OPI Brilliant & Plumping top coat

OPI recently released two new top coats, Brilliant and Plumping. Brilliant is a high-shine top coat and Plumping a volumizing top coat, they are both supposed to be fast drying.

I was really excited to try them since OPI is my favorite nail polish brand (as you may know). I bought mine on eBay before they were released in Sweden, and I thought that I would be able to review them before they would be available here. And then Seche Vive happened… which lead to me not painting my nails much at all for some weeks this summer.

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OPI Brilliant and Plumping

I have tried them both now and here’s what I think about them.

OPI Brilliant

Brilliant is supposed to be a super shiny top coat, but I don’t think that it’s shinier than any other top coat I’ve tried. It’s very thin on the nail and I think that it took a long time for it to dry (for being a quick dry top coat). If you want a super shiny fast drying top coat I suggest that you try HK Girl from Glisten & Glow instead.

OPI Plumping

Plumping is supposed to be a volumizing top coat, and it actually feels a bit thicker than a regular top coat. The drying time is okay but not fast enough for being a fast drying top coat. It dries very glossy and looks good on the nails. But if you don’t have time to wait for your nails to dry completely and you want a plumping fast drying top coat I suggest that you try Gel setter from Essie instead.

Another thing that I don’t like with these top coats is the price, they’re really expensive. They retail for 205 kr instead of 155 kr (which is the ‘normal’ price for OPI polishes in Sweden), and they’re not worth it.

Sorry OPI, I really really like your products, but you are so much better than these two products!

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Glisten & Glow HK Girl

If you’re part of the nail art community I bet you have heard of HK Girl, the holy grail of top coats for many. I have wanted to try it for a really long time, but it is not available in Sweden and shipping from the US is really expensive. So I’ve just stuck to Seche Vite.

This summer when I went to London I met up with Marta (@nailonthames) and she was kind to give me a few bottles of HK Girl (she said that I would want more than just one bottle, and she was right!). I have been using HK Girl since then and I’m hooked. I never want to be without it! It dries super fast and it is super shiny. I have used up almost half the bottle now and the polish is still good, it hasn’t turned thick. And best of all, it doesn’t shrink the polish when it dries like Seche vite and other fast drying top coats sometimes do.

img_7342Glisten & Glow – HK Girl Fast drying & super shiny clear top coat

Even though the shipping is expensive I will stick to this new favorite of mine. I’ll just make sure to buy a bunch at the same time to make it more economical.

Have you tried HK Girl? Do you like it too?

Seche Vive | a.k.a. the top coat that ruined my nails

After wearing this mani for almost one and a half day my nails started feeling very sensitive and sore. I have used all the products, except the top coat, many times before so the top coat must be the bad guy. This was my second (or third) time using Seche Vive and obviously also the last time.

img_3440Seche Vive Instant gel effect top coat

I had really high hopes for this product since I’m already a big user of Seche Vite. I thought that a gel effect top coat that gives super shine and dries fast was the perfect top coat, but unfortunatley not in this case. It dries very glossy and fast and it gives a plump appearance. But it also makes my nails detach from the nail bed.

I started feeling this on Thursday and today it is Monday and my nails are starting to feel a little less sore. I had to cut them down a bit just because they felt so sensitive as soon as I touched something.

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After removing the polish I had on my nails this is what they looked like on Friday morning. You can clearly see that the nail has detached from the nail bed on my ring finger. It looks (and feels) like the little finger and the thumb has made it, but the other nails are unfortunately affected.

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This is what my nails look like on Monday morning, and it doesn’t look pretty. It looks like they are bruised and the nail line looks gross. And under the nails, where the nail beds have detached, I have nasty blisters. I really hope that it doesn’t get worse than this….

I will use a lot of nail oil and hand creme and try not to polish my nails too much the next couple of days/weeks and hope that it’ll get better. And as you probably already have guessed, I wouldn’t recommend anyone buying this top coat.

Essie Gel setter top coat

So, I’ve had this top coat for a few months now but I haven’t really tried it until a few weeks ago. What a shame, because I really like it!

Essie Gel setter top coat

Essie’s Gel setter is a top coat that has a gel-like finish. It dries fast and super shiny. Even though it feels a bit thicker than a regular top coat it is still easy to apply. Many fast drying top coats shrink the polish when they dry, but not this one.
There is only one thing that I don’t like with this top coat, and that is that it sometimes gives a lot of bubbles when it dries. I still haven’t figured out why it does that, so I’m still working on it.

Anyway, I wore a mani topped with this polish for three days and they were still super shiny, like if they were just polished, and they had no signs of chipping. I think that’s pretty impressing! If I hadn’t gotten tired of the mani I would’ve worn it longer.