Base coat is such an important but frequently overlooked part of the manicure. After yesterdays little fiasco with blue nails I decided it was time for this post.I have played around with many, but I am very loyal to my favorites. My nails are pretty average if anything, on the weak side. Even though I know better I just about never wear gloves when doing the dishes or cleaning. I am a fiend about moisturizing though and planning on posting in the future about moisturizers as well because that is also a vital part of taking care of your hands and nails but for today I'm going to stick to the base coat.
Think of base coat as a shield for your nails. I had to find something that would give me strength. I break and chip my nails all the time. I really do try to be a bit more mindful of them since starting this blog especially, but at the end of the day life happens. We have things to do purses to zip up and those bloody sandals that I was dying for have buckles that are designed to shred my nails! True story sadly. I have tried product after product that promised to rescue my nails but failed to deliver. I'm not even going to mention how much money I have spent on this quest. I have even gone as far as getting gel nails only to be mortified by what my own nails looked like when I removed them. No pictures of those hideous misadventures in Nailvanna land thank you very much. Gel left my nails weaker then ever before and recovery was a lengthy process.
That brings me to my first staple.
OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener
Nail Envy from OPI is my secret weapon. When I started using it my nails were a complete disaster from acrylics. They were so weak that they were bendy and peeled. Not a very pretty sight and my nail polish would chip at a record rate. When trying a product that promises to fix my nails I try to give it about a month of use. This allows me to see if it really does work and allows me to decide if it's trash or treasure. Nail Envy is a treasure! I would have been satisfied if my nails just stopped peeling but they also became stronger as advertised, just like the box promised even before the month was up. Personally I prefer the Matte Formula, but I don't think you could go wrong regardless of the finish you choose. I make sure I never run out of this one and I have recommended it time and time again.
Essie Ridge Filling Base Coat
Essie Ridge Filling Base Coat is a staple for me. I have used it as a base for just about every manicure I have posted on Nailvanna. I can put it right on top of Nail Envy if need be. It creates the perfect canvas hiding any imperfections on my nails. It's milky in color and helps to hide any discoloration as well so you can wear it on it's own if you choose. Your nails will look natural and fabulous. I am lucky because I have very few ridges but my nails are far from perfect and I want my polish to look smooth. Sure I could buff my nails, but that weakens them. Your nails are made of a protein called keratin, just like your hair. As you buff those ridges away your nails become thinner and weaker so making them more likely to break. If you are a buffer you need to stop that right now because you are only making things worse! Sometimes all you need is to be diligent about moisturizing and that will help recover damaged nails. Think of it as nail food. Ridge filling base coat will fill in those gaps and don't be afraid to use two coats if that is what is required. Follow up with the polish of your choice, a good top coat and you will have amazing results! Many of you have emailed me or messaged me on Instagram asking about this topic so I hope you have found this post helpful. Thanks for all the love!