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Different Nail Polish Formulations

There are so many nail polish brands today that it gets confusing to choose which one to buy. You can lessen your confusion by identifying them by formulation, though. There are different kinds of polish: base coat, top coat, regular, and gel polish. I’m here to help you differentiate them from one another:

  • Base coat – I never put nail polish on my nails without first applying a base coat. This is a clear or milky formula that’s thinner than polish. So why do I never forgo the use of the base coat? Its main purpose is to strengthen the nails and to give them some moisture before they have to be covered by polish. The base coat also helps the polish stick to the nails better.
  • Top coat – The top coat is what you use after the nail polish has already been applied. It helps the polish harden quickly and forms a barrier so that the polish and the nail don’t chip easily. If you want to make the most of the top coat, look for the quick drying variants.
  • Gel polish – Gel nail polish typically lasts longer than regular nail polish. It’s used just like your average polish, but it requires a UV or LED light to set. This kind of polish can last up to two weeks without chipping as soon as it dries. It also looks better than regular polish. Unfortunately, I’ve found gel polish to be harder to remove than regular polish.
  • Regular polish – Regular polish are the kinds you often find and use. These come in a variety of color and dries slowly after application.

When doing your nails on your own, you have to remember that you can’t just put regular nail polish on them and be done with it. It’s important to care for your nails so that they don’t chip easily and become brittle. To keep them always looking healthy, make sure to use a base coat and a top coat. I personally let my nails “rest” in between using different nail polishes. This means that after removing old polish, I don’t immediately apply new polish on them. You should try that too.

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