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nail polish

Tricks for Painting Nails – White Polish as Base Coat

Good day, beauty lovers.  I recently read a blurb that suggested using white polish as base coat.  The article claims that it will make your polish stand out better than a regular base coat, and protect your nails in the same way a traditional base coat does.  I am skeptical about the protection angle, but why not?

Tricks for Painting Nails – White Polish as Base CoatI happen to have some white nail polish laying around.  Not long ago, the white nail polish trend hit and I decided I could probably do a white manicure on my own.  Boy, was I wrong.  The problem inherent in the white manicure is that the polish around the cuticles must be impeccable. Since I am more of a “wear light polish, flaws disappear” kind of person, the white nail polish experiment didn’t work out well.

Interestingly, white nail polish shows flaws around the cuticles even more prominently than colored or even black polish.  I know, it seems counterintuitive, but it’s true.  Hopefully, this experiment won’t end in me having wasted an hour just to dump a bottle of remover on my hands and restart.

I started off with Essie’s Blanc as my base coat.  Just a classic white, nothing fancy, probably meant for French tips.  The base coat goes on a little less than perfect, which I think negates the point of a base coat.  This does not bode well for the rest of my experiment.

Tricks for Painting Nails – White Polish as Base CoatThe next two coats are my personal favorite New York manicure standby, Essie’s Hi Maintenance.  I usually use two coats of Hi Maintenance with a regular base coat.  Hi Maintenance ordinarily hides flaws very well, and when I use it with the gel top coat, can last for up to two weeks, depending on how fast my nails are growing.

Finishing up, I apply a nice, thick coat of Seche Vive Gel Effects Top Coat.  If you’ve read any previous blog posts, you’ll know that this is one of my absolute favorite products.  It preserves a manicure like a dream.  I seldom even have chipping, which is amazing because my nails take a beating during the week with all the typing I do.

Tricks for Painting Nails – White Polish as Base CoatAfter the gel top coat, I wait for about a minute and apply a drop of Orly Flash Dry to each nail.  This product is another awesome time-saver, as it sets nails immediately.  Though it doesn’t harden the polish completely, it does dry it, making nails less susceptible to smudges. The polish hardens within about 15 minutes.  It’s a life saver.

At the end of the day, I can safely conclude that I prefer a regular base coat. Though I might try the white nail polish trend again now that I have a bit of a steadier hand.

Tricks for Painting Nails – White Polish as Base Coat Pin

Cost and Where to Buy

You can find Essie’s Blanc and Hi Maintenance on the Essie website for $9.00 each.  Essie polish is also carried at Ulta, although there’s no guarantee that they will always have these colors in stock.  See my previous post for Seche Vive Gel Top Coat for a review and where to buy.  Orly Flash Dry is available at Ulta for $10.00.  It’s a little expensive, but at one drop per nail, one bottle lasts for a long time.

Summing Up

Ultimately, this experiment using white polish as base coat didn’t work out that well.  My nails chipped a lot, as white polish is likely not meant to be used as a base coat.  But it was worth a try!

Got a nail experiment for me?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Seche Vive Gel Effect Top Coat

Seche Vive Gel Top Coat is by far one of my new favorite things.  I love getting gel manicures.  I’m hard on my nails, with all the typing I do, so they’re perfect for me.  Regular manicures usually chip within a day, maybe two if I’m lucky.

However, gel manicures are really hard on my nails.  I found that after a few times of going and getting the nails soaked off, when the new polish was applied and my fingers were put under the UV light, I would feel a very uncomfortable burning sensation.  Not terrible, but definitely not good.

So I decided to forego any more gel manis and do my own nails with regular polish. Getting your nails done is expensive, and with the way I go through regular manicures there’s no point. Plus, I like doing my own nails; it allows me time to catch up on my Netflix or OnDemand queue and take some time for myself!

Fast forward a bit, and gel manicure home kits start appearing all over the place.  But they still use the UV light device and I couldn’t bring myself to face that weird stinging pain again (seriously, it’s almost indescribable.  Almost like nerve pain?  I don’t know.).

Finally, the nail polish companies started putting out these gel top coats that don’t require UV light.  Score! I could barely contain my excitement.  Not only do they not require the light, but you can use these gel top coats over regular polish.  Double score!

Seche Vive Gel Effect Top Coat Pin

First Impressions

So I actually stumbled on this particular product by mistake.  I was at Ross (which is like Marshall’s or TJ Maxx, for those not out west) and I decided to pop in to Sally Beauty Supply next door.  At the time, I was using the new Essie Gel Top Coat (also a good product), and I needed a new bottle.  When I couldn’t find any Essie products, I asked the salesgirl for a suggestion, and she showed me the Seche Vive Gel Top Coat.  The bottle is pretty, and the best part was the price – about half of what I was paying for Essie.


When I settled down to try the Seche Vive Top Coat, I was pleasantly surprised at the consistency.  While a lot of the new gel top coats have a thick consistency, Seche Vive’s is more akin to regular top coats.  The company suggests putting on a “heavy coat over dry nail polish,” so I really globbed (is that a word?) it on.  It dried almost immediately, which is just a blessing for anyone who has ever experienced giving themselves a four hour manicure while waiting for polish to harden.

Seche Vive has a nice, glossy finish, just like a regular gel manicure.  While my mani with this top coat does not last as long as a salon gel mani, it definitely lasts much longer than a manicure with a regular top coat.

Cost and Where to Buy

The price of the Seche Vive Gel Top Coat is, I think, one of the best things about this product.  I think I got it for around $4 at Sally Beauty Supply.  Beauty Plus Salon currently has it for $2.99 (!), and Amazon has it for $5.81.  Compared to some of the other good gel top coats out there, Seche Vive definitely has one of the best prices.

Summing Up

I would give the Seche Vive Gel Top Coat a 9 out of 10.  I have definitely added it into my regular rotation of beauty products.  Because it doesn’t last quite as long as a regular gel manicure, I can’t give it a 10 out of 10.  But it’s damn close.

Want me to try another top coat?  Message me here!