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Post in Nailed It

Nail help

I need help I am trying to hold off on putting anything on my nails until at least Sunday because I want them to last until 4th of July but whenever I leave them bare they start breaking any help will be appreciated.

Re: Nail help

These 7 suggestions can help you quickly strengthen your nails.
1. Consider taking a biotin supplement.
2. Reduce your exposure to water.
3. Remain hydrated.
4. Keep an eye on your nutrition.
5. Take caution with the things you use.
6. If at all possible, avoid using gel or acrylic nails.
7. Take a break from polishing your nails.

Re: Nail help

I heard that taking a break from polish is a myth, that it actuality acts as protection for your nails ๐Ÿ›ก ๐Ÿ’•

Re: Nail help

@NaJed   The not having polish on my nails for me makes them weaker they always break I am taking biotin and a friend of mine recommended calcium also. 

Re: Nail help

Thanks for sharing this, it is very useful.

Re: Nail help


Even if you don't want to do a full mani yet, putting on just base coat + top coat for the time being will provide similar protection.

Re: Nail help

@RGbrown are there any base coats and/or top coats that u recommend?

Re: Nail help


If you've got ridges to smooth out, my HG is Butter London Nail Foundation. A close second is Essie Smooth-e.


If ridges aren't a concern, Orly Bonder is a great sticky base that really helps grip polish. Zoya Anchor or Naked Manicure base are good too. 


Bases are like anything in the makeup and skincare world though...individual chemistry comes into play, and what works for one person might not for someone else, so don't be afraid to cut your losses with the wrong one and get something else. There are a bazillion options out there, and there are no wrong answers (except 2in1 base/tops...those do neither function particularly well).


Top coat, I've only got one I recommend: Glisten & Glow. It's a miracle worker, shiny and quick drying without shrinking the polish underneath. Well worth the effort to obtain! 

(KBShimmer Clearly on Top seems to be nearly the exact same formula, though I haven't tried it personally yet. @WinglessOne has tried both though and has a bit of a comparison iirc!)

Re: Nail help

@RGbrown thanks for the detailed reply!  Bookmarked it!  โค๏ธ ๐Ÿ’™ ๐Ÿ’œ ๐Ÿ’– 

Re: Nail help

@RGbrown  @greeneyedgirl107 

Also tagging @CookieGirl1 who's compared the G&G and KBS top coats and might wanna give her input. ๐Ÿ™‚ 


Top coats: 


  • Glisten & Glow Top Coat is still my favorite. One of my biggest top coat pet peeves is dragging polish (no matter how lightly I float the brush over the nail), and I've yet to have that issue with G&G as long as I give the polish beneath it around 20 minutes to dry first. 
  • KBShimmer Clearly On Top Quick Dry Top Coat is my second fave. G&G is a bit glossier. At first, I thought KBS held up a bit better than G&G to hand sanitizer (though I don't expect any top coat to survive frequent use of that stuff), but further testing proved me wrong. 

My top coat graveyard currently includes Zoya Naked Manicure Ulta Glossy Seal, 2 Morgan Taylor top coats, Essie Good To Go, and an OPI 2-in-1 (base + top coat). Some of those weren't glossy enough for me, and nearly all of them dragged polish on my nails. Zoya's is a bit glossier than G&G, so I was especially bummed by the rest of its performance. I use the 2-in-1 only on some "bare nails" days, when I don't wear any polish, because I try to keep my nails covered with something at all timesโ€”and I use it only because I wanna use up the bottle. ๐Ÿ˜‚ 


Base coats: 


  • Butter London Horse Power Nail Rescue Base Coat is my current fave. My manicures last days longer ever since I switched to this base coat. (I used to get just 3 days max before major chips; now I get 5-10 days.) And I'm not gentle on my nails. 
  • Londontown Kur Fortifying Ridge Filler is my current ridge filler. It works well for my 3 ridged nails, though I don't use it for each mani. I also like using it to patch nail damage, either with or without an actual patch underneath. 
  • Orly Bonder is an old standby. I haven't used it in a very long time; I should try it again with G&G's top coat and see if I can get 5-10 days without chips. 
  • Butter London Jelly Preserve is good for days when I don't wanna do a full mani but do want a quick bit of color on my nails. No need for top coat over it. Strawberry Rhubarb is my favorite shade. 

I've tried MANY other base coats... far too many to list. What I have not tried is a peel-off base coat, at least not that I recall. I keep forgetting to grab one. It'd be useful under certain glitter/flake/confetti polishes for easy removal. 

Re: Nail help

@WinglessOne @RGbrown I bookmarked your posts on this thread for when I was ready to start painting my nails ๐Ÿ’… I'm currently looking into your suggestions for base coats and top coats, and am super grateful for all the info.  I do have one more question: what brands of nail polish do you recommend?  I guess something that will last is at the top of my list.


Thanks again!  ๐Ÿ˜Š 

Re: Nail help

@greeneyedgirl107  I agree with @RGbrown that weartime generally depends more on your base and top coats than the brand of polish you use. The exceptions are textured matte polishes that donโ€™t need a top coat, like Zoya PixieDust polishesโ€”but even then, a good base coat can extend weartime. And you can always slap a top coat over one of those polishes; itโ€™ll change the finished look but thatโ€™s not necessarily a bad thing. 


I can get up to 10 days from a manicure with minimal tip wear, no major chips, using my favorite base and top coats. Some folks get 10 days with Orly Bonder base coat, but I never have. Eh, it all depends on which base/top coats work best for you. 


