When it comes to my mani, I'm all about the shine...and I've found the shiniest of shiny top coats, Sally Hansen Big Shiny Top Coat ($6 at Ulta). I put it over my nail polish one day and was delighted to see that it made my polish look as shiny as a gel formula. The thicker formula makes it look glossier than any other top coat that I've tried and helps protect your polish from chipping. This is a great gel-alternative for me. Even though I really like the mirror shine of gel manicures, I don't generally get them because I find that they can be a little too harsh on my nails. Luckily, I can fake one with Big Shiny. For the optimal gel effect, use Big Shiny over a thicker polish formula. I used Sally Hansen Insta Dri ($5 at Ulta), but you can also try Revlon ColorStay Longwear Nail Enamel ($8 at Ulta).
One of these pictures is a gel mani and one is a Big Shiny mani. Can you tell which one is which?