Base Coat Polish Review (Plus, Why You Need a Base Coat)

I have a manicure secret. It's my base coat. Actually, my favorite base coat was my secret, and it was discontinued leaving me to wander the drug stores and Ultas looking for a replacement. This shouldn't have been hard. After all, base coats are an essential part of a good manicure. But alas, everything was a base coat/top coat combo. I only found one dedicated base under $7--Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat.

Why You Need a Base Coat
I was raised by a mother with fabulous nails. All my life, I've watched women oooh and ahhh over her nails marveling that they were real. I never questioned my need for a base coat so it surprised me recently when I had to tell nearly everyone I talked to about nails to use one. Base coats do three main things:
  1. They protect your nails
  2. They protect your manicure
  3. They make everything easier
They protect your nails by creating a safe barrier from dark colors that might stain your nails or some of the harsher chemicals in some cheap polishes. If you've ever had to scrap or scrub off a manicure only to still have stained nails, a base coat would have saved you. Don't wear dark or red colors without a base coat or you will have to keep wearing them to hide the yellow color your nails make take on. A good base will keep your nails safe under a shield.

Base coats protect your manicure too. Yes, they are under the color, but they are giving you a good surface to work on. Without the base coat, you have to contend with the oils of your nails, which will break up a manicure fast (people you can't keep a manicure for more than a few days even with a base coat might just have really healthy, constantly renewing nails. This is why polish doesn't stay on little kids for very long--plus they're hard on it). Base coats lock the moisture in your nails and keep it out of your manicure. They also help to make a strong surface, which is great if you have wimpy, bendy nails like me.

The third way base coats help is by just making the process easier. A good base coat will fill the small ridges and give you an even surface to work on so polish goes on smooth. It's also like priming a wall before you paint it. If you get a true base coat it will be a little matte-ish. It's not totally shiny because it's a surface the polish can cling to. Also, when it comes time to take off your manicure, you have a clear coat directly on your nails not black or green (getting green stains on your nails from green polish is the least appealing thing ever). This makes it much easier to remove your polish without struggling.

Why I Don't Like Base Coat/Top Coat Combos
Sure, they are convenient and affordable because you only have to buy and bring along one bottle. However, I just don't think they do either job as well. We've talked about our beloved Dries Instantly top coat before. No tag team top/base can work like that; trust me I've tried them. Also, because it's a top coat too, these polishes are often to shiny to serve as a good, gripping base for polish. I've had my polish flake right off with the base/top coat mostly intact underneath. This is not helpful. The two products just have very different functions and shouldn't be combined for best results.

Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat the Review
I love this base coat. Don't be put off by the cloudy appearance. It goes on clear and works so wonderfully. It's not quite as quick drying as my discontinued one, but it's still fast. Also, it's not super shiny like most top coat/base coat combos. This means it actually holds the nail polish well. It's long lasting, it gives my polish a nice smooth surface to adhere to, and it protects my nails. I really like it, and I will keep buying it, which is good because it's honestly the only just base coat in any of the stores by me. (Well, Ulta has some super expensive ones, but I'm not wealthy and I prefer things I can find when I'm buying shampoo or picking up some eggs).

If you can't find it at a store near you, you can get it on Amazon for $5.75 with Prime-eligible free shipping.


Jennifer Wells said…
When I was growing up, my mom sold Mary Kay cosmetics, so I was very spoiled with my manicure supplies.

I knew a girl in high school who had brightly colored, perfect nail polish every day. I saw her remove it once, and her nails were the color of hamster teeth. It was really startling.

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