DIY Gel Topcoat


I am addicted to nail polish.

There, I said it.

I spend too much time and too much money on new colors, tools, and the latest, greatest fad, the gel/shellac manicure. I remember the first time I got one. My oh my, was it pretty. Like glistening raspberries on each of my fingers. Smooth as silk but hard as a rock.

I also remember the price. After which I felt like I had been HIT by a rock. In the wallet. It was $45.00 for my gel manicure. My first thought was to invest in one of the home kits. That was almost worse. A quality starter set was nearly twice that.

That wouldn’t do, so I turned to my dear friend Pinterest. Surely someone had an answer. And by “someone” I mean dozens upon dozens of bloggers and pinners who swore by this two step trick.

I tried it this week, and I’m going to share my thoughts with you.


All you need is two little bottles from our friend Sally Hansen. The Hard as Wraps and the No Chip Acrylic Topcoat. This purchase will set you back a mere $9.58.

As I do before painting my nails with anything, I scrubbed them with a sugar scrub and wiped each nail with acetone to make sure they were clean.

I did two layers of color and let them dry. Next, I applied one smooth coat of the No Chip and let them sit. I waited about five minutes and applied the Hard as Wraps.

The result? Take a look.


They were very shiny, which was lovely. They didn’t have the same strength that a salon gel manicure would give – I could press an indentation into the nail – but they were certainly harder than the average topcoat.

My gel manicures at the salon normally last for ten days to about two weeks, depending on how rough I am with them.


This was ten days after I tried the topcoat. I managed to bang my thumb at work in a rush to finish typing an emergency pleading, and it pushed the polish back.

Other than that, I was fairly impressed. The tips of my nails were still coated, and I could see around my cuticle where the nail had grown. It also held up extremely well to nail polish remover – the basic stuff was not good enough. I had to use acetone to remove it completely.

As good as a salon job? Not quite. Great for every day use? Absolutely. A heck of a money saver? You better believe it. You get about 35 coats from the average bottle of nail polish so this will cost you about TWENTY SEVEN CENTS per manicure or a NINTY NINE PERCENT SAVINGS.

$0.27 vs. $45.00? That’s a no brainer.

One thought on “DIY Gel Topcoat

  1. Pingback: Christmas Decorations : Manicure Monday | The happy idiot

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