In a word, no. base coats and top coats aren’t necessary parts of a manicure at all. They do, however, play very important roles in a fantastic, long-wearing manicure. Let’s break them down and discuss.
A base coat's most important role is probably that of protectant. Some colors (I’m looking at you, reds and blues!) can stain the nail bed. Using a base coat doesn’t necessarily stop this from happening, but it can lessen the stain.
There are many different types of base coats that you can buy depending on your needs. Some harden, some strengthen, some moisturize, some smooth ridges. Some are peel-off base coats that are designed to last just a day or so (this may sound ridiculous, but if you’ve ever tried to remove a blingy glitter polish, you’ll understand it’s value).
My favorite base coat is a “sticky” type like our So Base-ic. It dries to a rubbery finish and gives your color something to adhere to, making your manicure last longer. It works great if you have oily skin (and nails), or if you frequently use moisturizing products like balms, lotions, or oils.
Top coats provide a nice, clear layer of lacquer between your color and the elements. There are also many types of top coats as well. Quick dry, strengthening, thick (for chunky glitters), and effects coats like matte, holo, and flakie top coats.
Hands down my very favorite top coat is out big 5 free quick dry Fast Fingers. This top coat is applied when your color is still wet and your manicure will be dry in a matter of minutes! I still highly recommend going to the bathroom before you start a manicure, because even the quickest quick-dry top coat won’t stand up to the button on your favorite jeans without some care and precision!