How to choose the perfect top and base coat

Most people slather on any old top or base coat when giving themselves a DIY mani/pedi – if they use them at all. First off…you should always use both! They’re essential to not only keep your nails healthy, but to help your mani/pedi last longer. They’re like primers for your nails and just like a primer, picking one that fits your needs is critical to optimize their efficacy. Ask yourself: is it staying power I want? A matte finish? A shiny finish? Quick dry? Here’s a look at some of the best options!

If you’re a nail bitter: Dermelect Resist Nail Bite Inhibitor + Restorative Treatment, $15 (works as top and base coat)

If you’re looking for something totally non-toxic: Flora 1761 Essential Duo, $29 (save $3 if you buy the top and base coat together)

If you’re looking for strengthening and staying power: Maxus Nails Top and Base Coat ($18 each)

If you’re looking for a high gloss finish: Smith and Cult Above It All Top Coat, $18

If you’re looking for a matte gloss finish: essie Matte About You, $9

If you’re looking for a quick dry: Sally Hansen Diamond Flash Fast Dry Top Coat, $12.43

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