Did you know that a base coat can fix up to 98% of manicure and nail issues? Often overlooked, this invisible layer is a crucial part of your manicure routine. There is literally nothing that a great base coat can not fix! It can extend the life of your manicure by working with your top coat to help prevent chips and everyday wear. It gives the nail polish an even surface to adhere to and provides the foundation for a flawless manicure.
Plus, a base coat creates a barrier that helps protect your nails from external damage as well as prevent staining and peeling, fill in ridges, strengthen and nourish. Also, by applying a base layer first, you will prevent your polish from getting streaky and eliminate that unevenness that can sometimes appear on your nails.
To make sure we have all bases covered (pun intended!), I road tested 37 different base coats to identify the most efficient ones for long-lasting wear, brightening, ridge filling, strengthening and every nail need imaginable.
So here’s our 10 best base coats that can effectively fulfill any nail need.
10 base coats for every nail need:
1. ORLY Nailtrition, 9ml USD $9.90 here.
Best for: weak nails that grow slowly.
Infused with keratin, collagen, wheat protein and bamboo extract, ORLY Nailtrition works to stimulate healthy, quick nail growth and strengthen weak nails. Just a few applications will nourish your nails and prevent them from peeling and breaking. Nailtrition can also be used as a recovery treatment after the use of gels or acrylics. If you’ve been reading SoNailicious for a while, you know that Nailtrition is my Number 1 base coat!
Best for: weak nails that lack strength.
OPI Nail Envy helps nails grow harder and stronger. It is formulated with wheat protein and calcium to help prevent peeling, cracking and splitting. Whilst my nails do not peel or crack, I find this is a great base coat for strengthening my nails which also prevents breakage and chips.
3. Mavala Barrier base coat, 10 ml USD $19.90 here
Best for: sensitive and stiff nails; or as a base for dark nail polishes.
As we go through our everyday activities, much of the time they involve processes which injure our nails and make them vulnerable. Barrier base coat is designed specifically for sensitive nails, its water-based formula moisturises and hydrates as well as helps nails retain their flexibility, preventing splitting and breaking. A great bonus, Barrier base coat also protects from yellowing, which makes it an excellent base for dark lacquers.
4. Morgan Taylor Go Ahead and Grow, 15 ml AUD $29.93 here
Best for: weak and damaged nails.
Formulated with keratin and vitamin E to promote growth, hardening, lengthening and strengthening, Go Ahead and Grow is perfect for damaged nails recovery. With this treatment, your nails are guaranteed to live up to their full potential. A great bonus, it dries very fast, so it won’t add much time to your manicure routine.
5. Essie Millionails, 13.5ml USD $8.50 here
Best for: weak nails prone to breaking or splitting.
Millionails is formulated with iron and fiber, and helps protect nails against breakage by solidifying and protecting thin nails. With its delivery of fast-acting molecules, the polish creates a strong protective barrier against damage. My nails seem to grow noticeably faster and stronger when I use this base coat regularly.
6. ORLY Bonder, 18 ml USD $10.00 here
Best for: long-lasting manicures, preventing chipping.
Known as “double-sided sticky tape”, this rubberized base coat locks lacquer onto the nail taking away the stress of a chipped manicure. Its resin technology prolongs and strengthens the manicure by improving the lacquer’s adhesion, strongly binding the polish to your nails for up to two weeks.
Best for: nails with ridges and mature nails; or as a base for metallic polishes.
Essie Fill the Gap base coat smooths out and covers imperfections in one easy stroke. It has a natural gloss finish and provides an even base for the nail polish to adhere to. I always use this base coat religiously to smooth out my ridges before applying nail polish. Due to its smoothing qualities, Fill the Gap is the best base coat to use for metallic and chrome nail polishes.
Best for: thin, weak or fragile nails and nails recovering after acrylics or gel.
To put it simply, Nail Shield is the best treatment for very damaged nails. The two-step application process protects nails while allowing them to grow stronger and healthier. The first step – Phase 1 Nylon Fibre Base adds extra strength and thickness to your nails. The second – Phase 2 Protective Sealer wraps your nails with a protective coat, smooths and prepares them for the next step of your manicure.
9. FABY Oxygen base coat, 15 ml AUD $14.95 here
Best for: weak, damaged, or mature nails.
This base coat combines strengthening ingredients with anti-aging technology specifically to protect nails from aging and any external damage. It is made partially from plants and uses oxygen technology for natural protection. Plus, it is infused with antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E to further prevent nail ageing.
10. Revitanail base coat, 14 ml AUD $16.69 here
Best for: long-lasting manicures, easy polish application
This base coat is specifically formulated to create the perfect foundation for nail polish application and prolong the life of your manicure. Infused with vitamin E and avocado oil to condition your nails (well nourished nails = long-lasting manicure!), this base coat also smooths out your nails for the perfect nail polish application.
Now over to you!
Have you tried any of these base coats?
What is your go-to base that you would add to the list above and what nail need it fulfills the best?
– Maria, xx
MORE USEFUL POSTS:
- Essie Grow Stronger base coat: does it really work?
- OPI Nail Envy review
- Orly Nailtrition: the most effective base coat ever made?
- 5 Best Hand Lotions That Will Save Your Hands (and Money!)