I am a huge Sephora addict for all things beauty and was super interested in their own line of polishes when I saw them on their sites at the beginning of the year. Tons of colors and everything to choose from and this top coat had amazing reviews. I don't know why it was on their site for soo long and only just launched in some local Sephora's in my area. what's weird as well is they used to be black caps for the entire line and were switched to all white now among all the reviews etc being taken off their sites and products made to look like they just launched now and had not been on the site all year, so weird lol. Anyways grabbed this top coat and wow have never tried such crap. I wouldn't have paid $1 for the low quality it offers. I have yet to ever find anything that is as good as Seche Vite for that smooth thick gel like, hard as rock, wears like iron, ridiculously shiny effect. Never bubbles etc but I do get tip shrinkage with Seche so always on the lookout for top coats that are comparable. This X version from the beginning is so thick and goopy beyond belief as if I had it lying around for 6months. YOu can barely even pull it out of the dam bottle without the spider web like strings pulling from it. Spreading it was another nightmare no matter how little or much I applied I could not get it to spread smoothly across my nail without dragging and leaving a million bubbles behind. If al that weren't bad enough after 5 minutes and my nail polish having been completely dry prior to applying it made all my nails dent and smudge. Huge fail with this one and hope all the gorgeous colors etc in the line are much better quality!
This is a new Sephora brand top coat. Initially I resisted buying b/c it costs $10, but ultimately I gave in to its claim of gel-like shine, durability & hardness - all of which I crave & all of which are accurate.
For the high price I would want the bottle to offer 1/2 oz of product, but it only has 1/3 oz. However I still like it enough (so far) to repurchase. I didn't try any of the other products in the X line, so I'm using this top coat w/the various base coats & colors I already have at home.
IMO this is similar to Seche Vite (which for me is a love/hate product), but Sephora is better. Same: viscous thick texture that applies smoothly & easily, acrylic-like high-gloss shine, durable hardness. Different: Sephora does NOT shrink polish (hallelujah!), or dry as fast (although still fast-dry), or thicken & gum up quickly after the bottle has been opened. It also does not self-level as beautifully as Seche does, so smoothing out a bumpy manicure may not be perfect. I've also had a couple of instances of a random bubble on my nails here & there, so I would recommend: don't apply hurriedly & don't shake the bottle.
I'm a gel manicure virgin but this top coat makes my self-done ordinary polish manicure look like a professional salon gel manicure. I can't get over the nonstop shine! Generally I change manicures twice a wk, so IDK if this top coat can last up to 2 wks like a gel manicure (neither would I try to hold out that long). But I have worn it for 1 wk, cut my nails short & filed them w/polish still on, soaked in water repeatedly, & the manicure has not deteriorated at all - it remained fresh like a good 2-wk gel manicure would.
Packaging: Adequately generous brush that fans out well & applies product evenly. Square bottle, stout square cap (which I hate) - a bulky, stubby cap gets in my way as I polish. The cap is about as big as the bottle, but luckily the formula isn't a pill to apply. This is now my 2nd favorite top coat (my #1 is Invincible II).
EDIT 8/28/13 -
After discovering Dior Gel Coat ($24 price makes me cry but it's worth it), I abandoned Nails Inc Gel Effects. Nails Inc began to bubble very soon. I can't tolerate bubbles. Dior Gel Coat thickens & chunks up eventually but can be thinned out, & doesn't ever bubble upon conscientious application. I dropped my Nails Inc rating down from 4 to 3 - it's not a bad product, but nothing beats Dior Gel Coat (so far).