Glisten & Glow H K Girl Fast Drying & Super Shiny Clear Top Coat

Glisten & Glow HK Girl Top Coat coverBefore I start this post I want to preface it with a couple of things. My preference when it comes to top coats has been well documented on this blog. I like thinner top coats. The drying time aspect of a top coat is not something I consider all that important. I also like my top coats to be at least 3 free. Every single day of my life I have a top coat on so it’s important to me that I’m not wearing unnecessary, potential harmful chemicals on my nails. I just wanted to lay that all out there before I give this top coat a less than good review.

Katie actually surprised me by sending me this top coat. I’d never heard of Glisten & Glow so I immediately went to Google to find out some info. The Glisten & Glow H K Girl Fast Dry & Super Shiny Clear Top Coat (what a mouthful!) has many fans. It seems to almost have a cult following. People love this top coat so I was optimistic that I would too like this top coat.

Unfortunately things just didn’t work out.

The first time I used this I immediately noticed the horrible smell. This top coat has a very strong chemical smell that kind of burns when you breathe it in. To say the least it wasn’t pleasant. I immediately looked at the ingredients and found H K Girl is only 2 free. This top coat contains dibutyl phthalate (DBP). DBP is banned in Europe and all major nail polish brands removed DBP from their polishes starting in 2006. Dibutyl phthalate really just isn’t a good ingredient. I don’t feel comfortable having it on my nails and I don’t feel comfortable unnecessarily putting DBP into the environment. If you’re interested in the negative effect of DBP click here to read the Wikipedia article.

Beyond the ingredient issue there are other reasons I didn’t like this top coat. It is super thick. Unless I’m using a glitter I have no interest in using a thick top coat. It’s unnecessary. Because this top coat is so thick I did have issues with it bubbling. And nothing ruins a new mani quite like a top coat that bubbles! I also found this top coat actually decreased the wear time of my polishes. It chipped very quickly.

There are some positive things about this top coat. It does dry very quickly. And it is good to use over glitter as it really smooths it out. The finish is also super shiny (as the name implies!). However, none of these positives outweigh the negatives for me.

I know this was a pretty negative review but as I told Katie, I have not been so off put by a nail product in a very long time.

Some top coats I really like include Essie Good to Go!, Rush 60 Seconds and inm Out The Door.



  1. I have to agree with you there. I had bought a bottle of it a couple of months ago, thinking it would be like SV without all the crap that comes with it, but alas. It loved to shrink my polish no matter how dry or wet my polish was, on top of all the things you mentioned. :/

    I’ll just stick with my SH Insta-dri.

  2. I have also had great results from Essie Good to Go. Revlon also makes a great quick dry top coat that is exactly like SV, minus the formaldehyde. Personally, I’m even more concerned about the toxicity level of base-coats, since they are right up against the nail and probably even enter the bloodstream. My favorite base coat by far is RBL’s… it’s 5 free!… expensive, but SO worth it… makes nails smooth as glass.

  3. Just got a bottle but haven’t tried it. Ordered it because I read it was great for nail art — it doesn’t cause smearing. Never opened it so didn’t know about the smell. I use Butter London’s base coat but I have no idea if it’s 3-4-5 free. Definitely need to check that. BTW, I appreciate the negative/ honest review. One particular blog hardly -ever- has anything bad to say about anything. (Her swatches and comparisons are really amazing.) I read beauty blogs to avoid bad products and find useful ones. And also to find really cool nail polish! So thanks!

What do you think?