A few weeks ago I showed you my gorgeous nails with Sinful Colours: Truth or Dare (how stunning is that color!). I’m not sure if any of you saw the massive rip in my thumb nail!
Shortly after that photo I ‘tore’ the tip off that nail AND I had about four other nails break… Yes, I am hard on my nails and once they reach a certain point they break – I’m seriously trying to rectify that.
This week Instead of a ‘normal’ Mani-Monday post, instead I’m going to be talking about the importance of a base coat. I’ve mentioned a few times that I use a Tiptop nail strengthening base coat, I also have the Nails Inc Caviar base coat and use these under all polishes, I use either the Essence Quick Dry Top Coat or the Nails Inc Caviar Top Coat when I am top coating.
I was talking with friends the other day and it confirmed that a post on the whys of a nail polish routine is needed. Now, I’m in no ways an expert on nails or polishes, I do however cling on to anything that Michelle tells me and I have read up quite a bit in my own inquisitiveness. I also don’t have the best nails, a friend mentioned that she was super upset that my nail polish never seemed to last very long, this is purely my own fault… I RUINED my nails (yip, so bad it had to be in capitals!), by peeling nail polish off instead of using nail polish remover (seriously, don’t do it, and if you wear Gel/Acrylic/Gelish etc. please soak off properly!!) In peeling off the polish, I also took along the top layer of nail this left me with weak, chipping and peeling nails. I’m cuticle oiling, hand lotioning, nail scrubbing, and base coating as we speak (not literally otherwise my keyboard would be icky) to get my hands and nails back into shape.
Now, onto what I want to talk about… The importance of BASE COAT and TOP COAT and why we need to wear them.
Firstly base coat… there are two types of base coats, plain and ridge-filling. A base coat creates a barrier to protect your nail from damage from nail polish, staining, chemicals, and peeling, it also helps by creating a molecular bond for your polish to cling to.
The plain base coat is usually a thinner, quick drying and transparent formula; this would give your nails a clear, natural, shiny look. A ridge-filling base coat is slightly thicker, it may also be a milky/translucent color, it usually helps with filling nail ridges and grooves, strengthening, and it gives the nail a smoother looking appearance.
Once you have applied your base coat you have two choices; you can leave the base coat on your nails by itself as a treatment (if you do this paint another coat), or you can continue on with your at-home manicure by painting two coats of colored nail polish followed by a top coat.
I find that I can ‘get away’ with a slightly cheaper base coat BUT when it comes to top coat I find that this is the area to spend my money. A top coat not only adds a gorgeous gloss to your manicure but it seals your polish, it protects against chipping and assists with protection from the elements. Most top coats should also cut down your polish drying time – this to me is a major plus! I need as much help not smudging my nails as possible!
Some products combine a base and top coat, I’ve tried these in the past and was happy with what I used, but after doing some research into the purpose of each polish, I saw that there was no way a 2-in-1 could live up to an individual product, it unfortunately can’t be that multifunctional.
Basically you don’t need to go to a salon and spend tons of money to get the perfect manicure or pedicure. You can do your nails at home with the correct products and plenty of time, there is no quick fix or quick manicure – drying time is must! – so go to the loo beforehand (I always need the loo just after and end up smudging) and set yourself up by watching TV while you work.