A Topcoat (That Works!) For Nail Foils

I love nail foils. They're fun and easy and can be really eye catching. The only problem is that they are delicate and not many topcoats work with them. Actually, it's rare to find a topcoat that works with them so I wear them without one and get maybe a few hours wear before my manicure is destroyed. I found a solution that has been working for me - water based glossy clear varnish. 

This one to be exact. You can find this brand online here or on Amazon here but there are a few other brands that make a water based varnish. I went with this brand because it is non-toxic and US made. Please, please, please make sure that it is water based and that it is glossy. No need for matte here. I bought mine at a craft shop for about $7 and the bottle is huge. It's easily removed with acetone and if you get any on your skin it will wash off with soap and water. 


I filled an empty polish bottle about 70% full and added water to thin it a bit more. It's already thin but I wanted it a little bit thinner. Here is a bottle shot. I would say a 4 to 1 ratio of varnish and water is what I used. Use water to thin and only water. 


Here is Silver Crush over a silver foil polish. The little rough spots that you see are spots that I missed when smoothing the foil. I always miss spots so I make sure to match my base with the foil so it's not obvious in reality. I applied one thin coat of varnish and let it dry. It dries to the touch in about 10 minutes and it is completely dry (for me) in 20 minutes. When it is completely dry you can apply regular topcoat. It needs to be completely dry before applying normal topcoat. I have worn foils without adding topcoat over the varnish and have gotten great wear so I think the regular topcoat is optional. 

These photos were taken after wearing this for a day and a half. 




Here is what it looks like when I use topcoat without the varnish. Yuck! 


Here is a close up of the same foil with a coat of varnish over it. Shiny and really smooth! 


If you use acrylic paints for nail art this may be something to check out to preserve your creations without smearing. This also works for really adhering stones on the nail and keeping them from catching on things. The best one? It works extremely well at smoothing glitters that eat topcoat! Woo! It's really, really handy to have around! 

I hope you found this helpful! 

14 comments

Heather Marie McKeon October 1, 2015 at 12:51 AM
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Heather Marie McKeon October 1, 2015 at 12:52 AM
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Miss Miller October 8, 2015 at 3:39 AM

Cool Nice To Know Thanks

Nailguy November 11, 2015 at 10:22 AM

Very nice! Thanks for the assistance!

7worship7 January 18, 2016 at 9:32 PM

Thank You for the time that you spent in informing use and the pictures of your results :)

Christine Jones May 14, 2016 at 8:50 AM

Wow! Brilliant advice, Thank You!

Christine Jones May 14, 2016 at 8:50 AM

Wow! Brilliant advice, Thank You!

Kimberly Dawn July 3, 2016 at 3:54 AM

Oh, I'm so hopeful!!!

Kimberly Dawn July 3, 2016 at 4:04 AM

Can't find it anywhere online. Wanna sell me some of yours??

Frances Gonzalez March 3, 2017 at 9:20 AM

This is safe to use on your nails?

Heather Welberry March 14, 2017 at 3:09 PM

EBay and Amazon have this right now and thank you so so much for this excellent tip. I was racking my brain for a top coat that could do all of these things that this does and it's so safe and easy to use that it should be part of any nail foil,glitter,or painting enthusiasts must have supplies. Thanks again. Oh, and also Hobbie lobbie and Michael's both have it too as well as other brands of water based varnish that might work. FYI.

Heather Welberry March 14, 2017 at 3:11 PM

Yes. It's water based and non toxic. While I wouldn't easy it or luck it right off your fingers it's less harmful and has fewer chemicals in it than the average nail polishes,top coats, and removers so you're already better off using this.

Heather Welberry March 14, 2017 at 3:13 PM

That should say while I wouldn't EAT it or LICK it right off your fingers....auto spell really gets you sometimes. Lol.

Heather Welberry March 14, 2017 at 3:16 PM

EBay and Amazon have this right now and thank you so so much for this excellent tip. I was racking my brain for a top coat that could do all of these things that this does and it's so safe and easy to use that it should be part of any nail foil,glitter,or painting enthusiasts must have supplies. Thanks again. Oh, and also Hobbie lobbie and Michael's both have it too as well as other brands of water based varnish that might work. FYI.

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