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As promised, today I’ll talk about base and top coats. This is not going to be a post about what you definitely have to buy, it’s what I use and my opinions on these since many bloggers write only about things they really love (or hate) and all the inbetween stuff is pretty hard to find opinions on. I haven’t found my HG base or top coat yet (if there even are stunning, fantastic, mindblowing ones). So lets jump right into it!

Sally Hansen Maximum Growth – this I use as a base whenever I’m out of anything else and also on my daughters nails as just a gloss. She’s 8 so she can’t wear colors to school yet.
This is what it looks like:

Pros:
* Cheap
* Does protect nails from staining from the nail polish
* Nice and glossy
* Dries quickly
* Still in great condition even though the bottle is half empty and over 3 years old
Cons:
* Doesn’t really do anything in the growth or strength department (which it should since it’s a treatment rather then a base coat)

OPI Nail Envy, original – this is my current attempt at finding a treatment that works. I use this as the first base layer.
This is what it looks like:

Pros:
* Does seem to help prevent cracks
* Dries fast
* Looks nice on its own, glossy
Cons:
* Expensive
* Creates a bit of a weird surface to work on, nail polish doesn’t seem to want to stick to it very well

Nubar Ridge Filler – since I have some nails that are quite ridged, I use this. When I’m lazy, I use it alone, when I’m less lazy, I use it on top of the Nail Envy. Though you really should just use one layer of base coat but this is for a good cause!😀
This is what it looks like:

Pros:
* Does fill ridges as it promises
* Provides a great surface for nail polish
* Prevents staining from nail polish
* Pretty bottle!😀
* Dries quickly
Cons:
* A bit tricky to obtain

Nubar Diamont Top Coat – yeaah, the scourge of my existence. I’m 99% sure that my bottle is from the inbetween hell period where they hadn’t changed the formula back. Because it just pretty much sucks. But they DID change the formula back to the old good times and apparently this is supposed to be the next best thing since Christmas so if you get a new bottle, this shouldn’t apply to you. I think I got a bottle from an older stock.
This is what it looks like:

Pros:
* Er… high gloss?
Cons:
* Pretty tricky to obtain
Cons specific to the yuck period:
* Dries forever
* Kind of gloopy
* Bubbles
* Shrinkage even with Nubar nail polishes

Sally Hansen Salon Speed Shine Top Coat – believe it or not, this is actually quite good! I’m currently using this again until I find something that blows me away.
This is what it looks like:

Pros:
* Dries quickly
* Doesn’t shrink
* Glossy
* Smoothes out most glitters
* Doesn’t smear the polish (it DOES say to wait 2 minutes before applying though!)
* I really like the cold sensation of it
Cons:
* Dries to the touch only, even if you waited like a good girl inbetween layers, the polish still dents for a long time (though this is something that is probably utopic to want from a top coat)
* Tends to dull down after two-three days

So this is what I use and what I think of it. The one thing I’m not questioning at all is the Nubar Ridge Filler. If you have ridges, this is something that I’d recommend trying out! The rest have quite a balanced pros and cons list I think. But at the end of the day, for me the decision comes down to deciding which cons I can live with!🙂
I think I will try Seche Vite top coat since there’s so much praise for it. Though there are also those who say it causes shrinkage (which is one of the most major cons in my book). We’ll see! If you have suggestions on what else I should try, please leave a comment or e-mail me: kirikadawn@gmail.com🙂
Next time I’ll have you a tutorial!🙂 See you then and have a great day everyone!