15 Best Base Coat Nail Polishes To Protect Your Nails – 2024

Create an evenly polished base for your nail paint and achieve the most flawless finish.

Reviewed by Mary Ajaka, Makeup Artist Mary Ajaka Mary AjakaMakeup Artist insta_icon
Written by , Commerce Writer Srijita De Commerce Writer Experience: 2 years
Edited by , Associate Commerce Editor Srijani Roy Chowdhury Associate Commerce Editor Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , Associate Commerce Editor Krati Darak Associate Commerce Editor Experience: 3 years
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A gorgeous and long-lasting manicure can only work if you choose the best base coat for your nail polish. Long or short, everyone desires to have healthy nails that can take any nail paint without getting dull or making the dried paint chip off prematurely. Sometimes, regularly getting your nails painted or manicured can start making them turn yellowish due to nail varnish. To save your nails from getting ruined, try investing in some good base coats before trying on bomb colors and ensure enhanced beauty of your nails.

The base coat is formulated to protect the health of your nails by keeping them sturdy, forming a layer that prevents them from getting too dry at the cuticles. It smoothes out the area before you can glide your nail paint with ease. And the good news? You can simply try it at home instead of blowing money at the salon. Take a look at these 15 effective base coat nail paints we have selected after going through several reviews online that will protect your nails.

Top Picks
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Best Nail Strengthening Formula:Mineral Fusion Base Coat
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Best Glossy:Aimeili Base Coat
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Best Long-Lasting Formula:Modelones Leafu Top And Base Coat Set
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Best Quick-Drying:OPI Natural Nail Base Coat
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Best Alcohol-Free:ORLY Bonder Rubberized Base Nail Coat
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Best For Brittle Nails:Seche Clear Crystal Clear Base Coat
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Best Fade-Resistant:Essie First Base Base Coat
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Best Chip-Resistant:Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat
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Best For UV Protection:Vishine Soak-Off Gelpolish Base Coat
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Best Nourishing:Sally Hansen Ultimate Shield Base & Top Coat
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What Does A Base Coat Do?

A base coat is a step in your manicure routine that you don’t want to miss. It not only provides a shield between your delicate nail and often harsh nail paints, but it also works to nourish and strengthen your nails for enhanced beauty. The best base coat provides the ideal smooth foundation for nail paint to be applied evenly and flawlessly. A thin coat of a nail base coat followed by 2 coats of your favorite nail paint are all you need to flaunt your gorgeous nails for weeks to come. Whether used alone or under nail paint, base coats will ensure your hands are so pretty, you won’t be able to stop staring at them!

15 Best Base Coat Nail Polishes You Must Check Out In 2024

1) Best Nail Strengthening Formula:Mineral Fusion Base Coat

4.5

This nail polish base performs beautifully in strengthening nails, making them healthy and flawless. The custom, extra-thick brush ensures smooth and even application, making it ideal to be applied before a coat of nail polish. This product is hypoallergenic and unscented, so you can use it without worry, even if you’re sensitive to strong scents, which makes it the best for nail preparation. Reviewers love its formula which is made with minimal ingredients that do cause harm. Long-lasting and chip-resistant, this product provides a clear and glossy finish, making it a favorite for those who always like to keep their nails in top shape.

Color: Base Coat | Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 0.88 x 3.13 inches | Weight: 0.32 Ounces

Pros

  • Long-lasting and chip-resistant
  • No artificial fragrances
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Carbon-free and gluten-free
  • Free of parabens, formaldehyde, and camphor
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons

  • Some might find the texture of this product a bit thick.

protip_icon Pro Tip
Apply two thin layers of the base coat instead of just one to assist the colored polish in sticking to the nails uniformly.

2) Best Glossy:Aimeili Base Coat

If you love gel nails and never miss your monthly nail salon appointment like us, this is the product for you. This gel base coat provides a mirror shine finish without any chips or smudges. To use, apply a thin layer and cure under a UV light for 1 minute, followed by an LED light for 30 seconds. This small step is all you need to ensure a manicure that is both gorgeous and flawless. When properly applied, your nails will have a high-gloss finish that lasts up to 21 days. Although it is free from toxic ingredients, the brand still recommends doing a patch test before using the product. You can check this YouTube video for more information about the product and the tester’s experience of using it.

