This summer I really started to do my nails regularly and I’m probably not the only one that thinks the worst part about it is waiting for the nail polish to dry. No matter how careful I am or how long I wait I always end up hitting my nail against something and smudging, chipping, or denting it. That’s why I was excited to receive a $5 off coupon for the RapiDry Top Coat from OPI during my last visit to my local BeautyBrands. It normally costs $12.95 so with the coupon it was a real steal. According to the packaging it “dries to a tough, long-lasting, non-yellowing, high-gloss shine in minutes” — just what I was looking for. In the past I’ve been using the OPI Start-To-Finish all-in-one top coat, base coat, and nail strengthener and although that didn’t help with the drying time it provided me with a great manicure that would last for at least 5 days.
I tested the RapiDry Top Coat by applying one layer of OPI Start-To-Finish as my base coat, two layers of OPI My Chihuahua Bites!, and one coat of RapiDry. The RapiDry has a pretty thin consistency and went on in one thin, smooth layer. This was a big contrast to using Start-To-Finish as the top coat which has a more of a gel like consistency. It also goes on smooth but in a somewhat thicker coat that in my opinion is mainly responsibly for the great wear time I get with it. When I used the RapiDry I did not wait between layers but rather did one layer on all fingers and then moved on to the next layer so each layer had about one minute of drying time. The color was still a bit tacky when I applied the top layer of RapiDry and it did pick up some of the color (which I think is normal and could only be avoided if I waited forever between the layers which isn’t the point in using the RapiDry top coat).
I was pleasantly surprised that the drying time did indeed match the advertisement – within just a couple of minutes my manicure had dried. Success. It also provided a nice amount of shine. However, I was very disappointed when just the next day I got the first chips in my awesome manicure. 😦 I was able to salvage the chipped nails by applying another layer of my color and the RapiDry on top which extended the wear time of my manicure by another couple of days but within those days my nails started to show a lot of wear around the tips.
But I don’t give up that easy. I figured I should try RapiDry with at least one other nail polish. I next tried it with Sephora by OPI’s Frankly, I Don’t Give A-dam. I also tried to apply a top coat of RapiDry that was just a little bit thicker than what I had tried before. This time I got a normal amount of wear out of my manicure but on the flip-side it did take longer for the nail polish to fully dry. It was pretty dry after a few minutes but I still got a dent in one of my nails after waiting for 15 minutes or so.
Since then I’ve tried the RapiDry with a few other nail polishes and it’s been working ok. I’m still super happy with how fast my nails dry using this top coat. I continue applying a ticker coat and that helps with the wear time. However, I found that RapiDry does dry with brush marks. It’s not super obvious but still annoying. Also, with certain nail polishes you have to be careful because it does pick up color quite easily and that will lead to visible marks.
All in all I really wanted to like the RapiDry top coat. It does what it advertises to do but there is a trade-off between wear time and dry time depending on how thick of a layer you apply. It’s still a better drying time than ordinary top coat so I will continue using and experimenting with it.
Which fast drying top coat would you recommend?