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The 5 Best Top Coats To Try Now

Favorite Top Coat for Nail Polish

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If there’s one product question I get more than any other, it’s about what Top Coat I use. As a blogger, I’m constantly testing new products so, my answer can change on a daily basis. However, I do have certain go-tos that I reach for over and over again and these five are the best top coats in my current rotation.
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The Arsenal – Nubar Foundation Base Coat

nubar-foundation-base-coat I get a lot of questions and comments regarding the tools and treatment products I use to keep my nails healthy and in tip top shape. Since my routine changes as I test new products, I’ve launched, The Arsenal, to share with you the items that are “must haves” in my nail kit.

The bare bones basics of any good manicure is base coat, top coat and color.  I’ve shared with you one of my all-time fave top coats but I’ve never dedicated a post to base coats.  Obviously this is long overdue!

I’ve been a fan of CND Stickey for forever and a day.  I even posted about the “Stickey Sandwich” method back when ALU was just a baby.  However Stickey has a major competitor for the “holy grail” crown in Nubar Foundation Base Coat.

I’ve had bottles of Foundation Base Coat floating around the polish room for years now but it wasn’t until I ran out of Stickey that I discovered its magical powers.  It doesn’t dry tacky like Stickey or Orly Bonder but Foundation Base Coat grips on like glue.  I get amazing wear every time I use it.  And although it’s not a ridge filler, it provides a smooth surface for the polish to glide along even in spite of my less than stellar nail beds. I told you it was magic.

Nubar Foundation Base Coat can be purchased online from for $6.99.  The shipping is steep though so I suggest banding together with some friends to hit the $75 limit for free shipping.

Introducing CND Shellac Hybrid Nail Color

By on March 3, 2010
in CND, Nail Treatments, News with 970 Comments

cnd-shellac-hybrid-nail-color Exciting news Fanatics! On my last day in NYC I tweased (tweet teased) about a secret nail service I received. I randomly mentioned it here as well and now I can finally share it with you.

CND is launching a brand new product that will make you DIY manicurists seriously consider going back to the nail salon.  It’s so amazingly different that if I didn’t write this blog I would be a regular customer and that’s saying a LOT.  I’m proud to introduce you to Shellac™!

CND (Creative Nail Design), the leader in professional nail, hand and foot beauty, is proud to introduce the first hybrid nail color after nearly five years of development in its state-of-the-art laboratory. Now you can say good-bye to chips, smudges, and dry time and say hello to Shellac™ Hybrid Nail Color! This revolutionary product applies like polish, wears flawlessly for 14 days of high gloss shine, and is removed in minutes.

If long lasting wear and polish-like application don’t draw you in, the removal certainly will. Check out my experience with Shellac™ and learn more about this revolutionary product after the jump!
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Nails Inc Kensington Caviar 45 Second Top Coat Review

Twitter followers may remember my overzealous tweets about the Nails Inc. Kensington Caviar 45 Second Speedy Dry Top Coat (that’s a mouthful) while I was in Vegas for Cosmoprof. You can’t give a girl like me a product with such significant claims like a 45 second dry time and expect me to wait to try it out.

I was very skeptical of this whole “45 Second” thing but they aren’t kidding. Even over multiple layers of polish, I’ll explain that in a second, it dried my CND layering project to the touch in under a minute. Crazy, right? Now I could just say it dries in 45 seconds and expect you to believe me but wouldn’t it be better if I showed you?

I put the Kensington Caviar Top Coat to the test for all of you. Not only did it get my standard 5 Day Wear Test but I also shot a VIDEO to show you how fast it really dries. See the results after the jump!

So here’s a little backstory on my Vegas manicure. You see I was so rushed in getting ready to leave that I did a horrid job on my nails. Smart move when I’m going to see leaders in the nail industry, no? Here I planned to be all trendy and wear a matte mani but in the wee hours of the morning I did such a bad job applying the matte top coat that you could see glossy edges peeking out around my cuticles. So rather than start over, I slapped a layer of glossy top coat over it and called it a day.

Of course, the two top coats didn’t play well together so after two days I had chipping to the point that I couldn’t deal. Rather than waste money on a bottle of polish remover at the gift shop, I added even more layers when I put a couple of the new CND polishes on to cover the mess. Considering all that, I honestly wasn’t expecting much when I put the Nails Inc. top coat on so you can imagine my surprise when my tips were dry to the touch in under a minute and TOTALLY dry in a few minutes. Like I passed out not long after and not a sheet mark was to be found.

So to show you how fast it works, I shot a short video. I’m not really a video tutorial kind of girl but I thought this would be fun. Check it out!

And here’s the final results. You can see the tiny air bubble on my index finger so you know there’s no retouching here. There’s not a fingerprint or wrinkle to be seen. Just pure glossy goodness.
Remember my CND manicure from last week? I used this top coat over it so I could give it a full 5 day test and as you can see, there’s very little tip wear and no chipping. That makes it a WINNER in my book.
The next logical question is where do you get this fabulous product? Well, right now Nails Inc doesn’t have US distributorship. That’s why they were at CosmoProf. So let’s cross our fingers that it finds a home here very very soon. I found a couple sites that carry the line who ship to the US but the costs are VERY high. carries the top coat for $19.77 and carries the polishes for $18.75 so we really need to start a campaign to bring them here.

So UK Fanatics, who’s tried the Kensington Caviar Top Coat? Thoughts?

Orly Nail Rescue Saved Me. It Can Save Your Nails Too!

I’ve told you about my DDS (Danny Devito Syndrome) in the past and it reared its ugly head just before my trip to Vegas. You see, my thumb nail split and peeled which fed into my tendency to pick at things. So of course I peeled back the split layer and made things worse. Even with a ridge filling base coat I could see the unevenness in my thumb nail. Not to mention the fact that one wrong move would have just torn that piece off. That’s when Orly Nail Rescue came into my life.

I met with a rep from Orly at Cosmoprof and we were discussing treatment products. She told me of her love for Tough Cookie (I’ll be testing it soon) and I told her about my nail issue. She immediately grabbed for a Nail Rescue kit, saying it would literally save my nail. Considering that I get these kinds of splits often, I figured it was worth a shot. See the results, after the jump!

As you can see in the “before” pic (left), the tear was pretty big and left me with a flimsy piece of nail that was barely hanging on. I know a lot of people use nail glue and patches or pieces of tea bag to fix breaks but Orly Nail Rescue seems much simpler to me.

It’s an easy 3 step system that left my nail with a flawless surface. Included in the kit is a bottle of Nail Glue, Nail Repair Powder and a Buffer. As demonstrated in the image below you just Brush, Dip and Smooth!

Step 1: Clean the nail bed and brush the nail glue over the entire nail, avoiding cuticles. Tip - If you are fixing an uneven area, like I did, you’ll want to repeat this process using the glue on the lower section ONLY to even the nail surface.

Step 2: Immediately dip your nail into the Nail Repair Powder.
Make sure you brush off the excess powder.
Step 3: Buff the nail surface smooth. This was my first attempt and I did repeat the steps to even out the broken layer. As you can see, it’s not a beautiful look but it’s smooth, even and ready for polish while you grow out the breakage.
You can’t even tell my nail is broken!
Removal: Soaking in acetone will remove the hardened powder which means you MUST use a non-acetone remover when taking off your polish.

Orly’s Nail Rescue Kit is available online at ($9) or ($4.95) and in stores at Sally Beauty Supply ($6.99).

What’s your favorite method for repairing broken nails? Have you tried Nail Rescue? Share!

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