How Often Should You Replace Your Bottle Of Top Coat?

While you might update your nail color every week, splurging on cheap drug store buys or hitting the department store counters, how often do you replace your bottle of top coat? How often should you replace your bottle of top coat? We got the low down from the experts.

Not only is top coat traditionally a slightly thicker consistency compared to regular polish, but it is also a different mix of resin compared to a base coat or lacquer so that it offers high gloss, and aids in drying your nails. And while you might use a different color every week, you use the same top coat every week. Top coat is a non-negotiable if you want to maintain your manicure. But how often should you be replacing it?

According to Naja Rickette, celebrity manicurist, that depends on how often you use it. Rickette says “The action of opening and closing the bottle and pushing the brush in and out puts air into the bottle and over time it tends to get quite thick. Thick is okay, but when it is goopy and not polishing in a smooth way it’s time to replace it.” Karon McKendrick-Taylor, Educator and Stylist for OPI Australia, adds that the recommended shelf life for all OPI top coats is 24 months, but if you use it weekly, you may need to add a lacquer thinner to get the most out of it as the months wear on. She adds that you should never use polish remover or acetone to thin it out, as they will dissolve the resin therefore negating the use of a top coat.

Both experts add that the color of the top coat will be a good indication of when it is time to trash. McKendrick-Taylor advises that when your bottle has picked up color like pink or grey, that might be time to say goodbye. It’s ok to pick up a little color, but not too much should be coming off. Rickette adds that we should be like a pro and have two separate top coats – one for nude colors and one for bright/dark colors and nail art. There is nothing worse than putting a top coat tinged with red over your french or nude polish and then the top coat streaks up red!

When it boils down to it, how long your top coat lasts depends on how often you use it, but if you paint regularly then it needs to be replaced regularly. McKendrick-Taylor finishes by saying that it is rare that you use the product all the way to the bottom as it will become more difficult and time consuming to get it out. Most nail technicians tend to disregard the last 1/3 of a bottle. If it’s good enough for them, that’s what we will do too.

Is it time to update your top coat? CLICK Read More TO SHOP THE STORY


Elise Wright

Elise is a social media strategist from Sydney, now living in NYC, who has a long standing love affair with the beauty industry- especially the nail industry!

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