Base Coats for a No-Chip Mani and Pedi

The foundation of a perfect polish job is a solid base.

A base coat may not be the sexiest part of a manicure, but it’s important. The right base extends the life of a mani-pedi by creating a barrier between the polish and the oils in the nail bed, which helps bond the color better. Some bases can even moisturize or diminish the look of ridges and indentations.

Cruelty Free

Rest easy when you lacquer on this vegan primer: it’s free of formaldehyde, DBP, toluene and camphor. Plus, it strengthens while it works. Mineral Fusion

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If you like the look of clear polish, buff your nails, then apply two coats of base and a top coat, which will help lock in the shine. Look for a strengthening formula with horsetail, which is packed with silica to keep your natural nails from breaking.

Hardens and Heals

Calcium and hydrolyzed wheat protein, which naturally increases shine, are the wonder ingredients in this reparative option. OPI

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The darker the polish, the more crucial the base step. This will prevent the hue from staining your nail beds (same goes for neon and glittery picks.)

Does Double-Duty

This quick-dry pick makes up two-thirds of your mani-pedi needs—just add a color! Argan oil means it’s moisturizing too. essie

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If you’re going to use your base as a top coat too, be sure to pick a polish that was specially formulated to be both. Using a regular top coat as a base could make your color peel; applying a base as the last step won’t get you that glorious shine.