So we’ve all heard that the quality of base coat is what can make your manicure last – lots of different ones out there at various price points. Today I will compare four different ones for you. I tried out these four base coats over the course of one week. Like any good science experiment I had a control – my thumb didn’t have a base coat.

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The four I used, cost before tax and which finger they were on:

ORLY BONDER RUBBERIZED BASECOAT $12.50 (Pinkie Finger)

I purchased this one online at NPC.com It goes on very nicely, I quite like the longer brush of this Orly base. Described by Orly:  Grips lacquer to the nail surface for lasting adhesion for up to two weeks. This unique formula delivers a cutting edge resin technology to improve lacquer adhesion and wearability.

BUTTER LONDON NAIL FOUNDATION FLAWLESS BASECOAT $21.00 (Ring Finger)

I also purchased this one on NPC.com. It also went on quite nicely and does dry to a super matte finish. Described by BL: Make up for your nails. This silk-finish, stain resistant, non-toxic basecoat provides the perfect foundation for butter LONDON 3 Free Lacquer. Matte results so beautiful, you can wear it alone.

NAILTEK II INTENSIVE THERAPY $17.00 (Middle Finger)

Another NPC.com purchase (I’m addicted!!) it’s more for nail therapy, but many use it as a base coat. It was the most liquid-y of the base coats I used. Described by NailTek: Intensive Therapy improves weak, thin, soft, or peeling nails. This unique protein formulation seals the layers of the nail together. With each application, it reinforces and thickens nails while promoting strength and flexibility.

SALLY HANSEN HARD AS WRAPS NAIL HARDENER $7.97 (Index Finger)

I purchased this one at Walmart after seeing a Pin on Pinterest using it for a long lasting, shellac-like manicure. It is super sticky and as I’m getting down into my bottle it’s getting a bit stringy around the top of the bottle, it was the thickest of the base coats I used. Described by SH: Powerful acrylic protection instantly seals and hardens nails in 1 EASY STEP! Patented breakthrough formula provides an instant, long-lasting, wrap-like surface for fragile, soft, torn, chipped or cracked nails.
For each finger I did one coat of the base coat, two coats of Deborah Lippmann Daytripper nail lacquer and one coat of Wicked Fast top coat.

Here are the picture progressions over one week:

Day Zero – This was taken right after applying the polish.

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Day Three – I have one small chip on my middle finger (NailTek) and on my thumb (no basecoat.) Other than that, all fingers are just showing normal tip wear and no other chips.

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Day Five – The middle finger chip has gotten much bigger (NailTek) as has the chip on my thumb (no basecoat.) Today my index and pinkie both got small chips on them – so it took 5 days for all base coats except for Butter London to show some chipping.

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Day Seven – It killed me leaving this manicure on for seven days – the chipping on a majority of my fingers was driving me bonkers! The one that held up the best was Butter London’s Nail Foundation, but at that pricepoint I don’t think it will appeal to the masses. Over all I think bang for your buck the best base coat is the Orly Bonder. I think 5 days with minimal chipping is pretty decent – especially for nail addicts who change their polish every few days.

As far as the Sally Hansen promising 2 week wear, I can’t imagine getting that kind of wear out of any polish that isn’t a gel/shellac manicure.

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~ Terra

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