Monday, December 2, 2013

In the Clear

For those of you who do your own nails, do you use a base coat?  How about a top coat as a finish?  What about both?  I've been pretty religious in using a glossy top coat when trying to protect, preserve and prolong a nail art design or finicky polish.  When it comes to a base coat, however, I just haven't found it to be as necessary or advantageous.

I bought this China Glaze base coat on a whim along with another China Glaze product.  My thinking was that if I sandwiched my nail color between both a base and a top coat then my nail polish would last extra long with minimum to no chipping.  Well, this didn't exactly pan out the way I had thought; it works OK under a China Glaze polish, but totally detaches from my nails (lifting and taking the entire coat of color with it, reminiscent of a press-on nail) after only a few days with any other brand.  Needless to say, I haven't found it to be all that helpful.  Perhaps I should try a different brand?

Moving on to top coats, this one I've had for a while.  And it's cool.  It does provide gloss and shine, but it's not quick drying and not especially diligent in keeping chips and nicks at bay.  But it does shine.

Which leads me to almost everyone's fave: Seche Vite.  When I heard about how excellent this top coat was I rushed to my nearest drug store to snatch up a bottle for myself.  And an excellent top coat it is; it completely lives up to its reputation for being extremely fast drying and imparting incredible shine.  It truly does "coat" the nails and, therefore, lengthen the wear of your color/design.

My only issue with Seche is that after a few uses the already thick gloss started to thicken even more until it began to congeal and get gloppy.  As of right now, what I have left is pretty much a dense, stiff, translucent syrup sticking to the bottom half of the bottle.

And just like maple syrup in the cold, my remaining Seche clings to the brush in sticky globes of glob.  I was kinda surprised that it conked out on me like that, but I do still consider it a fave and will probably purchase another.

Until then, I have found the perfect substitute: Sally Hansen's Insta-Dry.  It, too, is incredibly fast drying and imparts remarkable shine to the nails.  I really was impressed with this one.

But what I really like about it is the wide brush.  The broad build on this baby practically covers your entire nail within the first stroke, which makes it quick in applying as well as quick drying.  And that makes it absolutely awesome to work with. 

So, for me the verdict is still out when it comes to using a base coat.  Like I said, maybe I should try a different brand if someone can recommend a good one.  It's not a huge deal, but I'm open to trying another if it'll make a significant difference as far as wear is concerned.  But the clear winner in my book is the top coat!  I believe the right top coat can make all the difference in "polishing" up your nail color/design and giving it a longer life.  And for those still debating the need for either in your DIY nail endeavors, I hope you found this post somewhat helpful in your journey!


  1. omg! I so needed this post. I tried to do my own manicure last night and it took FOREVER for my nails to dry. I did a base coat and am starting to think that may have slowed down the process. I need the insta dry NOW lol

    1. YESSS! I so hear you! Unless someone can give me the name of one that is just the holiest of grails, I'm cool with not using a base coat ever again. And if you try SH's Insta-Dry, let me know how it worked for you. I think it's a great drugstore find!