In a rush: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat

We’ve all been there. Spent hours minutes painstakingly painting our nails with the perfect manicure, ready for our meal/night out/night in/pamper session. We sit there for a few minutes, flapping our hands like we just don’t care, blowing on them like you saw that woman in that film do that one time. You even perform the ‘touch test,’ pressing your nail softly to your lips to check for tackiness. It’s come back clean.

Content with our perfect manicure and happily imagining the consequences of having perfect nails (clue: Colin Firth falls in love with me due to his mayjah nail polish fetish), and off we go to get ready/do other things. Then, tragedy occurs. Our nail innocuously brushes against something, be it a towel or our leg or a piece of paper and boom!, our dreams are shattered, the manicure smudged, the polish imperfect. Colin Firth looks at me with disgust and disdain in his eyes.

I am absent-minded at best, and so I found myself in this situation pretty much every time I painted my nails – so much so that I stopped bothering to correct it when it happened, preferring the ‘homemade’ look to the polished, glamorous look I craved. I was drawn to this product for a number of reasons:

1. It says ‘insta-dri.’ ‘Nuff said.

2. It says ‘anti-chip.’ My nail polish struggles have been touched upon here, and it’s true that polish rarely lasts more than a day with peeling or chipping.

3. My mum said she used to use Sally Hansen back in her teens, and she remembers loving it. And I’m a sucker for nostalgia.

… It was, as they say, a no nonsense purchase. I snapped it up and took it home with me, where I eagerly (but carefully) ripped open the packaging, and that evening I gave myself quite possibly the most eagerly-awaited manicure there has ever been. I painted my nails with my old favourite, Essie Mint Candy Apple, waited two minutes, and cracked this baby open.

ImageFirst impressions: I was surprised at both the length of the brush and the wateriness of the product. The actual application takes a matter of seconds due to the thin-ness of the formula, as the product kind of ‘gloops’ (technical term) off the brush onto the nail and covers it as it runs down. That doesn’t sound too positive, but I really didn’t mind as it made application a doddle; plus the product is clear and the fact it runs over the nail means an even application with no bumps and odd patches of texture. Thumbs up for brush and viscosity.

That’s all well and good, I can hear you saying in frustration, but does it actually deliver on its promises? Well, my friends, I am here to tell you that yes, yes it does. A minute after application I performed the ‘touch test’ and it came back clean. I then proceded to do the washing up (all in the name of honest reviewing) and my nails were perfect. No smudging, no chips, it was pure magic. 5 days later, there is a slight bit of tip wear to report, but compared to what normally happens to my 5-day manicure (it has usually ceased to exist on my nails) it is brilliant.


There is an added bonus that I was not expecting in that this top coat makes your nails appear super shiny and glossy, almost gel-like. So if you’re looking for a shiny-ass top coat, this could be for you. One thing I would say, however, is that be careful if you’re layering this product up, as it could smudge the layers below when wet.

Essentially this product is ideal for nail polish noobs like me who can’t help but smudge their nails, and who can’t make their nail polish last no matter what lengths they go to. In fact, I’d go as far to say that this is for everyone, experts and amateurs, colour-lovers and nude-fans (cheeky), due to its ease of use, high-gloss finish and long-lasting formula… Go get it people!

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat – here – £5.99


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