Home manicures are usually a fruitless labor when you work in retail, like me. My job requires constant change-grabbing, store-tidying and product-straightening, all of which lead to unfortunately chipped nails fairly quickly. For a while I gave up on ever having pretty nails, so I cut them short and they remained sadly stripped of color. I'd tried every topcoat under the sun, and none of them passed the retail test. But a few months ago I came across a product that changed my manicure life.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat, 0.45 Fluid Ounce, $5.28 from Amazon

Unsurprisingly, my salvation came from the drugstore queen of nails: Sally Hansen. I'd tried some of her other anti-chip topcoats and wasn't impressed, but I passed over this bright red bottle (my first mistake) thinking that "Insta-Dri" meant "rushed, easily-messed up results." Thankfully, my roommate had a bottle of this that I grabbed on a day when a quick nail dry was necessary. Topcoat-wise, I've never looked back.

Insta-Dri does work quickly, but that's not why I love it. Frankly, I'm confused as to why Sally Hansen doesn't market this as an amazing anti-chip topcoat first and foremost. I've had nails go an entire week without getting messed up, and when they do chip, this makes the polish come off in one big chunk. That may sound bad, but it's so much easier to re-paint an entire nail in one swoop, rather than meticulously touching up the tips (which also usually winds up looking uneven). Insta-Dri also dries very nicely, smoothing out the polish and resulting in a professional-looking shine. While I don't know anything fancy about DIY manicures, using this makes me feel like a pro!

What are your favorite nail products?

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