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Serious staying power: Sephora's Formula X top coat

Formula X top coat
Formula X top coat

I’m a writer, so my fingers are constantly on the move, typing quickly and frequently. Too often, this meant my nails looked chipped and ragged. But thanks to Sephora’s amazing Formula X top coat, my nails can go a week or longer without looking beaten up—no matter how much I write.

Seriously, I never thought I’d be devoting an entire article to a top coat—a layer of nail polish that you can’t even see on my nails. But trust me, this stuff makes the difference between my nails looking awesome or icky by the end of the week. Like most top coats, it’s clear. But it’s also clearly more potent than other top coats. I’ve tried top coats by top nail polish brands (OPI, Essie, etc.), and none of them have been able to protect my nails from wear and tear as much as Sephora’s Formula X top coat does.

The Formula X top coat goes on smoothly and dries quickly. It doesn’t seem to be any more or less effective whether you use it atop a Formula X nail polish or some other brand of nail polish. I’ve even tried it over colors that used to chip much more frequently (when I was using less effective top coats), and I’ve noticed improvement in how long the polish looks good on my nails. On two different occasions when using this top coat, I even got away with keeping nail polish on my fingernails for a week and a half—and that was with using the top coat over drugstore brands of polish that typically don’t last that long without chipping.

The Formula X top coat is just $10.50 at your local Sephora or—a small price to pay for having your nails look nice for longer. If you’re new to the Formula X line (which is really quite fabulous), you can also purchase the top coat as part of the Formula X System. This 4-pack of nail products includes a nail cleanser (interesting, but I don’t find it totally necessary), a base coat (which I also love), the top coat, and a nail polish of your choice (and there are SO many fun colors, including classic colors, glitters, shifters, and more). The system is $32—a pretty good bargain for this set, since buying these products individually would run you over $40.