My Current Base & Top Coats
All right folks! So just in case anyone cares, I'm going to tell you about the base and top coats I'm currently using. I usually switch them out every time I run out since I haven't found that holy grail combination yet, but I think I'm getting close! *knocks on wood*
First up: base coat.
Sally Hansen Advanced Hard as Nails Nylon + Retinol Strengthener
So, I decided it might be good to use something strengthening since my nails are square. For whatever reason, square nails tend to be a little weaker and the sides break off a lot. But I really don't like the look of oval nails on myself so I'm not changing the shape.
Anyway, it's supposed to be more of a treatment, really, but I've been using it as a base coat. As far as I can tell, it's working. I've had less side-tearing since I've started using it, which was a few weeks ago, I'm pretty sure.
It doesn't really do much as far as staining, but that's okay with me since my nails are always polished anyway.
It dries really fast, which is always a plus. My right hand is always dry and ready for liftoff when I finish my left hand.
It's also on the thin side which I like in a base coat, it's really easy and smooth to apply.
Overall verdict: A-. I like this one, I'll probably still look around after I run out to see if there's anything else out there but this is doing a good job.
And now: top coat.
Out the Door
I thought I'd try this since I was looking for a fast-drying top coat and I didn't want to try Seche Vite. I don't know why I'm so resistant to Seche Vite, but from what I hear some people love it and some people hate, and I didn't want to take the chance.
First of all, it's a good consistency. It's just the right thickness, I like my topcoats to be smooth and on the thick side of a good formula.
It dries reasonably quickly, I wouldn't say it's SUPER fast drying but it's definitely fast enough. My first hand is dry to the touch after I finish my second hand, and completely dry in under a minute.
I think it dries very nice and shiny. Maybe not as shiny as Seche, but it is nice and smooth and shiny. I love the feeling of smooth, shiny nails.
The wear isn't phenomenal, but wrapping the tips definitely helps. Of course I don't wear polish for longer than a day (excluding dire circumstances) so that's all right for me.
I really like it. It dries fast and shiny and generally gives good wear.
Overall verdict: A-. Eventually I will probably succumb to the Seche, but this gets the job done very well!
What base and top coats do you use? Anything you're in love with that I should try?