I’ve professed my love for NYC Quick Dry Nail Polishes many times on my blog. I’ve purchased just about every color NYC’s ever come out with — both the limited edition colors and the permanent core collection colors — because I adore them so much. I love the formula, the brush, and the price. If you asked me what my favorite nail polish brand is I would say NYC Quick Dry, hands down. Not Revlon, Essie, OPI, or China Glaze. It’s New York Color. So you’d probably be surprised to learn that I never tried Grand Central Station until recently.
Ladies and gents, I’ve found my holy grail top coat!
Rewind to late August. I was a third of the way through my third bottle of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat and, like clockwork, this particular bottle was starting to get really syrupy and thick. Not only that, I was running low on nail polish thinner.
I have a love/hate relationship with Seche Vite. I love the shine it provides, how quickly it dries, and that it keeps my manicure looking great for a week. However, I detest how quickly it becomes thick in the bottle. Another thing I hate about it is it tends to cause major shrinkage when worn in conjunction with any other nail polish. What I mean by that is I usually paint my nails from cuticle to tip but when I paint Seche Vite over any nail polish color it shrinks the nail polish underneath so that my natural nails are exposed at the tips, cuticles and sides. Seche Vite is also the only reason I own nail polish thinner; I’ve never had thickening issues with any of my other nail polishes, and some of those I’ve owned for years.
My frustration with Seche Vite was at an all time high, and I was for damn sure not going to pay for another bottle of nail polish thinner. Seche Vite isn’t cheap either. Depending on where you buy it, I’ve seen it priced anywhere from $5 to $10 per bottle (5 fl. oz. / 14 ml). And when you factor in the cost of nail polish thinner, which is almost mandatory if you buy Seche Vite, it adds up to quite a chunk of money.
I was on the hunt for a new, fabulous, fast dry top coat that would work well and stay fresh without the help of a nail polish thinner. I had almost settled on getting either the Poshe or Sally Hansen Insta Dri when I came across a message board comment about NYC’s Grand Central Station and how amazing it is as a top coat. This was a revelation and kind of a “duh, why didn’t I think of that?” moment for me. You see, Grand Central Station isn’t marketed as a top coat, and since I had never been in the market for a regular clear polish I had never given it a second glance. However, Grand Central Station belongs to NYC’s Quick Dry line which obviously means it’s a fast drying polish, and I was already familiar with both the formula and brush so I kind of mentally slapped myself for not trying Grand Central Station as a top coat sooner.
Well, let me tell you, it was love at first brush stroke.
Grand Central Station dries to the touch in under 3 minutes and, best of all, no shrinkage! It’s worked over every nail color I’ve tried from Essie, Zoya, RGB, and Orly to cheapie polishes like wet n wild and Sinful Colors, and it performs equally well on both cremes and shimmers. Grand Central Station provides a super glossy shine and is very chip resistant. One thing I’ve noticed whenever I use Seche Vite is that my manicure looks shiny the first couple of days but on the third or fourth day it starts mattifying and looking a little dull. Also, exactly a week into wear with Seche Vite, the edges begin to pull back and peel. Not so with Grand Central Station! A full week into a manicure, my nail colors with Grand Central Station on top still look as fresh and glossy as they did on Day 1; no chips or tip wear are apparent. I’ve had my bottle of Grand Central Station for a little over two months now and it hasn’t gotten thicker either! And since Grand Central Station is part of the NYC Quick Dry line, it has that lovely, flat and wide brush that makes painting nails a cinch. Even if Grand Central Station didn’t cost $1.99 I would still be impressed.
For those wondering, Grand Central Station is big 3 free (contains no Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde, Toluene). I know many people avoid buying nail products that contain those ingredients, so you’ll feel safer knowing that none of those chemicals are in this polish.
Grand Central Station can be found at most drugstores wherever NYC products are sold. A bottle contains 0.33 fl. oz / 9.7 ml and retails for $1.99. I purchased mine from CVS for $0.99 when the red scanner box was spitting out $1 off NYC coupons.
Note: Grand Central Station is a clear polish that’s part of the $1.99 Quick Dry line and it comes in a tapered bottle. NYC also has a clear top coat in their regular 99 cent nail polish line that comes in a cylindrical bottle. I’ve used the top coat from the regular line and I would not recommend it; it cracked and chipped like crazy! Remember: the tapered bottle is the one you want.