What is nail base coat and top coat?

Nail base coat is the adhesive, the first layer of gel applied after nail polishing. The base gel is mainly to protect the nail, isolate the nail polish erosion and play a transitional role. It’s also a binder to enhance the adhesion of nail polish on the nail, while by evenly applying the base gel can play a basic role for the application of nail polish later.

The nail top coat is to consolidate the nail pattern and style, making the nail more durable and long-lasting. If you don’t have a top coat, your nails will be easily scratched.

left human hand with black manicure
Photo by Kate Hliznitsova on Unsplash

Can I use a top coat as a base coat?

No, It’s not possible. Top coat and base coat serve different purposes and you should use it in a different order and can’t mix them up.

person doing manicure

After the nail prep dehydrator procedure, you can brush base coat. It’s the first layer of gel of your nail art. Top coat is the last step of nail art and plays a consolidating role.

Generally the base and top coat are transparent. Two-in-one nail gels are available on the market, which means is serves as both base and top coat.

But, manufacturers use different materials for base and top coats. If you use the same one as a base and top coat, it will cause the nail polish and base gel to adhere to each other, resulting in peeling. So I don’t recommend to use this two-in-one gel, it’s best to use different gel as base and top coat.

person holding silver ring on white textile
Photo by Jesse Donoghoe on Unsplash

How to apply the base coat

  1. Wash your hands and remove any dead skin from around the nail.
  2. Trim and polish the nails, using a buffing pad to remove the cuticle.
  3. Wipe the nail surface with alcohol (note: fingers should not touch the nail surface).
  4. Apply the nail prep dehydrator.
  5. Apply the base coat.

A base coat is usually to protect the nails and to make the polish fit better, so use a base coat then the polish. The removable base coat can be easily removed with a professional nail polish remover.

How to apply nail polish

After applying the base coat you can apply your nail polish as normal.
However, when applying the nail polish, you should be quick, starting with the middle part of the nail and then the left and right sides.
After applying, put your hand in the light nail dryer machine to dry and repeat two or three times before applying the top coat. This will ensure the nail polish does not fall off and this step is essential.

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