topcoats & basecoats

When your nail polish peels or chips the first thing you blame is the nail polish itself. Most of the time the nail polish isn't even the problem, it's your base coat or top coat. Having a good foundation is one key to a good manicure. I've used numerous top coats and base coats in search for the ones that work best for me. No to low chips, dries fast, ridge filler, hardens and strengthens. Sounds like a miracle product right? Nope! Here are a few that I've tried that work best in no particular order.

Base Coats:

  Essie First Base - If you're looking for a base coat with no special enhancements (no ridge filler, strengthener etc.) then this is one base coat to look into. I've experienced no peeling but slight chipping and no staining. On application you will notice that it is thinner then a regular nail polish making the application a lot easier, if you have ridges then this is not the base coat for you. It is a bit sticky, which I like, I find that the sticker they are allows the nail polish to adhere to the nail a lot better. It does have a blue tinge to it in the bottle but applies clear.  NOT 3 Free
Essie Protein - Defiantly look into this base coat if your nails are peeling and weak. I absolutely adore this product. I've experienced very minimum chipping, no peeling and no staining. It's thicker then Essie First Base and has the consistency of a  regular nail polish.  It doesn't fill the ridges of your nail to a smooth finish but it gets the job done. This product would be ideal for thin brittle nails that are in dire need of a health boost. NOT 3 Free

 Nail Magic Flawless Ridge Filler - If you need ridges that need filling then give this product a go. I don't particularly have very deep ridges but I do have them!  This product dries to a smooth finish. The formula is thicker then most base coats but is very easy to apply. I experienced no staining, the usually wear at the free edge and no peeling.  3 Free!


 Top Coats:

Sally Hansen Advanced Hard as Nails -  If applied with the correct base coat I can expect no chipping or peeling within a five day period. This product is a hardener which is ideal for those with brittle or weak nails that are easily bent. Then formula is thinner then a regular polish but I noticed it gradually getting thicker within three full manicure uses (that's me painting my nails 30 times). To fix this problem just give it a simple roll or apply a drop or two of thinner. Not 3 Free

Seche Vite -  Ah, the infamous Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat.  This is one of the best fast dry top coats out there and for its price, it's worth it.  This is my second bottle of this amazing product.  You defiantly can get away with wearing just one coat.  It finishes with a high glass like shine and dries quickly.  This can cause shrinkage to your nail polish / design so users beware.  Chipping is minimal if wore with the right base coat and I've experienced no peeling.   When applying this product make sure you're in a very well ventilated area.  Not 3 Free

What is your favorite top coat(s) and / or base coat(s)?