Critical Differences Between Base Coat and Top Coat Polishes

base coat and top coat

When used together, the base coat and top coat of nail paint give resilience and help your nail polish to last longer. When you are really concerned with the appearance of your hands, you will not make any concessions when it comes to your manicures. You should also be well-versed on these manicure products in order to utilize them with caution and cautionary measures.

So, when it comes to applying nail paint, the base coat and top coat are really important. Because the two goods are so closely linked, yet they are not the same.

Let’s find out how we can tell the difference between the two.

How Base coat and Top Coat are not The Same?

Base coat and Top Coat both are manicure products but are totally different in their formulation and their jobs. They cannot be used interchangeably that they are even made for satisfying different purposes. The base coat is actually an adhesive (sticky) base for your nails while the top coat is responsible for how your nail paint shines. Also, the top coat makes it protective and scratch-resistant to make your nail polish look beautiful for a longer duration.

What is the difference between base coat and top coat nail polish?

Base coat and top coat poloishes are different because;

Base Coats: Base coats are often thicker and stickier and aid in the adhesion of nail polish for longer periods.

Top Coats: Top coats are outer thin consistency layers made up of elements that help to produce a long-lasting surface on the nail. They are designed to strengthen the polish, dry rapidly, and protect from harsh conditions.

What is a Base Coat Nail Polish?

Base coat nail polish is a primer or a base to your nail paint which is brushed onto your nails primarily before putting your colored nail polish on. When we talk about the base coat, we come across two types of base coat;

  1. Plain base coat.
  2. Ridge-filler base coat.

Base coat nail polish is basically made up of chemicals which can be solvents (any), plasticizers, cellulose, resins, and others. Good brands are also enhanced with protein, vitamin E, and calcium to empower nail health.

What does Base coat nail polish do?

A base coat makes it easier for the nail polish to adhere to the nail. Nail polish alone can cause chapping or causing bad yellow effects to your nails. So, the base is essential to develop.

Additionally, the base coat performs protective yet reliable jobs along with its basic job. It provides us with the below benefits to allow nail paint to stay for a longer duration;

  1. It creates a barrier that protects the nails from any of the adverse effects nail polish can cause.
  2. Prevention from staining and peeling is another job base coat performs.
  3. It gives the nails a more even texture which makes your nails look flawless.
  4. A base coat, in the end, prolongs the life of your manicure and makes you tension-free.


Before you apply nail polish you should ensure that the base coat is completely dried or not? (It is required). It does not take more time and dries in a couple of minutes, wait for it and proceed).

What is Top Coat Nail Polish?

Top coat nail polish same as clear nail polish. It is exactly what its name implies: an outer covering. It is actually a protective layer to your nail polish. Like a base coat, a nail polish top coat is also made of chemicals, dissolution, and plasticizers, but the difference is still there, in the consistency, in the formulation.

Below are the categories you can find in top coats;

  1. No chip top coat.
  2. Gel top coat.
  3. Matte top coat.

What does top coat nail polish do?

When it comes to the top coat of nail polish it means an outer covering. Think of it like a turtle shell that protected softness inside it. It protects your nail polish from harsh conditions while also provides with eventual and attractiveness. After a manicure when the top coat is applied your manicure lasts for a longer risk-free duration.

Top coat nail polish is a reliability constraint because;

  1. It allows your nail polish to last longer.
  2. It protects from chipping scratching and peeling.
  3. Gives your nail a shiny manicure for a longer duration.
  4. Performs itself as a layer of protection.


Q: Is top coat nail polish the same as clear nail polish?

A: Topcoat is a coat of clear nail polish but, always a clear nail polish is not a topcoat. Because clear nail polish is just a shiny paint to your nails but topcoat has to perform other protective and reliability jobs. Which, often a simple clear nail polish is not able to do.

Q: Is it okay to use a base coat as a topcoat?

A: Base coat and top coat are formulated differently. So, if you want to use base coat and top coat interchangeably of course you can. But you will not serve with the exact level of performance for which they are made differently. Your manicure would not stay for a longer duration and will cause chipping and peeling.

Q: How many layers of base coat and top coat should I use?

A: One should go for nail paint coats in a below manner for an optimal manicure;

  1. One coat of base coat.
  2. Two coats of nail polish.
  3. Two coats of top coat.

Q: Does the top coat prevent chipping?

A: Top coat is the conclusion to the manicure as well as pedicure. It is responsible for sealing the colored nail paint and protecting it till the next session. Also, it makes a protective layer that prevents, chipping peeling, and cracking of manicures.

Q: How will I make sure my nail polish doesn’t chip?

A: By following the below steps during manicure nail polish will stay longer and won’t chip;

  1. Keep your nails clean every time.
  2. Always apply a base coat nail polish.
  3. Apply a thin coat of base and top coat, never go for thick layers.
  4. Don’t forget to polish the tips of your nails.
  5. Choose glossy coats they don’t chip.
  6. Apply texture-free and thin top coat.
  7. wait for your coat to dry first.
  8. Keep a Top Coat Handy.


Surfing our hours and hours on the internet to find for best ever-demanding information when becomes complete provides with the sense of eternal satisfaction.

So, when we have already tightened our belts for a journey to provide our valuable audience with the best. This article contains everything you can be interested in. Base coat and top coat are finely elaborated to make you understand while answers to the other questions related to what is base coat nail polish? What is a top coat? The difference between the base coat and top coat is also satisfactory.

What jobs do base coat and top coat are responsible for? You will get answers to everything related in this single write-up. Happy Reading ?

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