Manicures at home can be fantastic, as long as you have the right tools. Sure, knowing the technique for getting your polish just right is important, but if you’re using old, thick polish or a dull file, your manicure won’t turn out as well as it could. Often overlooked, the base coat you use is incredibly important to the end result of your manicure. Many women skip the base coat because they don’t think it’s necessary, but these women also end up with yellow, dry or brittle nails.
Whether you’re looking for a base coat that helps your nails grow or one that fills ridges before your manicure, we’ve rounded up the best base coats out there for every type of need.
More From Beauty High:
Anti-Chip, Quick Dry and Gel: The Best Top Coats on the Market
Fake It Until You Make It: The Perfect Manicure
5 Ways to Cover Up a Chipped Manicure
Don't even think about painting your nails without a base coat.
For nails with ridges, this base coat from Deborah Lippmann is ideal. Filling ridges for a smooth manicure, this polish is perfect for damaged nails.
Deborah Lippmann Ridge Filler Base Coat, $20, Nordstrom.com
Giving you the effect of a gel manicure without the harsh removal process, the Patent-Gel base coat from butter LONDON is smooth and long lasting. Use with the matching top coat for best results.
butter LONDON Patent-Gel Top and Tails Set, $40, Butterlondon.com
It's binding, it's ultra sticky and it works to protect your nail as you swipe on your favorite polish color. The base coat from Formula X is one of the best we've ever used.
Formula X for Sephora Base Coat, $10.50, Sephora.com
Infused with vitamin E, this base coat from Julep is designed to fortify weak, dry nails to be able to hold polish well.
Julep Nail Therapy Base Coat, $14, Nordstrom.com
A standard favorite base coat, OPI's Natural Nail base coat helps to keep your manicure lasting longer, plus if you just want a swipe of clear polish on days when you're giving your nails a break, this polish gives your nails a natural, clean look.
OPI Natural Nail Base Coat, $8, Drugstore.com
Formulated without formaldehyde, camphor or the other dangerous chemicals found in polish, RGB's base coat keeps your nails free of damaging components.
RGB Base Coat, $18, Beautylish.com
Bonding to your nail with a rubber-like surface, this base coat from Orly makes the perfect surface for a smooth, fresh manicure.
Orly Nail Bonder Treatment, $10.15, Soap.com
We love a good double-duty product, and this Grow Faster base coat from Essie protects our nails during a manicure while helping them to grow with argan oil and algae extract. It's brilliant.
Essie Grow Faster Base Coat, $8.50, Beauty.com