REVIEW: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti Chip Top Coat

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti Chip Top Coat

Waiting for nails to dry is so boring. Like a lot of people, I try to do my nails late at night when things are slower and there’s less chance of smudging them, but it never quite works out that way.

Just when they’re all polished and top-coated, I do something daft, like reach over for the mobile, or brush my hand against something, and I ALWAYS smudge at least one nail and have to re-do it from scratch.

My idea is to do them at least 40 minutes before I go to sleep to make sure they’re set (although I read somewhere that it takes 24 hours for nails to truly harden), and then try to sleep with my hands over the duvet. However, I usually wake up in the morning and find those tell-tale ‘sheet creases’ across my nails.

I’ve tried the spray on instant dry formulas, but they’re not that great and I think they’re really wasteful. I bought Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti Chip Top Coat mainly because I’ve grown up with the brand and out of habit, I just threw it into the basket.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat dries any nail colour in 30 seconds! – More like 5-10 minutes actually.

If you have wet nails and no time to spare then use Insta-Dri and you’ll get long-lasting shine, chip resistance and a great manicure that dries fast and lasts.


  • Exclusive acrylic polymer complex dries any nail colour in 30 seconds
  • Nail colour stays true thanks to UV filters, which prevent fading, yellowing & discoloration caused by sunlight
  • Superior shine.


After applying nail colour, wait two minutes then apply one coat of Insta-Dri. Manicure will be dry to the touch in 30 seconds.


I love this product, I’ve been able to do my nails and go to bed 10 minutes later and know that when I wake up, my nails will be perfect and crease free.

There are a few application rules to bear in mind though, to get the best out of this instant drying top coat.

The first, is that it’s more like 2 minutes for nails to be touch dry – I know this because I touched my nails after 30 seconds and left a thumb print on them.

Also, it’s best to give them 10 minutes before they’re completely dent proof. Again, I tested this by pressing my nail into the polish, it left a mark after 5 minutes, but not after 10.

Something else to bear in mind, (I know there seems to be a lot of rules, but trust me, it is worth it), use only thin coats of nail polish, and a thin one of Insta-Dri, thicker layers will still be soft after 20 minutes.


After 10 minutes, you are truly good to go and you can feel confident that nothing will dent or stick to your nails.

Not only do nails have a high shine finish (much glossier than my horribly expensive airport buy, Chanel Extreme Shine Nail Laquer), but the nail colour, as the blurb says, stays true. I find that some top coats dial down nail colour, but Insta-Dri doesn’t alter the shade at all and it stays vibrant.

Some of the reviews on the Boots website claim that nails starts to chip after 3 or 4 days. I’ve haven’t experienced that problem, but I do apply a little to the top edges of nails to seal them, so I think this helps with any potential chipping problem. They also warn that if the coat is too thick, it can peel, so stick to one thin coat, it’s all you need.

There are also a few gripes saying that it goes gloopy in the bottle after a while. I’ve found this to be true with a lot of base coats, top coats and varnishes, although less so with Nails Inc and Chanel polishes.

Case in point, I found this beautiful, shimmery liquid gold, Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in 107 Angora, in a box in the attic. It’s at least 10 years old, (now discontinued of course), but luckily, it was stored upright. It’s perfect and applies as if I bought it yesterday – quality lasts!
Chanel Le Vernis 107 Angora,

Notwithstanding all the little niggles, if you can wait a mere 10 minutes, then Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti Chip Top Coat will save you precious time – and money from all those re-touches!

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti Chip Top Coat £5.99 Boots

I read that someone found it on sale in Poundland, which would be an amazing find!
*plans trip*

Leave a Reply