This is my go-to top coat. It's unfortunately not as shiny as Seche Vite, but I can't stand the awful smell of SV or how it shrinks most of my polish on the nail. And for the $2 price tag, I'll gladly take this NYC top coat and keep stocking up on it. Like SV, it tends to get thick approximately halfway through the bottle, so keep nail polish thinner on hand. It dries pretty quickly—though it's prone to denting right away if you're not careful for the next 20 minutes or so—over most polishes and seems to last pretty well with minimal chipping in most cases. I generally change polish frequently.
I was waiting on my first-ever Zoya shipment and had heard Seche Vite (my go-to topcoat) works horribly with that brand, so I hunted around the boards and heard raves about Grand Central Station. I was like, "No, it can't be the $1.99 clear drugstore polish, can it?" Sure enough, my Zoyas came in today and I topped it with this stuff, and the dry time was as good as or better than SV!
Pros: Dries super-fast; dirt-cheap; available in every drugstore; doesn't reek too bad; no shrinkage; no toluene if you care about that
Cons: Not as self-leveling as SV; *slightly* streakier to apply; scuffs easily; not as shiny. Still pretty shiny, though. But the shine dulls quickly from the 2nd day on.
In conclusion, I might keep using SV as my go-to, but I'll hold onto GCS for use over my Zoyas or anything else that doesn't work well with SV. It's a very solid second choice.
Although I like NYC colors, i HATE this topcoat. It makes my polishes PEEL off completely or in pieces. As others say, its not as shiny as SV, but I have to use it until I get a new tc. I've heard some people used this as a base coat so I tried that...never again. I had a simple 2 coats of SH Silver elements and a rose pattern stamped and it peeled off within 2 hours. Sometimes I don't even realize when it peels off. Only good if you have nothing else!!
This is my new HG Top Coat. I've been using SV since I started with polish- probably around June. SV was great- glossy, pretty, had that lovely Toulene smell. But- I noticed shrinkage AND it started to get gloopy about with 75% left...
So I thinned it, kept using it. Then I decided I'd go out on a whim and get NYC GCS. It's only like $1.00 at Walmart, and so heck, why not?
This is awesome. It really prevents chipping, no shrinkage, and can't beat the price. Shiny (though admittedly not as shiny as SV) and for the price point, definitely more worth it than SV. I'd buy again in a heat beat. No more toulene for me!!
Grand Central Station is extremely "YMMV" (your mileage may vary). However, it's super-cheap and worth a shot, and for some people (like myself), GCS is an amazing quick-dry topcoat. It dries very quickly with no shrinkage, and it stays very shiny for 4 or so days (I haven't tested it for longer than that). Also, the polishes I've applied it over have only shown minimal tip-wear and chipped very slightly on the 3rd or 4rth day.
A great top coat at a great price. Definitely worth a try!
I'm not sure where all the bad reviews are coming from since this worked perfectly! I was using Seche Vite before and while I love it, I didn't like the price too much and I didn't like how fast it dried up (about half way through a bottle).
First off, it's not exactly like Seche Vite, which is much thicker. The formula for this top coat is thinner but not runny, and it dries impressively quickly. I think it might even dry faster than SV 'cause it's thinner. When I used GCS over a glitter coat, it smoothed out the bumps and ridges better than I expected, so I ended up with a strong, shiny top coat just like with SV. The only con I can find with this polish is that I don't think it is AS shiny / glass-like as SV, but for the super cheap price, I can't complain!
EDIT: This is a lot more prone to chipping that SV. I got about 3 days of wear out of it before I start losing a chip or two in my nail color, which isn't that surprising considering I work on a computer. Taking off a lippie for wear-time.
I can understand the hype around this top coat. It is excellent for as cheap as it is. My favorite top coat is Sally Hansen Insta Dri, but it costs a bit more money and always dries up half way through the bottle on me :/ So I only use that one on special occasions, GCS is now my everyday topcoat. It goes on smoothly and dries quickly. My manis last about 4 days (give or take a day). It isn't quite as shiny as the SH top coat, but still gives a nice shine to the nails. There is slight color transfer if I am not careful when applying it. And it does start to dry up toward the end of the bottle but I can live with that since it is so cheap. I have a bunch of bottles stashed away because I always want to have some on hand (no pun intended).
The really great thing about this top coat is that it's really cheap. It's a decent quick dry top coat, but it's not amazing or anything close to holy grail. Everytime I have used this topcoat, my manicure chips horribly within a day. I've been doing some experimenting and I believe it's definitely the topcoat. I mistakenly used it over a black label OPI once, which was a big mistake. I guess this must be a 3 free polish, or at least it doesn't work with old chemical-laden polishes because it gave my manicure a dull, rubbery finish. My manicure was still dentable (and had several dents and scrapes as proof) 24 hours after I did my nails. It's just not possible to have 1 topcoat for all your polishes, and while this is not a holy grail, it's worth keeping around since it's so cheap and works when you're pressed for time.
This is my absolute favorite top coat. It dries to the touch within less than 5 minutes, and is completely hard with maybe another 15 minutes. It gives my nail polish a nice gloss and perfects all my nail art. I'm now wearing a 5 day old manicure with this top coat and it is perfect with zero chips. The biggest complaint is that this top coat thickens quickly. That is true. However a couple drops (or more) of polish thinner revives it back to its original consistency and you just can't go wrong with the great $2 price. It is definitely worth a try.
This is by far my favorite top coat and I have tried almost all of them. It dries my polish within a couple of minutes. Before trying this, I used Seche Vite and liked it but then I tried this one and felt it worked even quicker. I don't keep any one polish color on too long to be able to really comment on the longevity of avoiding chips, but what I was looking for was it to dry my polish quickly and it is the best at that. It does get a little thick, but not half as much as Seche Vite and I just add thinner and I'm set.