Saturday, October 27th, 2012

Over & Under: Most Overrated & Underrated Base Coat (Nails)

There are always products that receive endless raves, but they don’t always live up to our expectations or work out as well as they do for others.  Share your picks for most overrated and underrated BASE COATS.  Don’t forget to share your whats and whys as to your choices!

  • Most Overrated: [answer]
  • Most Underrated: [answer]

My Picks

  • Most Overrated: I never liked CND’s Sticky that much…
  • Most Underrated: I’m a huge fan of Zoya’s Anchor- it never lets me down!

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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37 thoughts on “Most Overrated & Underrated Base Coat (Nails)

  1. Vanilla

    Overrated: OPI Nail Envy. Formaldehyde and I don’t get along.
    Underrated: Butter London Nail Foundation. Smooth and creamy, looks good enough to wear on it’s own.

  2. Most overrated: Not sure, I haven’t tried the really well known ones.

    Most underrated: Microcell 2000 Nail Repair, it’s actually a treatment but I use it as a base coat and it’s the best for my nails.

  3. Avatar of tzwiggy t_zwiggy

    Overrated: CND Sticky don’t do much for me (I still use it on my toes, though)

    Underrated: Butter London Nail Foundation!!!

  4. I seriously don’t know which base coat deserves to be placed under under or overrated… But! I do intend on regularly checking what anyone else has to say, because I’m currently looking for a new (and brilliant) base coat :-)

  5. Avatar of Amy xamyx

    As I’ve said before, Sally Hansen Triple Strong or Hard As Nails are my “go-to” products. Any polish I use with these stay on (even MAC) for days. They also allow glitter polish to be removed more easily. I honestly haven’t used anything else in years, so I can’t say anything about any of the “newer” products on the market, but as long as my HG products are available, I don’t care to try anything else.

  6. Nathalie

    I’ve been looking for a good basecoat. I change my nail color about every other day so I’m not too concerned about longevity. But I want my nail polish to go on smoother. Can someone recommend one, maybe a ridge-filling one?

    Thank you.

  7. Avatar of Aida Aida

    I only use Qtica natural nail growth stimulator.

    • Avatar of Gena Gena

      Is it opaque? How long have you used it? Have you noticed measurable differences in the strength and length of your nails since using it?
      I like Qtica products, especially the Lip Treatment. :)

  8. Janelly

    Overrated: Rejuvacote
    Underrated: Revlon Colorstay UV Basecoat (helps my nail polish last for a week!)

  9. Overrated: Orly Bonder! It stained my nails :(
    Underrated: OPI Natural base coat! I rarely hear it mentioned, but I think it’s great because it has the pro-wide brush, it is lightly tinted pink, and it dries down quickly. No stains and it makes my manis last!

    • Avatar of Wenz Wenz

      I totally agree with you!
      I love OPI natural…..I switch between that & Essie Protein base (also underrated)…no stains & manis last no matter what crazy colors I wear!

      • Avatar of Gena Gena

        Although I’m quite happy with my current favorite (Butter London Foundation Flawless), I really want to try both of your recommendations!

  10. Avatar of Mirian Vermeulen Mirian

    i dont know about overrated, but butter london flawless basecoat is definitely amazing. i use it everytime

  11. Avatar of Jennifer Jennifer Rivera

    Isn’t Zoya Armor a top coat?

  12. My base coat is typically a nail strengthener rather than base coat, ridge filler, etc.. So based on that

    Underrated: OPI Nail Envy (original). While doesn’t do squat for me in the strength department, it does seem to be particularly good at helping nail enamel to adhere really well.

    Overrated: Rescue Beauty Lounge Base Coat Prep and Base Coat. No miracle formula here for me. Their nail polish still chips within 24 hours on me.

    • Avatar of Gena Gena

      RBL polish does that to me, too; it really bugs! They have some gorgeous colors (and I do own quite a few of them), but they always chip early on me AND they take FOOOOOREVER to dry.

  13. Avatar of Rebecca BeckBeck

    Overrated: Orly Bonder. Didn’t do much for wear and turned my nails Cheetos orange.

    Underrated: I have two. No one talks about Essie Grow Stronger, but I swear I have fewer breaks since I’ve been using it; also, Palladio Fuse (over a treatment) is what Bonder promised to be without the staining. (I think the Palladio might be discontinued, though. I bought a bunch at Sally’s on clearance recently.)

    • k cox

      Orly first time user with CHEETO ORANGE NAILS. (SALLY’S) I can not believe my nails are flipping orange!!!
      Orly turned my nails Orange the first use!

  14. Avatar of Dominique Dominique

    Most overrated base coat : Sally Hansen ( I often use it as a top coat, it’s so thick )
    Most underrated base coat : L’Onglerie divin éclat which is good.

  15. Avatar of looovemac LK

    Most Overrated: OPI Nail Envy
    Most Underrated: Revlon Colorstay, NailTek foundation II!

  16. Allie

    Overrated: Any of the Nailtek Foundation base coats. They’re supposed to strengthen your nails but they did the opposite for me! All of my nails broke within three days of using it. It didn’t helped my weak, peeling nails at all.
    Underrated: I’m no too sure on underrated since I’ve never really had much luck with base coats. I just bought Essie’s Sensitivity Base Coat and I’m hoping that it works! It has great reviews on Makeup Alley, so I’m hoping for the best!

