Much like foundation primers, base coats aren’t a strict requirement, but things will probably turn out better if you use them. Base coats lay down an even, grippable canvas for your nail polish, which’ll make your manicure last longer and look smoother. Other than these essential functions, the best base coat nail polishes will add something else to the table, whether that’s strengthening your nails, filling in ridges, or working overtime as a clear polish or top coat.
Base coats are almost always a good idea, but they’re the best idea when you’ll be applying dark, bright, glittery, or otherwise very pigmented nail polishes on top. That extra layer between nail and polish provides a buffer against stubborn staining and yellowing, which can sometimes outlive even the most powerful nail polish remover.
Ready to take this extremely small but meaningful step toward a better, longer-lasting manicure? Take your pick from five of the best base coat polishes listed below, all of which are conveniently available on Amazon.
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