Product Dimensions: 2.76 x 2.36 x 0.79 inches | Weight: 2.82 Ounces

Pros

  • Glossy, mirror-shine finish
  • Suitable for use under gel-based nail polish
  • Improves nail health
  • Made with eco-friendly ingredients
  • Lasts for up to 21 days
  • Not tested on animals

Cons

  • May cause an allergic reaction, in rare cases. It is advisable to perform a patch test before the entire application.

3) Best Long-Lasting Formula:Modelones Leafu Top And Base Coat Set

4.5
Modelones Gel Base And Top Coat Nail Polish Image: Modelones

Say hello to beautiful, glossy nails with this high performing base coat, which will ensure your nails are always the center of attention. Easy to apply, this product is compatible with other brands and is ideal for use under gel nail polish. Brittle and uneven nails are a thing of the past with this base coat that gives your nails a gorgeously smooth and polished look. Give yourself a salon-style manicure that lasts 21-45 days and always has your talons party-ready. Although it is completely toxin-free, the brand still recommends a skin test before using the product. If you are still unsure about purchasing, you can check out a review of this product on YouTube and learn about the reviewer’s experience of using it.

Color: A1-Base & Top Coat Set | Product Dimensions: 3.15 x 1.97 x 5.12 inches | Weight: 2.89 Ounces

Pros

  • Easy to apply and clean
  • Long-lasting and high-shine finish
  • Nail strengthener
  • Soft and neat brush for flawless application
  • Durable and compatible with most brand

Cons

  • May not be chip-resistant

protip_icon Pro Tip
Capping the open edges is essential to prevent the base coat from lifting and cracking. Apply a thin layer to the free edge of your nail to complete the look.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The overwhelming 1,607 positive reviews on Amazon show how popular this product is with happy users.

Mineral Fusion Base Coat
Best Nail Strengthening Formula
Aimeili Base Coat
Best Glossy
Modelones Leafu Top And Base Coat Set
Best Long-Lasting Formula
Color Base Coat- A1-Base & Top Coat Set
Dimensions 1.8 x 0.88 x 3.13 inches 2.76 x 2.36 x 0.79 inches 3.15 x 1.97 x 5.12 inches
Weight 0.32 Ounces 2.82 Ounces 2.89 Ounces
Rating
Reviews6825,5041,607
Price$8.99$7.99$6.99

4) Best Quick-Drying:OPI Natural Nail Base Coat

Love nail polish but hate the staining and yellowing that accompanies it? This base coat is ideal to use under your favorite nail paint for a longer-lasting manicure while preventing natural nail discoloration. A thin coat of this product ensures your nail polish goes on smoother and without any streakiness. Quick-drying and chip-resistant, this OPI base coat will improve the texture of your nails and have you flaunt your beautiful manicure with style and confidence on your statement-making evenings.

Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 1.05 x 3.25 inches | Weight: 0.5 Ounces

Pros

  • Prevents yellowing and discoloration
  • Offers nail protection
  • Quick-drying and long-lasting
  • Easy to apply and remove
  • Improves nail texture and strengths them
  • Longevity
  • Not tested on animals

Cons

  • Some might find the texture of this base coat a bit thin.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has more than 10,161 reviews claiming its efficacy.

5) Best Alcohol-Free:ORLY Bonder Rubberized Base Nail Coat

4.5

Try the ORLY Bonder Rubberized Base Nail Coat for salon-style nails at the convenience of your home. This base coat nail polish works as the perfect gel-based base coat to create a seamless canvas for your nails. It makes sure that your manicure and pedicure last longer for about two weeks or more, and the rubberized basecoat caters to gripping the polish on your nail’s surface for extra-lasting adhesion.

Color: Clear | Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 1.6 x 3.9 inches | Weight: 3.2 Ounces

Pros

  • Long lasting
  • Alcohol-free
  • Rubberised base coat
  • Ridge filling
  • Salon-style manicure and pedicure
  • Boosts nail lacquer’s resilience and flexibility
  • Easy peel off removal

Cons

  • Leaves a yellow tint on the nails

6) Best For Brittle Nails:Seche Clear Crystal Clear Base Coat

Your nails will thank you for this protecting base coat that not only prevents nail damage but also gives your nail art a glossy and polished shine that will last for days. This nail primer adheres to the natural nail and protects it against staining, yellowing, and chipping while strengthening them. Give yourself beautiful salon-style manicures in the comfort of your home by pairing 1 coat of this product with 2 coats of your favorite nail polish and finish off with a luxurious top coat.

