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Where would we be without our mani-protecting top coat? Highly underrated but fully responsible for that glass-like finish we love, top coats make all the difference between a great manicure and a sub-par one. Whether you paint your own nails or get them done like clockwork every week, these three top coats will keep them in tip-top shape for the long haul.

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Editors’ Pick: Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat High Shine

The Facts:

  • Penetrates all the way down to the nail bed
  • Bonds to your nail to prevent chips and scratches
  • High-gloss, non-yellowing finish

We spend a lot of time perfecting our polish game, so we can’t let it get messed up by a clumpy or runny top coat. One PureWow editor swears by this formula for its thick gel-like finish. “I thought my nails would only ever look flawless fresh out of the salon, but this top coat changes everything. It adds a thick shiny shield on top of nails to make them look professionally done (even if I haphazardly painted them while watching reruns of ‘New Girl’).”

Buy It ($7)

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Best Value: Sally Hansen Dries Instantly Top Coat

The Facts:

  • Quick-drying top coat that resists smudging and chipping
  • UV absorbers help protect against fading and discoloration
  • One coat does the trick

Quick drying. Fade proof. Scratch and smudge resistant. Coupled with the fact that this polish lends a glass-like shine and is only four dollars, we’re ready to buy one for our home, office and car (hey, you never know when you need to re-up the shine).

Buy It ($4)

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Splurge-Worthy: OPI Nail Lacquer Top Coat

The Facts:

  • Seals in the color to prevent scratches and chipping
  • Provides up to seven days of wear
  • Non-yellowing formula

Sure this bottle of top coat costs as much as a regular mani, but just think of all the DIY paint jobs it will shine to perfection. OPI is one of our favorite nail polish brands, if not for the names alone, and this top coat is no exception. It’s used in salons for its super shiny, long wear finish that won’t scratch or chip for a whole week.

Buy It ($11)

RELATED: The 6 Best Nail Polishes for At-Home Manicures

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