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The Best Base Coats for Every Nail Need

Best Base Coats for Nails

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When I put together my list of current Favorite Top Coats, many of you requested to hear about the Best Base Coats in my arsenal. I actually have more top coats than base coats and that’s because I tend to stick with my tried and true faves. I test new things, of course, but, for the most part, these have become my staples.

To make sure I have all your bases covered (pun totally intended), I am sharing my favorites for long-lasting wear, ridge filling, treatment and specialty polishes.
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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 964 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?

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