I came across a post on making your own gold and silver leaf top coats the other day on Candy Glaze.
She gives you a how-to-guide in making your own for a fraction of the cost so click on that link to learn for yourself!
I immediately purchased the sheets of gold and silver leaf from a thai website for US$5.90 + shipping (which is around US$3-4 to NZ) for 10 sheets of each. The gold is 24k while the Zoya and OPI only sport 18k, so that's a bit more decadent to start with!
The method on Candy Glaze is for 5 sheets (of around 3.5x3.5cm) per 5mL bottle. I bought Frankie's Plasma from Wonder Beauty Supplies in 15mL bottles and found that 10 sheets wasn't quite enough for a full sized bottle, so I poured a few mLs out.
The suspension base is pretty darn thick, so some thinner may be in order, but it's still a great and cheap way to have your own little pot of gold or silver for your fingernails. Considering OPI The Man With The Golden Gun is retailing for $74 in NZ, my $12 alternative would be worth it regardless of how it turned out!
The flakes sit fairly flat on the nail. I think 1 coat of Seche Vite would be all you need. I have a little more base in the silver so not as many flakes end up on the nail without a tad of fishing, but the gold one is a dream!
I haven't gotten any swatches yet because I'm trying to get the China Glaze Holiday Joy polishes photographed, but here are some close ups of my top coats:
Edit: some people asked for pics so ok, here's a really quick swatch of 1 coat of gold and 1 coat of the silver on my thumb:
The bubbles are just there because I've been shaking the bottles like hell to break up the flakes some and didn't let it settle before I applied it.
What's the most you are willing to pay for 1 bottle of polish?