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Review: Best Nail Base Coats

Applying a base coat is an essential part of any manicure since nails require proper preparation before polish application. Without a base coat, nails are susceptible to peeling, chipping, splitting, and discoloration. Base coats can help strengthen, thicken, and fill the ridges in nails to provide an optimal surface for nail polish. Nail base coats also improve the overall health of nails and protect them from damage. For more information on what to look at in selecting the best nail base coats in 2021, Refer to the buyer’s guide to help you determine which base coat suits your personal nail needs.

The Best Nail Base Coats Models of 2021 in Detail

Poshe Strengthening Nail Base Coat

Experience stronger, healthier nails with Poshe Nail Strengthening Base Coat. This formaldehyde-free base coat is enriched with protein and calcium to strengthen and harden your nails. It's perfect for thin, soft nails that tend to split and peel because this formula actually treats your nail problems rather than temporarily strengthening your nails. An individual with very weak, thin nails noted stronger nail structure in just one week! Nails also break and chip less, while polish stays on longer with Poshe Nail Strengthening Base Coat.

best Sephora 3-in-1 Perfecting Nail Base Coat

Sephora 3-in-1 Perfecting Nail Base Coat

Perfect your nails with this multifunctional base coat from Sephora. It works in three ways by strengthening, smoothing and protecting your nails. Bamboo extract, which is rich in silica, makes nails smoother, while mineral derivatives help fortify nails. This base coat dries very quickly as well, and helps nail polish go on smoother. Users praise the soft brush and how chip-resistant this base coat leaves their nails. Expect nail polish to stay on longer with Sephora's 3-in-1 Perfecting Base Coat, as well.

Barielle Hydrating Ridge Filler Nail Base Coat

Don't just temporarily hide those ridges in your nails, find a real solution with Barielle Hydrating Ridge Filler with Silk Fiber. This hydrating base coat contains water to condition and moisturize your nails, replenishing your nails' natural moisture balance. It also fills any ridges and imperfections with silk fibers, making nail surfaces smoother. The result is more flexible nails that resist breakage and brittleness. Users recommend using Barielle Hydrating Ridge Filler with Silk Fiber on aging fingernails.

China Glaze Ridge Filler Nail Base Coat

As an expert in the nail industry, China Glaze offers a ridge filling base coat that delivers perfect coverage every time. It's designed to fill in pronounced ridges and provide a smooth surface for nail color. The matte finish not only looks great, but protects against peeling and chipping. Users claim China Glaze Ridge Filler dries quickly and leaves nails sleek and flawless. It's also very compatible with other brands of nail polishes. This smooth, colorless base coat does not contain DBP, formaldehyde or toluene.

Barielle Fortifying Nail Builder

Apply Barielle Fortifying Nail Builder every other day to experience the fortifying effects of this base coat. It uses calcium fluoride to bond the layers of your nails together, making weak nails stronger and more protected against damage. This formaldehyde-free formula is also enriched with vitamins that rapidly penetrate nails' surfaces, improving the health and durability of your nails. Users claim Barielle Fortifying Nail Builder helps prevent nails from peeling and breaking by making them harder and stronger. This formula also has great staying power and is worth the cost, which is slightly higher than most base coats.

best ProTough Thickening Base Coat

ProTough Thickening Base Coat

Treat your nail with ProTough Thickening Base Coat and put an end to splitting, breaking, and chipping. With twice the strengthening power of Fluoride, this thickening base coat nourishes your nails and makes them healthier. Although it does not provide permanent results, ProTough Thickening Base Coat does instantly thicken nails temporarily. Users insist this formula really does thicken nails while creating a smooth surface for nail polish. It is more expensive than most base coats, however, but its performance exceeds many other formulas.

Nailtiques Nail Protein Formula 2, Treatment Nail Base Coat

Build a healthy nail foundation with Nailtiques Nail Protein Formula 1. This salon-tested product features a special combination of hydrolyzed keratin, protein, calcium, and gelatin to bond nail layers together and create a stronger, thicker foundation for polish. As a result, your nails will experience much less breaking, chipping, and splitting. Users recommend this formula if for individuals who want long, natural nails. It also keeps polish looking fresh and your nails strong. Nailtiques Nail Protein Formula 1 can be worn as a base coat, top coat or alone.

Buyer's Guide

A quality base coat forms the foundation of a lasting manicure. Base coats fortify and improve the health of your nails by preventing them from breaking and peeling. Some base coats are formulated to thicken weak, thin nails, while others fill the ridges in nails to provide a smooth foundation for nail polish. A base coat may also help promote nail growth and prevent nail polish from staining nails. Naturally, it’s best to first assess the needs of your nails and then choose an appropriate base coat.

Performance

Since base coats are usually hidden under nail polish, their performance is the most important factor to consider. Base coats perform many functions including strengthening nails, filling ridges in nails, and stimulating nail growth. The best base coats will perform their specified functions, protect nails from damage, and provide a suitable foundation for nail polish.

Features

Base coats offer a variety of features which will benefit your nails in different ways. Certain ridge-filling base coats are infused with silk fibers to create an even base, while other options are fortified with calcium and protein to prevent chipping and peeling. Other features may include UV inhibitors which protect nails against sun damage or formaldehyde-free formulas.

Appearance

In the case you end up wearing a base coat on your nails by itself, its standalone appearance is another element to consider. Most base coats don’t provide much emphasis on appearance, but most will appear translucent on nails. The finish depends on the type and brand of nail base coat with some imparting a matte finish while others offer a sleek, shiny appearance.

Types of Nail Base Coat

Ridge-filling Base Coats

Nail surfaces can develop ridges, which are often a result of wearing acrylic nails or nail dehydration. Ridge-filling base coats fill in these gaps, creating a smooth, even surface for nail polish. Using a ridge-filling base coat not only protects nails, but improves the overall appearance of your manicure as well.

Strengthening Base Coats

Weak, delicate nails are susceptible to peeling, breaking, and splitting without the use of a strengthening base coat. This type of base coat fortifies fragile nails, making them more resistant to damage. As a result, nails grow healthier and manicures will last longer.

Thickening Base Coats

Thin nails bend and split easily, shortening the duration of a manicure. Thickening base coats typically use fortifying ingredients such as calcium fluoride, calcium, and protein to build up nails and improve their health. These base coats also provide a smooth foundation for nail polish application.

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