As any nail tech worth their salt will tell you, the secret to achieving the best results for your clients is preparation, preparation, preparation. Get the basics right and your client’s mani will both look fantastic and be long-lasting. Out of all those basics, there’s one in particular that will help you achieve this – using a quality base coat.

Read on to discover Salon Direct’s recommendations for the best base coats for all nail techs.


The importance of using a good base coat

Softening and trimming the cuticles, lightly buffing the nail bed, shaping the top of the nail, these are all important elements in achieving the best manicure for your client. A good base coat is the ‘cherry on top’ of this preparation process. But, what exactly is a base coat? And what benefits will applying one provide? Keep reading to find out…


What is a base coat?

At a quick glance, a base coat helps the gel polish to stick to your client’s nails; without this crucial step the gel polish system won’t work. But, taking a more in-depth look, a base coat does much more. A base coat also creates a barrier that helps protect your client’s nails from the potentially damaging effects of nail polish. Staining and peeling are just some of the things that can be avoided if you use a good base coat.

Not only can base coats protect nails, but they can nourish them too. Many base coats on the market are fortified with substances such as protein, calcium and vitamin E. These help to keep nails healthy and prevent breaking and splitting.

Base coats can be used for any type of manicure, but they are particularly good for those manis where you’re going to be applying dark, bright, glittery or generally very pigmented nail varnish.

So, it certainly pays to invest in quality base coats. Your clients will thank you for it!


What types of base coats are there?

There are two main types of base coat available –  basic base coats which simply provide a base for the nail polish, and ridge-filler base coats which fill in any lines, ridges and grooves to give your client’s nails a smoother looking appearance. Think of ridge-filler base coats as a kind of ‘foundation’ for nails.

Note – If you have any clients who have allergies or sensitivities towards nail polish, you should be careful about using a base coat on their nails. This is because base coats tend to have a higher resin content (which is what causes irritation) than regular nail polish.


What are base coats made of?

As the point above highlights, some of your clients may want to know what formulation the base coat contains (especially if they have a history of allergies). 

The exact formulation will vary depending on what base coat you buy, but in general a base coat will contain a mixture of chemicals including solvents, plasticizers, cellulose chemicals, resin, as well as substances that will nourish the nail such as protein, vitamin E and calcium. 

As you will see in our list below, there are base coats available which have been specially formulated to avoid solvents, plasticizers and other similar ingredients.


Are base coats the same as top coats?

No! Base coats have a completely different formulation than top coats and are designed for very different purposes. 

As we’ve discussed above, base coats are meant as a ‘primer’ or adhesive on which nail polish is then applied, whereas top coats are used to create a shiny, hard surface to protect the nail polish. It pays to invest in both base costs and top coats to include in your mani kit.

Now that we’ve covered what base coats are and the benefits of using them, let’s take a look at five of the best base coats for all nail techs that are available at Salon Direct right now.

Glitterbels Gel Base Coat 15ml

Glitterbels is the hot new prospect on the block with its trend led colours and designs. This Base Coat is developed specifically to use alongside Glitterbels Gel Polishes. Glitterbels offers its base coat as a standard base coat and as a hema free version keping both nail techs and customers allergic to hema much safer.

Glitterbels have both a standard basecoat and a Hema free basecoat

(Pictured: Glitterbels standard basecoat and Hema free basecoat).

OPI Gel Color Stay Strong Base Coat 15ml

OPI Gel Color Stay Strong Base Coat is a classic long-wear formula you can trust that also provides 60% more strength to the natural nail. Infused with Calcium and vitamin complex, Stay Strong Gel Color Base Coat leaves nails feeling stronger during gel polish wear. The perfect gel nail polish base coat for oily, thin, soft, damaged, peeling or bendy nails. Now features white caps with texture and grip, so that they can be easily identified and opened.

(Pictured: OPI gel color stay strong base coat 15ml).

Orly Gel FX Easy Off Basecoat 9ml

100% cruelty free and vegan, Orly’s gel basecoat is made with care for everyone. The foundation of a beautiful Gel FX manicure is a great basecoat. Infused with Vitamins A, E & Pro Vitamin B5 to promote strong, healthy nails. With only a 5 minute soak off time Orly’s basecoat plans ahead allowing you to save time when doing a new set.

Orly gel FX Base coat 100% cruelty free and vegan! (Pictured: Orly Gel FX Easy off Basecoat).

Halo Gel Polish Base Coat 8ml

Vegan, cruelty free, fast curing, chip-resistant, Halo’s Gel Polish Base Coat ticks all the boxes. 

Halo have specially designed this base coat for nail techs, and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. Delivering chip-resistant results that last for up to 14 days, this base coat can be UV and LED cured and is also removed easily, causing zero damage to the natural nail.

Halo's Gel Polish Base Coat boasts up to 14 days' chip resistance.
(Pictured: Halo Gel Polish Base Coat 8ml).


Glossify Basic Base Coat 15ml Gel Polish

A rapidly growing brand, Glossify has taken the nail and beauty worlds by storm, creating beautiful, well-thought out nail products. 

Glossify’s strapline is ‘For nail techs, by nail techs’ which is why products like their Basic Base Coat are becoming a mainstay in salons across the UK and beyond. This base coat is vegan friendly, cruelty free, LED and UV curable, with each bottle able to achieve up to 65 sets. So, it’s great value as well as being high quality.

Glossify's products are designed by nail techs, for nail techs and as such are becoming mainstays in salons across the UK.
(Pictured: Glossify Basic Base Coat 15ml Gel Polish).


Those are five of our favourite base coats for all nail techs at Salon Direct. But these are just the highlights of our collection…. 


Shop the complete range of base coats at Salons Direct.

Keep reading on the Salons Direct blog…

Do Acrylics Damage Nails? The Signs to Look Out For In Your Clients

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The Best Gel Nail Polish Removal Products for Salons