Let me start off by saying that if you like this top coat, leave this page. Seriously, I have a feeling I'm gonna get yelled at for what I'm going to say about this top coat. If you like it and it works for you, I'm very happy for you but you're not going to want to read this if you're a devoted Cultie. I'm being completely honest in this review. I wasn't sent this for review or anything like that, this was purchased. Not that anyone's gonna think I got paid for this, considering. Anyway, just be warned that this is a brutally honest review and I'm not going to hold anything back. Okay? Okay.
I know I said I would wait until I was halfway done to do my review but I just tried it again hoping it would get better and this is the last straw. Kind of like the straw that broke the camel's back. Only nail polish. The coat that chipped the polish? I don't know, I'll have to think of something. Where do I even begin?
Let's start with the physical bottle, I guess. The brush itself is pretty good. It doesn't reach the bottom of the bottle but most brushes don't. The handle is rather annoying. It's round and the same width as the rest of the bottle, so it's kind of awkward to hold, especially since we're used to thinner handles that fit into our hands better. Now, admittedly, I have small hands so maybe this won't be a problem for people with larger hands but for me, it was uncomfortable. The bottle design is pretty. The fact that it's one same shape throughout is aesthetically pleasing, although not ideal, as mentioned above. It looks nice. It really does. The cute logo on the front is nice, too. Not the bland type of font that's found on OPI bottles but not the weird, elementary school board font found on Finger Paints. Again, it's aesthetically pleasing.
Now to talk about what's inside the bottle...the top coat itself seemed promising. Everyone raved about it, how it's the holy grail of top coats. I gave into said hype and that's why I got a bottle. Well, asked for one for Christmas. The first time I used it, it was great. Not as fast or as shiny as Seche Vite, but still fast and shiny.
Now, I didn't want to compare it to Seche Vite because I didn't think it was fair: Cult Nails is a much smaller brand than Seche. Seche has been around longer (I think, correct me if I'm wrong) and as a company, it's much bigger than Cult Nails. I am going to compare them, however, because a) it's something most of us have tried so it's a good reference point, and b) they're both marketed as quick drying top coats so it's not like I'm comparing apples to oranges. Therefore, I will compare the two at times.
Anyway, back on topic. The next time I used it, it was goopier. It left drag marks on my nail polish and everything. I chalked it up to user error and gave it a try next time I did my nails. That time, it smudged my nail art. Now, I'm a bit more of a perfectionist than most so I took it off even though the smudges were small, but I think it would've bothered anyone. After that I decided not to use it on nail art, just plain manicures. I used it next over a red...because it was goopy and smeared before, I let my nail polish dry before using it. And I don't mean dry as in "Oh, it's been five minutes since the last coat so it has to be dry by now" I mean dry as in I could tap my nail with the free edge of another nail and not get a dent. I put this top coat on and it picked up the polish! I was furious.
Now that I look at my bottle, I see that it is cloudy. Not super cloudy, but cloudy enough that it bothers me. I've used maybe 1/4 of the bottle and it's already giving me all of these problems... I'm not sure if maybe I just got a bad bottle or something? I don't know, but I don't see why people rave about it at all. Seche gets a bad rap for shrinking, which this does too after it gets goopy.
Let's compare: Seche doesn't pick up color, this does. Seche dries really fast, this dries slower. Seche is super shiny, this is a bit more dull. Seche can be used on wet polish, this can't or else it'll pick up the color or never dry. Seche doesn't smear nail art, this does... Also, when Seche starts to shrink, I know that thinning it will make it all better. This top coat does have one thing going for it, in my book: for the first few times I used it, it made my polish last longer than it would have with Seche. The times after that, the top coat got me so mad that I took off my polish.
Now, I'm not knocking the brand at all. Cult Nails has some awesome nail polishes. And I love the fact that Maria was a nail blogger and made her own brand and it's successful. I love the back story and the colors. It's just that this top coat does not do it for me. Will I buy the top coat again? Absolutely not. In fact, I've decided that I'm only going to use it for pedicures in the winter. Will I buy their nail polish? Absolutely. Again, I'm not knocking all Cult Nails products, their top coat just does not work for me. And that's okay, what works for some people will not work for others. I understand that.
Now, if you want to try this top coat for yourself, the website is www.cultnails.com. I'd love to know how this top coat worked for you guys. Is it just that I got a bad bottle? Again, this may work for you. I'm just sharing my experiences with the top coat. Let me know what yours are!
As always, thanks for reading!