Top and base coats might not seem like the most interesting steps of a manicure. However, they might be considered the most important! The beautiful and attention-grabbing colors used in a professional manicure need to be protected, as do the nails they are applied to.
This is why using a high-quality top and base coat is a crucial part of a professional nail service. If you want to learn a little more about what makes a good top and base coat, how to use them, and why they make such a big difference, keep on reading!
What is a Base Coat Nail Polish?
Let’s start with the first step! A base coat is simply the first layer applied to the nails during a manicure. There are many options out there, with some base coats boasting health advantages or added strength.
Base coats are normally clear, or slightly yellow-tinged. They don’t necessarily have a shiny finish, as other coats will be applied after to cover up the base coat.
What is a Top Coat Nail Polish?
A top coat is the last step in a manicure, as the name implies. They can be found in either shiny or matte finishes and provide additional protection, so top coats are a must in any professional manicure service.
Top coats have a bit more variety than base coats, as they are visible in the finished manicure. You can find both glossy and matte top coats, both of which are applied once the color or design is complete.
Why are Base and Top Coats Important?
Now that we’ve briefly covered what base and top coats are, you might be wondering what their specific functions are. Let’s get into some more details about these two very important manicure steps!
Nail Base Coat
Although base coats are not necessarily the most exciting part of a manicure, they are crucial to the integrity of the polish and the health of the natural nails. Here are just a few reasons as to why!
Staining: Base coats help keep the colored polishes from staining the natural nails. This is especially important with dark colors that can easily start turning the nails yellow.
Longevity: We all want our manicures to stay perfect as long as possible. Polishes will adhere better to base coats than the natural nails!
Smooth Surface: Natural nails are not usually perfectly smooth, and any ridges or bumps can show up even under coats of polish. Using a base coat creates a sleek, smooth surface that will create a beautiful surface for the rest of the manicure!
Nail Top Coat
What are the benefits of using a top coat? Let’s go over a couple of the top advantages of applying a top coat as the final layer of a manicure.
Extra Shine: Although many lacquers and gel polishes are already shiny on their own, top coats take it to the next level. You can also opt for a matte finish top coat for a different, but just as stunning, look! Some designs even make use of both at once for a unique textured appearance.
Protection: Everyday life can take its toll on a manicure — working, chores, typing, etc. A top coat can help seal in the color or design and prevent the outside elements from chipping away at the polish!
Lacquer vs. Gel Top and Base Coats
As an additional note, you might want to consider the type of polish you are using when choosing a top and base coat. Not all top and base coats are created equally or work the same way.
For example, our PLA Lacquer Base Coat and PLA Lacquer Top Coat are perfect for lacquers, but are not the best option for a gel manicure.
On the other hand, the PLA Base Coat, PLA Non Wipe Top Coat, and PLA Matte Top Coat are great for professional gel manicures!
Does your client have weak nails or struggle to grow their natural nails? We recommend checking out our PLA Overlay Base Coat and PLA Overlay Top Coat to help give their nails added strength and protection while still achieving the same beautiful appearance of a gel manicure. These can be offered as an alternative to artificial nails/extensions and should be applied to the natural nails.
No matter where you are in your nail career, it’s important to understand why you use certain products. We hope you feel a bit more comfortable and confident about using top and base coats now.
As always, we here at PLA are happy to help with any questions you may have!