Color: Clear

Pros

  • Prevents staining and yellowing of nails
  • Disguises nail imperfections
  • Offers nail hydration
  • Fast-drying and easy to remove
  • Protects nail bed from damage
  • Not tested on animals

Cons

  • Some might find the scent of this product a bit overpowering.

7) Best Fade-Resistant:Essie First Base Base Coat

4.6
Essie Image: Essie First Base Base Coat

Give your nails the specialized care it deserves with this high-performing base coat that promises salon-like results. The rubber adhesive in this Essie base coat helps bond polish to the natural nail surface while preventing color wear and fading. A quick coat of this nail bonding product provides a smooth surface for nail polish application and helps resist chipping for a polished, glossy finish. This base coat can be used either alone for healthy-looking nails or as part of your manicure routine for nails that never fail to amaze.

Color: ALL IN ONE BASE COAT & TOP COAT | Product Dimensions: 0.79 x 0.79 x 3.94 inches | Weight: 0.48 Ounces

Pros

  • Provides color protection
  • Chip-resistant and long-lasting
  • Easy to apply and remove
  • Strengthens and protects nails
  • Free from animal testing

Cons

  • Some might find the application brush a bit thin.

8) Best Chip-Resistant:Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat

Here’s a nail polish base coat that glides on effortlessly to ensure your manicure looks smooth, even, and flawless. Made without toxic chemicals, this base coat is quick-drying and helps protect nails against chipping, breakage, and the much-dreaded yellowing and staining of the nail bed. A gorgeous home manicure is just a few simple steps away with this product that creates a smooth canvas for non-gel-based nail paint and promises a glossy, polished finish and long-lasting adherence.

Color: Quick Dry Base Coat | Product Dimensions: 72 x 1.44 x 1.44 inches | Weight: 2.12 Ounces

Pros

  • Quick-drying and easy to apply
  • Protects against chipping and yellowing
  • Free of formaldehyde, camphor, toluene, and DBP
  • Easy to remove

Cons

  • Some feel that the product leaves streaks on the nails.

9) Best For UV Protection:Vishine Soak-Off Gelpolish Base Coat

No one can deny that gel-based nail paints are the way to go for a super sleek and glamorous finish, but they require regular salon visits to maintain, and time is something we’re all short of. This base coat is designed for gel-based nail paints and allows you to replicate a salon-like gel manicure in the comfort of your home. Long-lasting and chip-resistant, this gel polish base coat ensures a finish that is smooth and flawless. This product is odorless, making it ideal for those sensitive to strong scents.

Color: Clear

Pros

  • Long-lasting and wear-resistant
  • Mild and non-irritating
  • Provides UV protection
  • Free of formaldehyde and lead
  • Odorless

Cons

  • Some might find the texture of this product a bit sticky.

10) Best Nourishing:Sally Hansen Ultimate Shield Base & Top Coat

4.5

Sally Hansen is a name synonymous with good-quality nail care, and here’s a base coat that doubles up as a top coat to provide your nails with all the nourishment and protection they need. This base and top coat nail polish features a micro-polymer formula, reinforcing brittle nails and boosting strength and flexibility for healthy-looking nails. This product can either be applied on bare nails as a base coat or over dry nail paint as a top coat for a glossy, refined finish.

Number of Items: 1 | Color: Transparent | Product Dimensions: 2.78 x 0.78 x 5.38 inches | Weight: 0.32 Ounces

Pros

  • Chip-resistant and long-lasting
  • Doubles up as a top coat
  • Repairs and strengthens nails
  • Prevents peeling and fading of nail color

Cons

  • Some might find the texture of this product a bit dense.

11) Best Breakage Prevention:Duri Rejuvacote Nail Growth System

4.3
Duri Image: Duri Rejuvacote Nail Growth System

This multi-purpose base coat not only doubles up as a top coat, but is also enriched with nourishing ingredients that help your beloved nails grow strong and healthy. Infused with hydrolyzed wheat protein, keratin, and calcium, this base coat promotes growth, strengthens nails, and prevents splitting and breaking. Suitable for use with or without nail polish, this moisturizing base coat seals in collagen and fatty acids produced naturally by the nail plate for nails protected and always well taken care of. Many reviewers on Amazon have noted down their journey of how this product repaired their weak and brittle nails. We cannot think of reasons why you shouldn’t bring home this product that is considered as the best base coat nail polish by many right away!

