The 5 Best Quick-Dry Top Coats

November 10, 2019 2 min read

The 5 Best Quick-Dry Top Coats

I've always been a proponent of a DIY manicure, as much for the fact that I find it to be relaxing as it is a huge money saver. But every time I sit on my couch waiting for freshly painted nails to dry, I'm reminded why a trip to the salon is so appealing — I hate the wait. And I know I'm not alone, because that's exactly why the best quick-dry top coats were invented. Though they look like your average top coat, these quick-drying formulas set your polish in one minute or less, so you can text your friends or grab a cookie (you know, all the important things) without worrying about smudges.

But did you know that you could also be sabotaging a faster-drying manicure if you're not painting your nails correctly in the first place? Be sure to stick with thin, even coats of polish, letting each layer fully set before adding another coat. If you glop on your polish, those thicker layers will naturally take longer to fully dry (and are usually the reason behind polish that gets dented).

Ahead, you'll find five of the best quick-dry top coats on Amazon — whether you prefer a shiny, gel-like finish or a gloss-free matte.

5. The Best 7-Free Quick-Dry Top Coat

ella mila top coat - in a rush

If you're particular about the ingredients that go into your nail polish, there's the Ella+Mila Fast-Drying Top Coat. This vegan top coat is "seven-free," meaning it doesn't contain formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), camphor, TPHP, or xylene. These chemicals are commonly found in nail polishes (though more and more brands are taking steps to eliminate at least some of them), and they're said to pose various health risks with continued exposure. Though this top coat isn't as fast-drying as some other formulas on this list, it can dry up to four coats of polish in under three minutes, and it's formulated with a UV inhibitor to prevent yellowing.