Just like building a house requires you to start with a good foundation, a Base Coat is the basa for a long-lasting, non-colour-transfering, smooth and shiny manicure. Here are three good reasons why you need a base coat for your next manicure.
Base Coat Helps your Manicure Last Longer:
Base Coats contain an extra boost of cellulose chemicals to make them stick, think of it like double-sided tape. They stick to the nail below and the polish above to prolong the manicure.
It also give the polish enough flexibility to move with the nail as it bends while you go about your daily activities. Without this sticky, elastic surface for the nail polish pigment to adhere to, your manicure would chip a lot faster, most especially if you have oily nail beds.
Base Coats Prevents Nail Polish from Staining your Nails:
Ever tried a nice colour of nail polish (like a hot red) without a bas coat, only to find it left your nails stained yellow? Staining occurs because of a chemical reaction between the ingredients in the polish (dyes and chemicals) and your nail plates. A base coat is your best defense against staining. It provides a clear protective layer between the nail and the pigment of the polish above.
A good rule of thumb is that the darker the color, the more important it is to use a base coat. If you really can’t find a base coat and you want to paint your nails, avoid dark colors and go with natural shades, from sheers/nudes to pastels, that aren’t as likely to stain your nails. But keep this in mind: when you apply pigment directly to the nail bed, it’s especially important to use a high-quality, long-lasting formula.
Base Coats can be Handy Problem Solvers:
Some base coats are packed with ingredients to address a number of nail issues, check the labels to decide which one best suits your needs. Have extra dry nails? Choose one that’s moisturizing to keep nails in tip-top shape. If the surfaces of your nails are uneven, opt for a base coat with ridge-filling properties. It will provide a thicker base to even out ridges or indentations in the nail before applying the color coat for an even nail bed. If you suffer from weak, brittle nails, go with a strengthening formula.
However, Good Housekeeping advices to “beware of base coats that claim to be nail hardeners, these usually contain a high content of formaldehyde and will temporarily harden your nails, but will later cause them to split and crack easier because they’ll become too hard.”
If you’re not plagued with any of these nail issues (lucky you!), simply look for the same qualities you do in any nail polish but avoid formaldehyde resins and toluene, which are common contact allergens
One more tip: Resist the urge to use your topcoat as a base coat and vice versa. Generally, a base coat doesn’t have the shine of a topcoat, and a topcoat doesn’t have the ‘sticky’ surface that’s important in a base coat. So switching between the two isn’t a good idea. We’ll talk about Top Coats next week on the next edition of BN’s Monday Manicure!