Do you see the label on the bottle to the left? No? That’s because there isn’t any. No label. No name. No brand. Yes, this is the $.99 per bottle top coat that instigated this whole test. Too good to be true? Not in this case (or bottle). I was delighted that this top coat did so well; I certainly didn’t expect that it would take top honors. It is always nice to find a superior product for a flimsy price instead of a flimsy product for a superior price.
This no name swept up top honors in all categories except for Chipping (although its score was solid in this area) and half the women had it listed in their top 3. Perhaps we should name it David.
David can be purchased at Supply Source for $.99 per bottle, $3.99 for 2.5oz, $11.99 for 16oz, or for those of you who need just a bit more of a back up, $300 for 5 gallons. The only downside is Supply Source has a $25 minimum. Wonder if they could be talked into selling this by the half gallon.
[I just received a report from a reliable source that there has been some questionable security bloopers with this site. I highly recommend that anyone wanting "David" do so by calling them at 1-800-221-TIPS rather than making an online purchase.]
Here are the results: (if you’re just joining us, rating chart explanation is here)
Comments: Tester 1
Very impressed with this one. It dried SUPER quick! I accidently banged my hand into the edge of my laptop not even 5 minutes after doing my nails, and hit my ring finger. I was shocked that there wasn’t even a dent! This was very shiny and wore great. I changed after 3 days and had a bit of tipwear, but overall, this was excellent.
Comments: Tester 2
Test 1: Polish is NFU Oh 69. Test 2: Polish is Nubar Indigo Illusion. Applied top coat immediately after last coat of color. Consistency was excellent, neither thick nor thin; polish stayed on the brush until applied, and only went where I applied it. Application was smooth with no tip pull; this topcoat did self-level. I had bumped a thumb nail on the table and messed up the last coat of color polish – this topcoat smoothed the smudged polish over and after 10 minutes the smudge was no longer there. The scent was slightly sharper than most nail polishes, but not offensive.
After 10 minutes the topcoat was surface dry and the shine was glass-like, however the polish was easily dentable. After 20 minutes the polish feels thoroughly dry and hard to the touch, and is NOT easily dentable. After 30 minutes I had to press quite hard to create a dent. So far I am impressed!
Day 1 after mani: no chips, no tipwear, still a glass-like shine. Day 2 after mani: no chips, no tipwear, still a glass-like shine. Day 3 after mani: one teeny-tiny chip on one nail. No tipwear and the shine is still glassy!
I tested this a third time by using it as a refresher top coat on a two day old mani. I was prepared for my polish to peel off in sheets Seche Vite style. But it didn’t! It lasted throughout two days of normal showering, cleaning, and running errands with no chipping and a glossy shine. I am sold on this stuff!!
Comments: Tester 3
Polish is OPI We’ll Always Have Paris Suede. Dried in a few minutes, solid to touch! Great smell, super shiny, amazing application! Wear was great too, moderate tipwear, small chips to a couple of nails after 2 days.
Comments: Tester 4
Good application, smooth, good shine, soft for about 10 minutes after application. Slight tipwear on day 2, shine had dulled somewhat. Enough chips on day 3 to change.
Mani 2, smooth and shiny, quick to dry – ok for careful use at 10 minutes. Chips and big, uneven tipwear on full day 1.
Comments: Tester 5
Medium consistency but self-leveled, easy to apply, shiny, left hand was dry to touch by the time the right hand was done. All layers dry in about ½ an hour. No chipping or tip wear for about 4-5 days. Works well with old China Glaze, dries very fast to touch but not rock hard like top coat A. Shiny with no bubbles or shrinkage. This would be my number 3 with older Big 3 Free polishes.
Comments: Tester 6
Totally solid top coat. Definitely something I want to use again. No application problems whatsoever, very good shine (even on glitter) and a nice scent. Not lightening fast dry time but perfectly acceptable. Had a slight sticky stage. Behaved much like a stable non-quick dry top coat but faster.
Second test: Very fast dry time, but some serious cuticle drag this time around. Shine was exceptional and tipwear minimal.
Comments: Tester 7
Single coat used over 1 coat of Nails Inc St John’s Wood, worn for 5 full days. Lovely!! After the nightmare application of the last few I’ve tested this one was an absolute pleasure to use – lovely smooth application that evened out a less than perfect colour application on one of the fingers. The high shine dulled off on this one reasonably quickly – I’d say by the end of day 2 – which was disappointing, though it was still shiny enough to keep me happy. Some tip wear by day 3, and a couple of chips on the middle finger of my right hand by the end of day 4.
Further observations/comments from subsequent applications: Using skittle manis with 1 or 2 fingers on both hands this top coat was also tested over: OPI Do You Lilac It?; China Glaze Midnight Ride; Mavala Marine Blue. Second fastest dryer of top coats A, J, K, and L (A was fastest). Finally chipped (but still shiny) after 4 days wear over Victoria. Very minimal tip wear, and no chipping after 4 days over Marine Blue, still lovely and shiny too.
This one has a quite watery consistency (though not as thin as I), which I admit I am generally not a fan of, but this one does apply very nicely. It hasn’t thickened at all which impresses me greatly as the need to continually thin some topcoats can be very frustrating – especially if you are like me and only discover it needs thinning when you are ready to apply it to your wet nails lol!
Comments: Tester 8
Worn 5 full days. Single coat applied. Worn over a single coat of Nails Inc Kensington Court. Had been used only once before, and already needed thinning. Very happy with the dry speed, and the smell is quite inoffensive – the least noticeable of those tested to date (A, B, E, I, K and L). This polish also lasted extremely well.