Nails Inc Miss Nail Bar and Kensington Caviar 45 Second Top Coat Reviews

Friday, April 2, 2010

1 comment
Today, we have a tale of two Nails Inc top coats. Non-nail fanatics often ask me why they should wear a top coat, and I usually give them three reasons - to smoothen out the finish of their nail polish, and to extend the wear time of their manicure, and, if you use a quick dry top coat, the top coat dries your manicure superfast, so you don't have to sit around waiting for your polisth to dry. Seriously, the last reason is pretty important. Many a nail fanatic (including me) swears by quick dry topcots. Without them, I probably would only wear polish once a month, because you know I'm impatient and clumsy, and if I had to wait any longer for it to dry, I'd nick it and totally ruin my hard work. But with a good topcoat, nicks, smudges, and the dreaded sheet marks, are a thing of the past! So, today's review will be on two Nails Inc top coats, both which are billed as fast-drying. The first one is the Miss Nail Bar Top Coat (now discontinued, I believe), and the second one is their ever-popular Kensington 45 Second Top Coat.

First, we'll look at Nails Inc Miss Nail Bar Top Coat. It dries clear, and is clear in the bottle with a pink tinge.

Nails Inc Miss Nail Bar Top coat

Looks cute right? Unfortunately it's not a very good top coat. In fact, it kinda sucks. For one it dries reaaalllly slowly despite being a fast dry top coat (which is why I bought it), and when I was using it, I had a suspicion that just leaving my nail polish to dry would be faster than using this topcoat. The only good thing about this is that once dry, it does have a nice glossy finish, and it does extend the wear of my polish, but you know me, and you know I hate waiting for my nails to dry. Not impressed! I like to use this in tandem with the much celebrated Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, or the cheaper-but-equally-celebrated Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat, because these two tend to cause major shrinkage on me. I find that if I layer a really slow-drying topcoat (like Miss Nail Bar) under my Seche or Insta-Dri, the shrinkage of colour is much reduced. So I still have a bottle of it around, but I only use it to prevent the dreaded shrinkage with a real fast-dry topcoats.

Now for the second topcoat of the day, Nails Inc Kensington Caviar 45 Second Top Coat. This one is one of the perennial favourites, and if you ever watch QVC UK, they're always putting it in sets and things like that. It also dries clear, and is clear in the bottle. Take a look at my baby bottle!

Nails Inc Kensington Caviar 45 Second Top Coat

So how does this one do? I'm glad to say - I like it! While they're lying when they say it dries in 45 seconds (I think only Seche Vite lives up to this claim, and even then it's more like gingerly-dry-to-the-lightest-touch in 45 seconds, not dry-and-hard in 45 seconds), it does dry fast. Now it doesn't dry as fast as Seche Vite or Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, but it's a close second. In the case of Seche Vite and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, once you're done with all your fingers, you can (very) lightly touch your nails, and they'd be pretty much surface dry, although not totally dry. With the Kensington Caviar Top Coat, you have to wait a couple of minutes to be able to touch your nails. But tht said, I like it better than either Seche Vite or Insta-Dri because it doesn't cause any shrinkage on me. I guess it's a trade-off; drying time for shrinkage. But I do think this has a good balance of the two. I also like that unlike Seche Vite and Insta-Dri, this one also works well over dry, in addition to wet, polish. With Seche Vita and Insta-Dri, using them over dry polish causes the polish to peel off in sheets for some people, but I haven't yet had this problem with the Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Top Coat. It's not replacing my Seche Vite, or my Sally Hansen, because those are the ones I go to when I'm really impatient, but this one is pretty good, because it doesn't shrink as much. It's also really glossy when dry, which I like, although it's not as glossy as Insta-Dri or Seche Vite.

So that's it for my two topcoat tales. I've no idea how the same company can produce two topcoats, call them fast-drying, and have one suck so bad, and one be such a winner, but I guess it just goes to show every company has its hits and misses, and just looking at the brand name of something doesn't tell you anything about how good it is. But I guess it also applies to other areas of life, you know, sort of like dating and guys - kinda like how some seemingly nice and decent guys can turn out to be absolute jerks, and how some guys look like a write-off actually turn out to be not so bad. LOL.


  1. Great review.

    I have both and agree about the drying time being no where near what they say. I'll have to go try the others you mentioned as I'm time poor and prone to chipping one hand before I get the second one done!!!! Strange girl I am walking round with one hand done. But I get so far, and then get called on to do something, like now....goes off to do lego star wars.....and back that I prefer to get one hand done than 2 part done =D

    Miss Nails was the name nails inc was sold under when they were available in Superdrug. Can't for the life of me remember the Nails inc name the pale pink top coat went under they obviously thought it wasn't as good either and got rid of it. x


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