Product Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 4 inches | Weight: 0.64 Ounces

Pros

  • Doubles up as a top coat
  • Stimulates nail growth
  • Protects nails from chipping, brittleness, and splitting
  • Free of parabens
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons

  • Might not be best suited for those with very sensitive skin.

12) Best Non-Toxic:Dazzle Dry Step 2 Base Coat

4.5
Dazzle Dry Step 2 Base Coat Image: Dazzle Dry

Protect your nails and lock in the shine with the Dazzle Dry Step 2 Base Coat. This quick-drying formula is a part of the 4-step system of manicure, which helps in smoothening your nail plates to allow your nail polish to adhere better for a long time. It protects your nails from yellowing, chipping, or peeling and ensures the natural shine of the nails remains intact. This base coat is best suited for natural nails.

Color: Clear

Pros

  • Fastest drying formula
  • Easy to apply and clean
  • Long-lasting results
  • Prevents yellowing and peeling
  • Protects natural nails
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • Camphor-free
  • SLS-free
  • No toxins

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not suitable for acrylic or artificial nails

13) Best Repairing:Butter London Horse Power Nail Rescue Basecoat

4.3

Restore, repair, and revitalize dull, brittle nails with this effective base nail polish, strengthening nails and preventing breakage while promising a polished look. Free of nasty toxins like formaldehyde and camphor, this product is infused with horsetail extract, biotin, vitamin B, and calcium, which help fortify weak nails and protect against future damage. Chip-resistant and long-lasting, this base coat ensures your manicure is wear-resistant, and the color stays fresh and bright for longer.

Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 2 inches | Weight: 2.01 Ounces

Pros

  • Strengthens and fortifies weak nails
  • Even application
  • Prevents breakage and damage
  • Infused with biotin and calcium
  • Free of formaldehyde, camphor, toluene, and DBP
  • Free from animal testing

Cons

  • Some might find the texture of this base coat a bit runny.

14) Best Color Protection:Maxus Base Coat

4.3
Maxus Base Coat Image: Maxus Nails

If you’re looking for the best nail base coat without the harmful hardeners used in most other base coats, this product is ideal for you. Infused with amino acids and tea tree oil, this moisturizing and nourishing product creates a powerful foundation for a flawless and gorgeous manicure. When used on clean, dry nails before the first nail polish coat, this base coat also protects the nail paint from staining, yellowing, and discoloration.

Color: clear

Pros

  • Enriched with tea tree oil and amino acids
  • Prevents discoloration and yellowing
  • Free of formaldehyde, camphor, and DBP
  • Made without parabens, phthalates, and fragrances
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons

  • Some might find this base coat a bit over-drying.

15) Best Cruelty-Free:Tenoverten The Foundation Nail Strengthening Base Coat

This non-toxic base coat strengthens nails and lays the foundation for healthier natural nails. Infused with vitamin E and horsetail grass, this base coat prevents cracking, fills ridges, and ensures a healthy buffed glow. This product can either be used alone or under a nail varnish for color that lasts long and has an even, polished finish. Free of nasty chemicals and cruelty-free ingredients, this base coat for nails is the ideal choice for the conscious consumer who wants beautiful nails without compromising on quality.

Product Dimensions: 1.38 x 1.38 x 2.75 inches | Weight: 2.4 Ounces.

Pros

  • Repairs soft or peeling nails
  • Long-lasting polish adhesion
  • Free of dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, and camphor
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons

  • Some might find that this base coat is a bit prone to chipping.

Now that we have had a look at our carefully curated list of the 15 best base coat nail polishes in 2024, let us look at some things to consider when picking the right base coat for your unique requirements.

How To Choose A Base Coat

  • Type of manicure

The first step is to consider what kind of manicure you want for your nails. If you’re the kind who likes clear, healthy-looking nails without any color, this relatively low-maintenance style can be achieved easily with a thin coat of a nourishing base coat that strengthens nails while providing a natural glow. For those who favor a more hardcore gel manicure, pick a gel base coat designed specifically for this purpose. If you’re the kind that wants a quick pop of color before dashing out the door, pick a quick-drying base coat that doubles up as a top coat and you will have a salon-style manicure in a matter of minutes.

  • Harmful chemicals

Many nail polishes are formulated with toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, camphor, toluene, and DBP, to make the product last longer. It’s best to steer away from these ingredients as they may make nails dry and brittle in the long run and may cause irritation and an allergic reaction, especially if you have sensitive skin.