Favorite polishes kinda depend on what finishes/looks you prefer. My 2 fave brands for all-around good performing polishes (creams, jellies, and shiny sparkly things) are LynBDesigns and Zoya, with the latter being closer to traditional finishesโ€”though Zoya does do fun things once in a while, plus they have the PixieDusts which have grown on me. But I have a long list of faves for various types of polishes. 


UPDATE: just saw your nail polish remover question. Zoya Remove+ is my favorite remover thatโ€™s not 100% acetone. (It does contain acetone, but also has other stuff in it.) I also recommend buying their refillable โ€œbig flipperโ€ bottle to make removal even easier. You can find similar empty bottles elsewhere, but I like Zoyaโ€™s because Iโ€™m far less likely to accidentally tip it over. 

Re: Nail help

@WinglessOne great info!  Thanks so much for answering!  ๐Ÿ’• 

Re: Nail help


I actually find the brand of polish itself to be fairly irrelevant ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I mean, sure, I have my faves, and I have brands I don't care for, but the biggest factors in wear are going to be

๐Ÿ”นFinding the base and top coats that work best for your needs and chemistry 

๐Ÿ”นProper prep

If you get those skills and products under your belt, the polish in-between doesn't play much of a role at all. I am just as happy with $1.25 Kiss polish as I am $30+ Gucci is undoubtedly more luxe and exciting than the other, but they both work well for me, and I'm happy to use either one (and am way happier paying for Kiss lol). 


Every brand has some great polishes and some duds, so I do have some recommendations for the best ratio of good vs meh that I've come across.

๐Ÿ”นMorgan Taylor, hands down my all time favorite brand. Affordable (retail around $10, but can be bought for $4-5 at many online supply shops), decent range of colors, excellent brush, and a fantastic formula that's dependably easy. I've got nearly 300 now, and have been disappointed in very few, less than 10-15 if I had to guess.

๐Ÿ”นZoya, another dependable formula, though a touch more expensive at $12, and their practice of selling their wide brush separately annoys me to no end. I've been disappointed in a few, perhaps slightly more than MT, but I'd still call it an extremely low failure rate. Their sales aren't dependable, but can be killer...70% is the best I've seen, and if/when it comes around again, I will predictably buy entirely too many, as usual. 


While I can't account for everyone's personal chemistry, I'll say that OPI, Essie, China Glaze, Orly, Revlon, Sinful Colors, LA Colors, and so on and so forth...they're all good brands! OPI and Essie don't put much out these days that I find unique or compelling, so I mostly ignore them, but they aren't bad overall, just not my faves. China Glaze can do up some really fun or weird stuff sometimes and I love watching for their new collections. I've been enjoying collecting some older Revlon stuff lately and have been pleased with most all of them, and LA Colors has some fantastic glitters if you like sparkle on a budget. They're all worthy of investigation, and figuring out what you like or don't like about certain brands, whether formula or aesthetics, will help you narrow down the massive field of competitors to ones that suit your taste. 

Re: Nail help

@RGbrown thank you so very much for the info!  It's great input for me.  Now i can start looking into purchasing base and top coats, and pick up some new nail colors for some increased fun.  Btw, how long do your manicures tend to last?  I know winglessone mentioned she can get 5 days.

Re: Nail help


I mostly change my polish every 3-5 days, but that's got nothing to do with wear...I just enjoy doing it and have a massive collection that needs to be used ๐Ÿ˜‹ But on the occasion that I get into a funk or get busy and don't change it up as often, I can get 7-8 days with little to no wear....maybe longer, but I can't recall the last time I let it go that long ๐Ÿค”

Re: Nail help

@RGbrown wow!  That's very heartening!  โค๏ธ I think I just have one more question...for right now.  I seem to recall you liking Zoya nail polish removal.   Is that still one you prefer?


Thanks for your patience!

Re: Nail help


Yep, I adore Zoya Remove+, it's amazing! It's acetone with just enough glycerin to keep it from being so drying. When I get a nice deal, that's what I use, and when I can't find it on sale, I make a dupe recipe I found online:


10 parts acetone

1 part glycerin

1ish part water


Acetone and glycerin won't mix on their own, so the water acts as a solvent, holding them together in suspension. I add my glycerin to my acetone, then add just enough water to mix the two...I think the true measurement was 1.2 parts water, but I add a little, mix it up, and see if any glycerin is still sitting at the bottom...if so, add a little more water and repeat as needed...that way I don't have to worry about getting exact measurements for it with such an odd number. I also usually add a little more than 10 parts acetone, as I found this a little too slippery for my taste as is, but that's a personal preference that's easy to adjust!


ETA: I wholeheartedly agree with @WinglessOne on getting a pump bottle. I've got Zoya's and also one from Flowery, and they're great, especially for a klutz like me lol

Re: Nail help

@RGbrown great info!!!  Thanks!  ๐Ÿ’– 

Re: Nail help

@WinglessOne thanks so much for the detailed answer!  Bookmarked this!  ๐Ÿ’• ๐Ÿ’ž โ™ฅ๏ธ ๐Ÿ’œ 

Re: Nail help

@WinglessOne I haven't tried a peel-off base coat either (I have a hard enough time getting my mani to last!) but I DID finally discover my favorite way to remove flakie polishes.  I was clearly late to the game but those pot-style nail polish removers with the silicone scrubber inside is a godsend for my stubborn polishes.  I remember using the pots that contained a big sponge inside way back in the day but the ones with the silicone scrubber inside are far superior AND when you use up the actual remover inside you can always re-add your own.  

But again, I realize that I was SUPER late to the party on discovering those.

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