Good foundations and sturdy overlays 

Hi nail polish lovers! 

Can you guess what today’s blog post is about from the title? I’ll give you a clue.. It will sandwich your nail colour. 

Hopefully you guessed: base coat and top coat! I have been painting my nails for years and the second most common question I get from muggles (non polish obsessed folks) is “how does your manicure stay so nice? Mine always chips straight away!” My answer is always the same – base coat and top coat. I’m always flabbergasted by the amount of people who don’t use base or top coat or haven’t even heard of it before! P.S: If you’re wondering, the most common question is “where do you get your nails done?”

I’ve used several base and top coats in my time – they’re always either on the cheaper end of the scale (dollar store) or easily able to be picked up from Farmers or an online store. Base and top coat is never going to be riddic expensive but is it such an important part of your manicure so there’s definitely a need to have some on hand! 


Every time I put on base coat, in my head I can hear Sandy from Cute Polish saying “to protect your natural nail”. I have been using this Hard as Nails base coat by Sally Hansen on and off since I became a nail polish fiend. It is a little thick but I find that a thicker base coat can mean less chance of a stain nail bed if you use a blue or a red nail polish and also goes over ridges or split nails really easily. What it doesn’t do, is it doesn’t magically fix your nails into not splitting but if you seal the tops of your nails each step of your manicure, it will be less likely to chip or split. You can find this base coat at Farmers stores.

The top coat I’ve been loving lately is Seche Vite – which is a classic among nail polish loving circles. There are a few top coats that come highly regarded and this is one of them. HK Girl is another and Essie is not without its charms too. I haven’t tried HK Girl yet, but am told by people who have used Seche and HK Girl that they prefer HK – so if you’re happy with that sort of two degrees of separation recommendation then go for it!

Seche Vite has got a bit of a stink to it, which goes away once dry. It’s also a quick dry top coat which is a must for me. This can result in some shrinkage around the edges, but it’s not as bad as some other quick dry top coats I’ve tried (like Jordana Quick Shine, which is my usual go to). The final result is a super shiney manicure, which looks a lot like gel polish! I picked up my bottle from Sally’s Beauty Supply in America but locally you can get it from the Beyond Beauty website but disclaimer: I’ve not purchased from here before.

Do you always use a base and top coat? 

Love and glitter 

Kalliana 💖

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