  • Ingredients

While there are many ingredients, one must stay clear when it comes to nail paints, the best base coat nail polishes have nourishing ingredients that help strengthen your nails. Not only do they act as a shield between your delicate nails and harsh nail paints, but they also prevent cracking and fill ridges for a smooth and flawless application. When you pick up the best-suited products for your nails, remember to include ingredients such as vitamin E, horsetail grass, biotin, and calcium.

How To Use A Base Coat

Step 1 – Clean and file nails

The first step in any manicure, whether at home or at a salon, is to clean and file nails.

Step 2 – Apply base coat

Once your nails are prepped and ready for nail paint, apply an even layer of a base coat.

Step 3 – Apply nail polish

Once dry, apply your regular nail polish as usual.

Step 4 – For gel-based base coats, cure under a UV light

The steps are a little more complicated when it comes to gel base coats as they require to be dried under a UV lamp. Follow the directions closely on the product for best results.

Base Coat Vs Top Coat

Base coats and top coats both have essential value when it comes to a manicure that resists wear and stands the test of time. Base coats are usually thicker and stickier, providing a barrier between your nail and nail paint, whereas top coats are thinner and create a durable surface on the nail to withstand chips and breakage. Both are equally important in preventing damage and allowing color to last longer, and neither should be skipped if you want your nails to look polished and oh-so-gorgeous.

Infographic: Benefits Of Using A Base Coat

The base coat, often an overlooked step in the nail care routine, holds a multitude of benefits that can enhance the overall look, health, and longevity of your manicure. If you want to achieve a flawless, impeccable, and long-lasting manicure, check out the infographic below and understand the benefits of a base coat and why incorporating it into your routine is a game-changer.

Benefits Of Using A Base Coat(infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

The Bottom Line

Your nails look gorgeous when they are painted with an attractive color shade. But many times, if you apply the nail color directly, it chips away early and doesn’t give a nice finish, and not to mention, it might affect the health of your nails. So, before applying the perfect shade, it’s essential to coat your nail to prevent discoloration. Invest in the best base coats that protect your nails and cuticles from getting dry. The Mineral Fusion Base Coat does not have a strong scent and the OPI Natural Nail Base Coat prevents natural nail discoloration. The Butter London Horse Power Nail Rescue Basecoat revitalizes dull and brittle nails. Besides behaving as a protective shield, these base coats also nourishes the nails and strengthens them. These base coats are chip-resistant and offer a smooth finish to your nail polish. They also help the polish to stay longer. Consider investing in expert-recommended non-toxic base coats as they are safe for your nails. And avoid thick consistency and sticky base coats as they may not offer a smooth finish.

Why Trust Stylecraze?

Our author, Srijita De, is a makeup enthusiast. She has curated this list of base coat nail polishes after carefully researching them, checking reviews online, and browsing through multiple online forums for user feedback. She picked only the top-rated products that keep your nails sturdy and prevent cuticle dryness. These base coat nail polishes are long-lasting, chip-resistant, hypoallergenic, and offer a glossy finish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a base coat really help?

A base coat not only helps keep your nails pretty and polished, it also helps strengthen the nail and prevent damage and discoloration. A base coat forms a nourishing shield over your delicate nail to protect them from the potentially harmful chemicals found in most nail paints.

Can’t I use a top coat as a base coat nail polish?

While some use a top coat as a base coat, it is best to use a product for the purpose it is designed for. Top coats are normally thinner, take longer to dry, and don’t have the nourishing properties that base coats have.

How many coats of base coat should I apply?

When using alone, 2 coats of base coat help your nails look nourished and give them a natural healthy glow. When using a base coat under your favorite nail paint, it is best to apply a thin layer of base coat and allow it to dry completely.

Are base coats and top coats the same?

Both base coats and top coats are steps of your manicure that you don’t want to miss. While some products are designed to be doubled up and used for both purposes, most products are specially designed to perform one. A base coat is designed to protect your nail from damage and provide a smooth foundation for your nail paint to go on, whereas a top coat is designed to prevent chips and make your color last longer.

Is base coat a primer?

No, a base coat is a transparent protective coating over the nail, but a primer works as an adhesive and cleaning agent both.

Can I apply gel polish without a base coat?

Yes, you can apply gel polish directly on the nail, but a base coat is necessary as it protects your nails against stains. It also prevents your nail polish from chipping off quickly.

Does the base coat prevent yellow nails?

No, a base coat cannot prevent your nails from turning yellow.


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