BASE IS BASE! ISN’T IT?
Many nail techs and clients alike believe that as long as the brand name is “impressive” base coat is pretty much the same thing. The fact is though, that this is not so. The reason there are so many different kinds, is not simply to ensure more profit for manufacturers and brands! So why then is there an apparent myriad of different bases? Let us examine this closer.
UNDERSTANDING A LITTLE MORE
A great starting point is to better understand what in it is. Simply it is like double sided tape! Yup simple as that. It bonds with the natural nail and provides adhesion for your gel polish. The gel polish will bind with base and become almost as one. This is the reason why so many suppliers, insist that you should use their brand gel polish with their base, understanding the above might convince you that this makes sense.
Inside base coat are chemicals specifically designed to bond both to nail and gel polish. Similarly gel polish, contains chemicals designed to react with chemicals in base. The most important for us are cellulose which creates that double sided effect. This is required to bond all together. Secondly plasticizer, this chemical adds flexibility. You need this to ensure that your treatment will bend and flex together with the natural nail.
A side note; knowing that base coat and gel polish contain complementary chemicals; we have to consider what the point of using base coat with acrylic might be? In the mind of the writer it would serve little or no purpose at all. The comments on many social networks would seem to suggest otherwise, however there is no scientific evidence that base coat could, in any way assist acrylic, which contains none of these chemicals, bonding to nails. It is therefore going to waste your valuable time and product for little or no benefit.
With our new knowledge in mind let us look at different types of base. First is your basic standard base coat, it is thin (not like jelly more like water), and has all the basic ingredients. It offers moderate adhesion and flexibility. This is kind of a “one size fits all product”. It is the standard in the industry and will work with most applications, pretty well. We though don’t want pretty well do we? We want exactly right for each client!
Before I continue a brief word on 2 in 1 base and top. We do not recommend it, think of 2 in 1 conditioner for hair, one may use it at home for men and kids but would a professional hair salon? I doubt that. In the same way 2 in 1 base and top is hybrid of two very different products. Most of us would agree that a dedicated and laboratory designed base has to be far superior.
The next type of base is the thick base. This is as it says on the label thick, it will not run. You will find advantages of this type are increased adhesion it will lift far less. It also can be used for some extension believe it or not. Furthermore, there is no better way to stick rhinestone and other nail art on to the nail. It is versatile and long lasting.
Rubber is all the rage at the moment. It is actually loade with extra plasticizers. Rubber base will bend and flex much more than standard. It is fantastic for clients with thin, weak natural nails.
Vitamin jelly. This is thicker than standard though not as thick as “thick base” it contains vitamin B and E5 to assist in healthy nail development. It offers similar adhesion to thick base with moderate flexibility. Vitamin is suitable for most clients, especially those requiring a boost of vitamin and who are desirous of a long lasting treatment. This is getting much closer to one product for all! Technology still has not got there though. This is why the other types still exist.
WHICH IS BEST FOR YOU?
We can, I hope, see that it is not a one size fits all scenario. With science moving so quickly we are moving in that direction but we are all so different it is a great challenge! As nail techs, it is your duty to assess the clients’ nails and then decide which is best for each individual client. This is both value adding, in that each client feels like and individual, also it adds to your professionalism. When visiting a doctor, none of us would be very impressed to be given the same prescription no matter what our symptoms. Your clients should feel they are being assessed on their individual requirements.
Finally, a word on preparation: – Understanding that this whole process works on scientific research and real world testing, you need to be vigilant in preparation. These chemicals cannot bond to oil or even cuticle skin. Clean with prep use bonder for extra binding and clear cuticles and dead skin. This is not only for neatness but for allowing the science to work its magic.
We do hope, that this short article, may lend some insight into what is certainly one of, (if not the!) most important part of any manicure.