7 Base Coats For Healthy-Looking Nails

7 Base Coats For Healthy-Looking Nails

Base coats not only ensure your manicure lasts, they also make your nails look healthier – with or without colour on top. By strengthening and smoothing ridges, as well as giving nails a soft peachy glow, they’re the key to a cleaner, more professional final look. Here are some of our new favourites for creating salon-worthy results at home.
By Sapna Rao

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

Dior Base Coat Abricot, £22

Best For: A Healthy Tint

Why We Rate It: If you’re after a base coat to give nails a healthy-looking finish, this is the one for you. Often recommended by top manicurists, the rosy glow it leaves behind often needs no other colour on top. But if you do want to wear a different shade afterwards, you’ll find it goes on far better. Regular wear will also minimise the risk of chips and scuffs and it’s ideal if you want to prevent darker colours from staining your nailbed, too.

Available at Boots.com

Orly Bonder Base Coat, £11.20

Best For: Polish Longevity

Why We Rate It: Thanks to its rubberised formulation, this only needs one coat to achieve flawless results. Designed to help polish cling to your nails, it locks everything down and ensures the result is seriously budge-proof. Elsewhere, the chunky grip cap gives you optimum control and, in turn, easier application.

Available at LookFantastic.com

Chanel La Base, £24

Best For: Protection & Hydration

Why We Rate It: Brimming with argan oil and vitamin E, this silky formula hydrates, protects and rebuilds prior damage to ensure a smooth nail surface. Great if you’re prone to breakage, the added silica fills ridges, so polish will adhere well and minimise the chance of chips. Expect any colour applied on top to really go the distance.

Available at HouseOfFraser.com

Nailberry Strengthen & Breathe Oxygenated Strengthening Base Coat, £14.88

Best For: Preventing Breakages 

Why We Rate It: With consistently rave reviews, Nailberry’s popular base is loved by industry insiders. Using something called ‘Oxygen Technology’ it smooths and strengthens the nail to keep breakage and flakes at bay. You only need a single coat, while anything applied on top will look more vivid and last far longer. The thin consistency means a quick dry time, and you’ll never get any streaks or gloop.

Available at Nailberry.co.uk

Seche Vite Crystal Clear Case Coat, £6.49

Best For: Chip-Proof Wear

Why We Rate It: Completely transparent, this base coat offers a high shine finish, with or without any colour on top. Designed to ‘cling’ to your nail, it ensures anything you do apply over it lasts for days, but it’s also capable of concealing any discolouration and damage on its own. To get the most out of it, remember to buff your nails first to get rid of any grease or residue, then apply two generous layers over top.

Available at Boots.com

Nails Inc Gel Rehab Base Coat & Treatment, £15

Best For: Nail Recovery 

Why We Rate It: Another favourite among nail pros, this base coat is full of hydrating ingredients to transform weak, brittle tips – keratin, spinach and kale are just a few of the key nourishers which work to stave off breakage. Apply two coats for a hardened, glossy look but if you’d rather wear it solo, apply a few coats to reach an off-white shade for a neat, groomed appearance.

Available at CultBeauty.co.uk

OPI Nail Envy Original Formula, £21.10

Best For: Strengthening & Growth

Why We Rate It: You’ll often spy this in pro manicurists’ kits. Containing calcium and protein, just a few coats will help to rebuild weakened nails and enhance their appearance. Layer on a few coats, let it set and then go in with colour on top. Even better, this one promotes healthy nail growth over time. Apply it at least once a week – even if you’re not wearing other colours – to treat and protect.

Available at LookFantastic.com

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