Base Coat & Top Coat Round Up 001

base coats top coats nails nail polish
I've built up a small collection of base and top coats, each very different to the next, so thought I'd do a little bit of a run down of them all. I never thought I'd find a base coat or top coat that would actually make my nail polish last longer. I've tried so many different brands and price ranges but they've all made my polish peal almost immediately. This includes Seche Vite which I know is a favourite of so many. If you've had the same problem as me then hopefully one of these will work for you.

Essie Instant Dry Oil - This isn't a top coat, it protects your polish from being dented straight after you have painted them. I thought I'd include it anyway as I haven't read many reviews about it. It was quite an odd product to get used to, it's an oil so I found it quite hard to apply until I got used to it. At first it was quite messy but a small amount is needed to each nail. It doesn't soak into the nail like I expected, instead it sits there until wiped away. It does product the nails from being dented but that's because your not moving your hands anyway because they're covered in oil, just like I would without using it. If you can find it cheap then I'd say try it but it isn't worth the £10 price tag. I bought mine from Fragrance Direct for £2.50. ***

Nubar Foundation Base Coat - I've been using this for the past couple of weeks but haven't decided if I like it or not. Combined with Sally Hansen Hard As Nails top coat it makes polish peal off almost immediately but with Nubars Diamont it lasts longer. Currently working out if it's this or the Sally Hansen which is the problem. I wouldn't rush out and buy it just yet but it does dry incredibly quickly and is easy to apply. I bought it from Feel Unique for £7. ******

Orly Primetime - As the name suggests this is a primer to prepare your nails for polish. I bought this in a set with Orly's base and top coat so I would never have bought it on it's own. For me this is just an unnecessary step as I find it really doesn't do anything. It's very watery which I find quite hard to apply and the stiff brush doesn't help. You can buy the mini bottle for £5 from Boots or in a set for £13. *

Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Top Coat - I've really enjoyed using this top coat but find it works best without a base coat so I only use it if I know the polish isn't going to stain my nails. It doesn't have the fast drying properties to it like Nubar Diamont but it leaves the same gel like finish to the nails and makes polish last longer. This is a really good alternative for a cheaper price. I bought mine for £1.50 from Fragrance Direct. ****

Orly Bonder Base Coat - When I first got this I couldn't stop raving about it but now I'm half way through the bottle I've changed my mind about it. I'm not sure if it's anything to do with being near the end of the bottle but it just doesn't work as well as it used to. A coat of this will create a rubber base which is meant to help polish adhere to your nails. I find that it takes so long to dry and even when I think it's fine to put the first coat of colour polish on top it isn't. Polish bubbles very easily when applied on top of this. You can buy the mini bottle for £5 from Boots. *****

Sally Hansen Insta-grip Fast Dry Base Coat - I wouldn't say this is my favourite base coat but it is one that I'd definitely buy again. I really like the brush and it just makes it so easy to apply. It dries very quickly and actually decreases the amount of coats of coloured polish. The first layer of polish applies more evenly so you don't need another one to even it out like you would without it if that makes any sense. Basically a polish that would need 3 coats on it's own I could probably get away with only 2 using this base coat. You can buy this for £6 from Feel Unique. ****

Nubar Diamont Top Coat - Before trying this one I was raving about Orly's Polishield but this has completely taken first place. It dries almost immediately, is very glossy and makes nail polish feel like gel nails. It makes my polish last so much longer than any other top coat and is a pretty good price at £7. *******

Essie Ridge Filler - This is the first ridge filler I've tried so I haven't really got anything to compare it to. If I don't buff my nails regularly then I do get a few ridges on my nails. With the majority of polishes this doesn't matter but with sheer or metallic polishes this can be a problem. This evens out the nail and leaves your nails slightly whiter which is good for sheer colours and creates a better base colour. It isn't an essential product but good if you can find it cheap. I bought mine for £2.50 from Fragrance Direct although you can buy it from Feel Unique. ****

Models Own 3 In 1 Basecoat, Topcoat & Gloss - This is probably my least favourite out of any base and top coats I've tried. It's £5 so isn't the cheapest. I think I might have bought it in the half price sale so only paid £2.50. I find it's way too thick to use as a basecoat and bubbles immediately when applied over a nail polish as a topcoat. It also takes ages to dry however you use it. It works ok as a gloss but no where near as good as Nubar Diamont. I tend to use this over glitter polishes when I want to apply a couple of coats and it doesn't matter if it bubbles as you can see it over glitter. *

I think that's pretty much all the base and top coats I've ever used. I've owned Seche Vite before and hated it because it made my polish peel off instantly. I really liked Orly's Polishield and will probably buy another bottle at some point but for now I'm loving Nubars.

So I'm still on the hunt for the perfect base coat, any suggestions?


  1. Gah! I love Seche Vite! I can't stand any Sally Hansen products, they make my nails weak and polish peel lol I've never tried Orly products I must keep an eye out for them :)

    1. I couldn't believe how badly seche vite lasted on me as I know so many people love it and was expecting to love it as well :) xx

  2. I've just got Seche Vite. I hate Sally Hansen polishes, I think they're awful!

    1. I've really liked what I've tried of their base coats and top coats so far and their coloured polishes too. Just shows how a product will work for one person and wont for another :) xx

  3. That's quite a selection you have there! I have some of these on my wishlist to buy when I use up some other bits. Great post :) x


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