Hi, everyone! Today I have a review of the Glisten & Glow HK Girl top coat. If you read other nail blogs at all, you know that this is a very heavily used and loved top coat by many bloggers, so I was definitely intrigued when I was given the opportunity to review it.
Although to be honest, I was a little hesitant at first. Why? Well, I’m not generally one to be fear-mongering or to talk about ~*~*~*cHeMiCaLz*~*~*~ all the time (so many things can supposedly kill us nowadays that it’s hard to really know what’s worrying and what probably isn’t) but phthalates/DBP I’ve always kind of tried to avoid if I could. This top coat is not 3-free and does include DBP. Likely because of this, it does have a bit of a strong chemical scent, a bit stronger than Seche but not unbearable.
I did a little bit of further research on it and have decided that I am comfortable with using it occasionally. This post was really helpful- if you’re pregnant, trying to get pregnant or have endocrine problems to begin with, I’d probably avoid this top coat and any other product with DBP. But for others, I don’t think it’s really a problem, just don’t drink it.
A lot of bloggers swear by this top coat- the claims are usually it dries faster than Seche Vite, is shinier and chips less with no shrinkage. I decided to test out as many of the claims that Glisten & Glow make on their website as possible. I tested the product out over a week and multiple finishes/types/brands of polish. How’d it hold up? Let’s take a look! Glisten & Glow claims will be in bold with my experience below them.
• Intense shine – crystal clear formula that applies smoothly, leaving a glass like appearance
It definitely leaves a shiny appearance, but not noticeably more so than Out The Door
or Seche Vite. I decided to test them out together on the same manicure to be able to compare them- Anne Kathleen Ailis which is a jelly that dries just a bit matte without top coat. As you can see here, it definitely gives a glassy, shiny appearance- but so do the other two.
• Fast drying – approx 1-2 minutes often less and your nails will be dry, as time passes it will dry more within 5 minutes or so it’s rock hard!
I decided to test this on the same mani above. After a few minutes, I lightly touched my finger to the top of each finger- no visible prints with any of the top coats, which was good. After five minutes, I decided to try the rock hard claim and found that it was not so much. All four nails smudged easily when I lightly pressed on them. I will say that the pinkie took a little more pressure to smudge but the index didn’t, so I wouldn’t necessarily say that it dries any harder than the other two.
• Durable, long lasting nature – customers boast that manicures last 5-7 days with little to no tip wear or chips.
I’m fairly hard on my nails, I wash dishes, cook, work a job with lots of filing and banging my nails into stuff. I wore the stamping & holo mani below starting on a friday night. I got a small corner chip on my right thumb on Saturday. Sunday I was pretty hard on my nails and did not get any additional chips, a tiny bit of tipwear but not even really noticeable. Monday morning I got my second chip on the thumbnail and my first on my middle finger of my right hand. Later that night I got my first chip on my left hand on the side of my thumb. Tues I got another very small chip. So, when I removed it 5 days later on Wednesday night (as a polishaholic I *had* to change my mani by then!) it had worn fairly chip-free which is a lot better wear than I usually get- so on this claim, I was definitely impressed!
• Holographic polishes love it! – Holos will not dull, in fact they are even intensified
It absolutely did not dull the holo effect (polish shown is ILNP Molly) but I wouldn’t say it intensified it either.
|Holo polish with no top coat|
|Holo polish topped with Glisten & Glow HK Girl|
• Smoothes and seals glitter polishes – 1-2 coats and glitters are tamed/smooth and without jagged edges sticking up.
I forgot to take photos of this, but it’s somewhat true. I didn’t see a huge difference between top coats (seche vite & otd) at one coat, but at two coats it covered them pretty well. OTD performed the poorest at this task while HK Girl & Seche Vite were pretty similar. For really chunky glitter I would probably still use a coat of Gelous under the fast-drying topcoat- that smooths things out the best for me.
• Adds extra shine to all nail lacquer – it can make a matte polish or a textured polish shiny. Cremes, jellies, crellies, shimmers, metallics etc are all left with that glossy glass like shine
Definitely adds shine, see above!
• No Shrinkage! – G & G HK Girl top coat doesn’t cause any shrinkage
I did not experience any shrinkage while using HK Girl which is awesome! I switched to using Out The Door more instead of Seche Vite recently because I got a ton of shrinkage with Seche.
• Can be used with nail lacquer that is tacky or dry
Seems to be true!
• Even consistency throughout the whole bottle – no extra thickness or gloppyness
It will take me awhile to get through the entire bottle to know if this is true or not- but from what I’ve heard from others, it’s true! Out the Door also does not get thick or gloopy when you get through most of the bottle, but Seche Vite definitely does.
• Nail Art/Nail Stamping friendly – once nail art/stamping is nearly dry it won’t smear or smudge
This is absolutely true! I decided to stamp over the above combination and experienced no smearing whatsoever, which is fantastic! I stamp all the time and smearing the design is always a fear so I will definitely use it again for stamping!
• Customer Service
This is just an aside, but the reply time from G&G was very slow. I sent an email on February 27th and when I hadn’t heard back by March 1st, I posted on their facebook wall just asking to make sure they got it since they’d been updating the page. She did respond on March 2nd stating that she did and would reply tomorrow. As of this review going live, I still haven’t gotten a reply.
Now, my email wasn’t anything critical or about a problem with the product- it was just about an address update and a couple little things. It very possibly could be that more critical emails get responses faster and I certainly understand that she is probably very busy with her company. But as a customer, I want to know that if I have any concerns or questions that I can receive a response in a timely fashion and I did not get a very good impression of that here.
I debated even saying anything in this review because my email was not really a big deal but customer service is important to me and this did concern me just a bit. I have heard from a friend who had a similar issue, in her case multiple emails went unanswered. I do hope that these are just isolated incidents but it bears mentioning. (EDIT: Jill did email me back after seeing this review, which is nice, but it shouldn’t have gotten to that point. After posting this review, she also has not accepted my request to follow the brand on her instagram (it is set to private), which I find strange. I do encourage you to read the comments below where many people have had problems with her customer service.)
Final verdict: Glisten & Glow HK Girl doesn’t live up to all of the claims and hype in my opinion, but it’s still a really nice top coat. I would probably continue using Out The Door for most manicures to limit my exposure to DBP but I think I will be using HK Girl on top of future stamping manicures for sure! It also had my manicure looking really good and fairly chip-free for a decently long time, so I would also probably use it if I needed my mani to last awhile!
Even if it didn’t meet my full expectations, at a retail price of $6.95, I certainly think that it’s worth it to pick up if you’re still searching for your holy grail top coat. Glisten & Glow carries a lot of other neat products including cuticle balm & oil which I’d love to try out in the future.
Interested in picking up HK Girl or other products by Glisten & Glow? You can find their website here. Make sure to also follow them on instagram, twitter and to like their facebook page to keep up-to-date on the brand!
What are your thoughts? Have you tried HK Girl in the past, and if so, what was your experience? Let me know in the comments!
|Mugen is…helping to organize the swatch sticks!|