We are looking at what we wear as base and top coats today. I have tried quite a lot of different ones over some time now. My nails went through a very, very bendy, paper thin stage which through taking sea kelp pills stopped and now my nails are strong.
Now I generally don't have peeling or flaking nails, the problem I have with mine is cracking on the sides low down. Not much fun, the reason I think this happens is because I am very clumsy and am always jamming my finger nails in to walls and floors etc. Using a nail oil can help this problem and you certainly don't want to be making your nails rock hard because they need to have some flexibility so if you do accidentally bend them they don't snap. The problem with mine isn't that now they are too hard, merely I have a lack of coordination and depth perception. Which is why I often have to patch up my nails with a teabag or some fibreglass.
OPI's Nail Envy - I have to say I didn't notice it doing anything for my nails. I will use up the bottles I have but won't be repurchasing because it is around £18 a bottle and while it works as a base coat it doesn't particularly do anything such as strengthening for me personally.
Gelous: Advanced Nail Gel Coat - This isn't a treatment base coat, it is quite thick which makes it good for adding strength to your nails while wearing it. Also it is really good for applying as a top coat on glitter polishes to help smooth them out. I will be repurchasing this.
Sally Hansen No More Breaks - Clearly this is almost untouched, this is because the handful of times I have tried this is has made the polish chip off in huge chunks within hours. It is dire, and I am not too sure why I still am hanging on to it.
Collection 2000 2 in 1 Strengthener and Hardener - This has been my go to base coat for over six months now, my nails have been able to grow the longest I have been able to. I don't find it has been that hardening or strengthening and it is very cheap which
George Asda Matte Top Coat - I have tried a couple of matte top coats but I really prefer this one, it now has a white lid. It does however make nail art streak so I do use a normal top coat in between the nail art and this top coat.
Leighton Denny Crystal Finish - I just got the new and improved version and haven't used it yet, however I have had the original one for some time and do like it. It leaves a glass like finish and dries quite quickly but not as quick as the following two top coats.
Sally Hansen Insta Dri - This top coat is my go to, it is usually less than £5 and you can use it on top of nail art and it doesn't smudge. Dry's your polish super quick and leaves a glass like shine. It does get gloopy once you have used around 4/5 of the bottle.
HK Girl Top Coat - So this is new to me, I have been using it for around three months now and I really like it. It dries quicker than the Sally Hansen and gives even more of a glass like shine, and doesn't cause shrinkage. I haven't had it long enough to completely review this but from what I have seen so far, it is amazing.
And finally a top coat post wouldn't be fully done without a mention on Seché Vite. Now I have had it before and liked it, it dried the polish quickly and left my nails very glass like shiny. However there are a lot of drawbacks to this, it caused a lot of shrinkage, make my designs have a yellow hue, after using 1/3 of the bottle it got gloopy and you have to purchase a special Seché thinner which is another cost. Not something I want to repurchase.