A skittle manicure with the Darling collection is shown with the Ultra Glossy Topcoat on the nails, as the hand holds an Ultra Glossy Seal bottle.

A Comparison of Top Coats: Which One is for You?

No top coat is the same, which is why it matters to choose the right one for you. ZOYA and Naked Manicure’s top coats range in their density, shine, and longevity of wear time. Understanding what distinguishes all of these top coats can help you make the most of your manicures.

You may change your color every three days and not care about wear-time. Or maybe you want to keep color on as long as possible without losing shine. Whatever your mani needs are, we’ve got the top coats to keep you covered. It’s time we take top coats seriously, so let’s look at the major distinctions between all of them, and you decide which one sounds like the best fit for you.

Shine for Days

Zoya Armor, Glossy Seal, and Ultra Glossy Seal are the best picks if you what that high-shine, gloss finish. Our shiniest by far is Ultra Glossy (hello, it’s in the name!) but Armor and Glossy Seal still offer a beautiful shiny finish as well. When it comes to narrowing down your pick between these three, think about your preferences for wear time. Do you mind reapplying the top coat to make the mani last longer? Do you prefer a one-and-done top coat that will last a week or longer?

You may also want to consider how much you want the top coat to act as a barrier and protector for your nails. If yellowing or nail discoloration is a concern of yours, Armor may be your go-to.

Using Defend + Shine is also an option, if you want long-wearing shine and flexible protection for your nails. Naked Gelie from Gelie-Cure and Defend + Shine can act as a base for polish as well, but its gel-like formula will require curing under an LED light. If LED lights don’t scare you away, find out what else you can do with Gelie-Cure. 

Zoya’s Armor top coat is for those that want a flexible yet durable top coat to protect their nail from yellowing UV rays. It acts as a strong barrier while delivering a shiny finish and extending the wear time of your polish. For added wear time, you can reapply the top coat every two days.

Glossy Seal works best with a layer of the Satin Seal underneath, but provides high shine and longer wear for your manicure.

Ultra Glossy Seal dries 2x faster than any other Naked Manicure top coat, and provides the lush, dense finish of a gel-like top coat. It requires no LED curing and is dry to touch in minutes, but is also compatible with Zoya Fast Drops. It extends the wear of your polish for 7 days with no chipping and no reapplication.

You may choose to use Naked Gelie to seal in a fresh manicure with the Defend + Shine system.  This requires curing under an LED light the day after your fresh manicure, as it locks in your first day shine and provides durable protection for your manicure and natural nails. It has a comparable finish to that of Ultra Glossy Seal but with even more shine. The foil removal and curing of the Naked Gelie also distinguishes it from Ultra Glossy Seal. 

Keep it Subtle

The Satin Seal Top Coat aims to provide the most natural nail finish possible. It has a bi-phasal formula that blurs imperfections and levels out the nail plate for a blended effect. Like Zoya Armor, this top coat contains UV blocking properties to prevent yellowing.

The Matte Velvet Top Coat provides a velvety smooth matte finish for those who don’t like shiny top coats or want to mix it up. It still protects the layer of color like any other gloss top coat, and must be applied to a completely dry base.

Fast Drops are unique to Zoya top coats, since they will not speed up the drying time of any other brand of top coat. After applying your choice of Zoya top coat to your color, you can apply a drop of Fast Drops to each nail to increase the speed of dry time. As it speeds up the drying process, it also helps prevent bubbling and denting.

Feature photo via @sherlynblognails