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The Best Nail Polish Top Coats and Base Coats

Updated on April 13, 2015

Nail Polish Base Coats


There are several reasons why nail polish base coats are beneficial. They allow for a nice, smooth surface to apply your color, they can prevent staining of your nails when you use bright or dark polish, and they can help to repair nails and promote healthy nails.

There are a number of nail polish top coats to choose from and some have different purposes. Below is a list of the best and most popular nail polish base coats.


OPI Natural Nail Base Coat


OPI is probably the most well known brand of nail polish. If you've ever tried an OPI product you probably know why it's so loved by nearly all nail polish fans. It's a good quality product that, although may be a little pricier than some other brands, is fairly well-priced.

OPI Natural Nail Base Coat dries pretty quickly and helps to prevent staining of your nails that can occur from painting directly onto your nails with colored polishes. However, some people say that it does not extend the length of your manicure as well as some of the other base coats do.

OPI is a great quality product and, in addition to the quality of the base coat, the lasting effect it has would also be determined by the activities that you partake in. For instance, washing a lot of dishes or doing other house work would cause your manicure to have a shorter lifespan than say sun tanning would. Regardless of the brand (or brands) you choose, these are all factors that play a role in how long your manicure lasts.

Essie First Base


Essie is a great nail polish brand and their base coat does not disappoint. You can find it in some department stores and drug stores but it can also be found at low prices online.

Essie First Base helps to bond your nail polish color to your nail, provides a nice anti-chip wear, and helps to increase the length of your manicure.

Orly Bonder


Orly is another really good brand of nail polish that has some amazing colors. Compared to department store nail polishes Orly is slightly more expensive. However, the price is definitely worth the quality.

Orly Bonder may not dry as fast as some other base coats but it's great for bonding your nail polish color to your nail and helping to prevent chipping, thus extending the length of your manicure.

CND Stickey


CND Stickey nail polish base coat helps to bond your nail polish color to your nail and helps to prevent chipping.

CND is a fantastic brand of nail polish and typically more pricier than department store brands. This is why it's not as well known as some of the others but it's definitely very popular among nail polish enthusiasts. You can find some great deals for this brand online that might be at even better prices than the typical department store brands.

If you consider the average price of just one professional manicure that is done at a salon and compare it to the price of just one of these bottles, it's actually quite a good deal. Most expansive nail polish is frightening to some because a lot of people can't imagine spending so much on just one little bottle. However, many never actually think about it in comparison to paying for a manicure.

Zoya Anchor Base Coat


Zoya is typically one of the more expensive brands of nail polish, compared to most department store brands, but it is a salon-quality polish that is definitely good quality and comes in a variety of really pretty shades. As stated earlier, if you compare the price of the average professional manicure at a salon, an entire bottle of this can be bought for less and probably last a lot longer.

Zoya Anchor base coat is great at extending the length of your manicure. It helps to attach your nail polish color and majorly reduces chipping.

Sally Hansen Ultimate Shield


Sally Hansen products are typically not as expensive as some of the other nail polish brands and can be found in a lot of department stores and drug stores. You may even find better prices online at places like Amazon, Ebay, or nail polish and beauty websites.

Sally Hansen Ultimate Shield is fairly fast drying and is said to contain vitamins and minerals that help to protect brittle nails.

China Glaze Strong Adhesion


China Glaze is another really popular nail polish brand. Each season, China Glaze releases a new nail polish collection with gorgeous colors. It's not too pricey and can often be found online at Amazon, Ebay, and other beauty product websites. Most nail polish fans either own one or more bottle of China Glaze or have at least tried it. They make great products and offer a huge variety of colors and finishes.

China Glaze Strong Adhesion is a great base coat and there are a lot of fans because of that. It really helps to bond your nail polish color to your nail and helps to extend the life of your manicure.

Do You Have a Favorite Nail Polish Base Coat?

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Nail Polish Base Coat Tutorial

Nail Polish Top Coats


Nail polish top coats are a must-have for any manicure. They are applied over top of your nail polish color, hence the name "top coat." There are numerous top coats to choose from but some have proven to be better than others in making your manicure look better and last longer. Obviously you can have a do-it-yourself manicure without using a top coat but they really do make a huge difference in both the look and duration of your manicure.

Depending on the brand and the finish of the top coat, it can make your nails but more shiny than just your regular polish, or a lot less shiny if you were to use a matte top coat. Some people even use top coats to create designs on their nails without using multiple polishes. You can use just one color polish but apply a matte top coat to just certain parts of the nail so to make a design or pattern.

There are a lot of really great nail polish top coats out there and below is a list of the best and most popular nail polish top coats.

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat


Seche Vite is a name that may be familiar with nail polish fanatics. It is one of the most popular top coats available and for good reason.

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat dries fast and leaves a super shiny finish that makes your nails look amazing. If you think your nail polish already looks shiny, you'd be amazed when you apply this top coat. Seche Vite stands for dry fast!

Orly In A Snap


Orly In A Snap gives your manicure a very nice shiny finish. It also dries fairly fast, usually within a few minutes. Even if your nail polish color isn't completely dry, this top coat can be applied and your nails will dry super fast.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri


Sally Hansen Insta-Dri is another fast-drying top coat that helps to make your manicure look fantastic. It should be completely dry within just a few minutes and leaves a nice smooth finish.

Whether you use a Sally Hansen base coat or nail polish color or another brand of nail polish, this top coat works great.

OPI Top Coat


OPI Top Coat helps to prevent your nail polish from chipping and extends the time of how long your manicure will last by about a couple of days.

OPI is a favorite brand among nail polish enthusiasts because it Is a good quality polish and there are so many amazing colors to choose from. You can't go wrong with their top coat.

Essie Good To Go! Top Coat


Essie is another name that is popular among nail polish fans. There is a new collection of colors every season and they're always really nice.

Essie Good To Go! Top Coat provides a nice shine to your manicure and will make your polish last a little bit longer.

Poshe Super Fast Drying Topcoat


Poshe Super Fast Drying Topcoat is a fantastic nail polish top coat that dries super fast and leaves a really nice shine.

Some people compare it to Seche Vite and actually say that it doesn't "shrink" your nail polish in the way that Seche Vite does, if you are one to have that problem. It may be a matter of personal opinion which you like best.

China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat


China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat dries really fast (about one minute). It's not the most popular top coat among nail polish fans but you can usually find it for a decent price. Some people say it actually takes longer to dry than the one minute and it doesn't always prevent your nail polish from chipping.

Nail Polish Top Coat Tutorial

Do You Have a Favorite Nail Polish Top Coat?

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