Base and Top Coats – What really makes a manicure last!

Applying the right base coat and top coat can make all the difference in how long your manicure lasts!

Here are some of my favorites! All 3 Free unless noted!

Bonder by Orly rubberized basecoat

Grips nail lacquer to the nail surface for lasting adhesion. This unique formula delivers a cutting edge resin technology to improve lacquer adhesion and wearability.

Butter Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat

Is a non-toxic primer for nail color. Helping keep your nails free of stains, it provides an ideal surface for lacquer, smoothing out ridges and imperfections. Fabulous by itself, it leaves a matte, silky finish. Men can also utilize the basecoat for an invisible, yet immaculate manicure.

CND Stickey Base Coat

Anchors color to the nail to prevent peeling and chipping.

Butter Matte Finish Top Coat.

Turns any color matte, flat, and utterly beautiful.

Note: when using a matte top coat don’t use any kind of spray, oil, or liquid to help to set the top coat faster. I’ve found it makes the matte top coat less matte and more shiny. Once completely dry it is fine to use hand cream or nail oil.

Seche Vite™ dry fast top coat

Vite is widely acknowledged as the world’s finest top coat. Specially formulated to penetrate through nail lacquer to the base coat forming a single solid coating over the nail plate for a much more durable finish. Guaranteed not to yellow while leaving nails silky, stronger and resistant to chipping and peeling.

Note:  Vite is meant to be used on wet nail polish only!!!!  Thus penetrating to the base coat.  If applied to dry polish or to touch up a manicure the next day the nail polish will come up in huge pieces when it chips because the top coat wasn’t able to penetrate to the base coat like it should when applied to wet polish.

Seche Vite is not “Big 3-Free”. It is free of formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), but does contain toluene, a common solvent.

Using Seche Vite:

  1. Polish nails
  2. Get a decent bead of Seche Vite on the end of the brush (you’ll have to experiment to find the right amount)
  3. Place the bead in the middle of the first nail you polished WHILE IT IS STILL WET-ish
  4. Use the tip of the brush to drag or comb through the bead, helping the polish spread but not letting the brush bristles touch the nail polish below
  5. Seche Vite will spread across the nail bed and self-level

It seems that some solvents and plasticizers used in Big 3-Free products (such as Butter) are not compatible with the ingredients in / formulation of Seche Vite.

Appears they are not waiting sufficient time for solvents in lacquer color to evaporate. Seche Vite has a  high solvent (Toluene) content which flashes (evaporates) off quickly and hardens over, thus trapping the lacquer color solvents beneath and not allowing color to dry.

I would recommend that they apply the lacquer color and allow it to dry completely. This will allow the solvent from the nail lacquer to flash (evaporate) off, and topcoat can then be applied with desired results. However, we never recommend using any product with Toluene, DBP, or Formaldehyde.

If you find that this is the case with your 3 free nail color, don’t use Vite.  Since the point of using Vite is to make the polish last longer by applying to wet-ish polish.

CND Speedy Top Coat

Another great top coat, with great shine.

Other Favorites:

Dr. Hauschka Neem Nail Oil

Sephora Collection Crystal Nail File

Not all nail files are created equally. I prefer a glass nail file, since they are gentle on the nails, easy to clean, and will last a lifetime if cared for properly. Use one side to gently buff out ridges and the other to create a healthy shine.

Be Natural Dry Heel Eliminator

ARCH Sole Savour Creme


Be Natural Callus Eliminator

be natural Cuticle Eliminator

Eucerin Intensive Repair Hand Cream

Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream

With the exception of the lips don’t use on your face. I love this as a hand cream!

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