    • Michelle

      Yes! I know what you mean. Nailtek was a decent basecoat just for filling ridges, but it really didnt strengthen nails or make polish last. And if you go through half of it, it thickens up so much.

    • I had a similar reaction. I’ve talked to people who got great results with Nailtek, but it seems just as many have problems like we had.

  17. Dia

    I love using Stickey when I want to add another polish layer (like a shimmer or glitter top coat) a few days after I’ve done my nails. Stickey helps the new polish adhere well to the old polish, which gives me at least a few more days of wear. Orly’s Bonder might serve the same purpose, but I definitely like Stickey more.

    I also agree that OPI has some good base coats. I haven’t noticed any issues with Nail Envy or the natural nail base coat. You can sometimes score a free bottle of the latter when you buy two or three OPIs during a promotion at Ulta. For ridgefilling, I like Essie’s fill the gap base coat. It does need to be thinned after a while, though.

  18. Avatar of Anne Anne

    My base coat is ridge filler. So:

    Overrated: Essie Fill the Gap. Doesn’t smooth mine.
    Underrated: Three: Barielle Hydrating Ridge Filler, Mavala Ridge Filler (hard to find and expensive), and Nail Tek Foundation II. And maybe Zoya Get Even, though it’s thick and milky.

    • Joanna

      Couldn’t agree more on that.
      I am more concerned with adhesive power, without a base polishes don’t stick to my nails.

      Overrated: Essie fill the gap. Very hard to spread evenly and it makes nail polish peel of after one,two days of wear. Big disappointment. I love their polishes and top coats though.

      Underrated: Mavala ridge filler. It dries fast, evens out nail texture and colour plus it is quite accessible where I live.
      Nail tek foundation II (I have never encountered chipping with that base on, it is like a super glue for the nail polish)

  19. Jessica

    Overrated: I never had good results with the base coat from Zoya, it made my nail polish chip as soon as I took a shower!

    Underrated: Revlon quick dry base coat. This is my HG base coat. It works for every single nail polish I have tried it with (Illamasqua, OPI, China Glaze, Sally Hansen polishes, and Revlon’s polishes which last on their own). This base coat plus Seche Vite on the top, I’m able to easily get 2 weeks out of my manicure. And it’s cheap! The formula is actually very similar to their Colorstay base coat formula.

    • OMG, is THAT what’s happening to my manicures? I just realized that no matter what brand I use, once I wash my hair, the chips start happening. And it’s just since I started using Zoya. I guess it only does that to some people, because several salons recommended it to me (plus, I knew Christine was a fan).

      Thank you, I am SO going to try the Revlon!!

  20. Avatar of Elizabeth Elizabeth Cunningham

    Base Coat (Nails)

    Overrated: ESSIE Fill The Gap, never does spread out nice and SMOOTH
    once the ridges are filled
    Underrated: OPI Acrylic Base Coat, dries fast, milky haze gives sheer polish more guts, really keeps the dark polishes sealed away from my nails

  21. Avatar of Megan Megan

    Overrated: none
    Underrated: Orly Bonder and Butter London. I love OPI’s basecoat/topcoat mix. My dog knocked it over and the bottle broke. I’ve yet to replace it sadly.

  22. Avatar of Magdalena Magdalena

    Overrated: Orly Bonder never worked for me; it failed to make the polish adhere to the nail. Then again, I have that problem with most basecoats.

    Underrated: NailTek Foundation II. Kind to my nails, and keeps the polish perfect.

  23. theglitterydragon

    Most overrated: Orly’s Top to Bottom
    It never quit dries properly for me. For some reason it stays this weird sticky consistency and causes my polishes to apply streaky.
    Most underrated: Sinful Color’s base coat – it goes on nice and thin and dries evenly and quickly. Keeps my polish smooth and helps to reduce shrinkage on my thicker polishes.

  24. Carrie

    Overrated: Zoya Anchor. It just doesn’t do anything special. Armor does do wonders for getting good wear out of their polishes, but Anchor? Not so much.

    Underrated: Seche Rebuild. Unlike Vite it doesn’t thicken and everything adheres to it.

  25. Avatar of Gena Gena

    DISCLAIMER: I usually use some kind of milky white ridgefiller over a strengthening treatment.

    Overrated: OPI Nail Envy. It didn’t seem to make my nails any healthier (something I look for a “base coat”). Also, it isn’t quite milky enough for my taste; I like to give my polish some “extra help” in the opacity department. :)

    Underrated: Butter London Nail Foundation really is like foundation for the nails. It dries quickly and provides a natural-looking base for nail color. OPI Ridgefilling Basecoat obliterates any ridges on my nails and makes them very smooth. It can get quite thick when you reach the middle of the bottle, though. Gelous basecoat also provides a smooth, foundation-colored base for color. It also gets kind of thick halfway through, but not as thick as OPI Ridgefilling Basecoat.

  26. Puffnstuff

    To me all basecoats are overrated….EXCEPT for CND Toughen Up, after using it for two days, it’s like my Leslie’s are adhering back to my nail instead of continuing to peel and split. It’s awesome! Also revlon trauma nail treatment whatever it’s called (the stuff is pinky peach) was great for pesky peely nails and it got rid of the stained look. It does thicken unfortunately. The CND toughen up is the best… And I’ve been doing my own nails for years; I’ve tried all the orly basecoats, the sh nail quencher, nailtek, barielle, stickey, Sally beauty supply brands, opi (by far the worst), Essie…the list goes on! I hope I’ve found my HG basecoat!