Base Coats for a No-Chip Mani and Pedi

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

beautiful hands with pretty polish using mac book
Keep your nails chip-free even as you type away.Polina Zimmerman

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.

Mineral Fusion Nail Polish Base Coat, 0.33 Ounce (Packaging May Vary)

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

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.

OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener

Hardens and Heals

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

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.)

essie All-In-One Base Coat + Top Coat + Strengthener Nail Polish, 0.46 Ounces (Packaging May Vary)

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

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.