would with any top coat is to reapply after a few days to keep your polish from fading as with my hands in and out of water I have noticed it doesn't matter what polish is used fading does happen. So reapplying keeps your nail colour strong and more wearable for longer.
This top coat does not go yellow on the nails, unlike some cheaper brands on the market and keep all nail polishes and treatments out of direct sunlight to prolong its life.
OPI has been a family owned company ever since its founding in 1981 / Committed to providing their customers with the finest quality products and services, OPI have become the World Leader in professional nail care / OPI's reputation is built on its commitment to quality, safety, innovation and excellence a commitment it honours with every product, every day / '