Can You Use Top Coat as Base Coat: Guide to Know Before Do

Can You Use Top Coat as Base Coat: Guide to Know Before Do

To all the ladies and young ladies out there, the state of their nails is of the utmost importance. Although scheduling a visit to your nail artist is a breeze, you need to be well-versed in the procedure to ensure you get the best results.

So if you go to the manicure salon or paint your nails yourself, can you use a utilize topcoat as a base coat and vice versa? To quickly answer your question, yes, a base coat can be used as a top coat. You may also use a top coat as a foundation coat. However, keep in mind that switching the coats around might not provide the same effects.

Can you use a base coat as the top coat?

It is possible to use a top coat as a base coat and vice versa. It’s possible, but your performance won’t be as good as if you utilized the proper coat. If you choose the improper coat, your manicure may peel and chip more easily than it otherwise would.

Because of their distinct functions and ingredient sets, base coats and top coats are treated differently. Top coats are intended to preserve nail polish from the elements, while base coats serve as a secure foundation for the nail polish itself. Top Coats and Base Coats tend to use the same components. However, they employ them in varying concentrations. 

Why shouldn’t you use the top coat as a base coat?

Many folks either don’t bother with a basecoat or use the same product for both layers. It’s not good. You can get at least two extra days out of your manicure by taking the time to apply a good base coat.

Miss Pop compares it to applying foundation primer. “Your natural nail has oils in it that inhibit nail paint from attaching correctly. Before applying any color, you must first apply a basecoat to prevent oil seepage. She suggests the Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Base Coat. 

1. Eliminating the hangnails by clipping them

Despite the fact that you’ve already heard it a thousand times before, we’ll say it again: Miss Pop considers this error to be a mortal sin. “It’s a health issue because you’re basically leaving yourself open cuts on your fingers, which have a tremendous potential for getting infected,” she explains.

The gill-like, flaky appearance of newly grown cuticles is another downside to trimming them. Miss Pop says that if you enjoy nipping for aesthetic purposes, you should stick to pushing them back instead. “You can be aggressive about that, too, and do it once a week,” she confirms. A simple application of cuticle remover or softener, followed by gentle manipulation with an orange stick, will result in a sleek barrier for your nails. 

2. Not washing your tools

In order to avoid contamination, it is vital to frequently clean the equipment using soap and water. Some of the items that need to be cleaned are clippers, files, buffers, and orange sticks.

According to Miss Pop, you should never keep your equipment in a sealed bag since doing so only promotes the illness to thrive and spread. “After each usage, simply clean your equipment by washing them with antibacterial soap or barbicide.

3. Utilizing the high-tech jet seats

While getting a pedicure in a massage chair can feel amazing, the jet basins that come standard with such chairs pose a serious health risk. “You can’t clean the jets correctly, so bacteria can collect in there very easily,” Miss Pop cautions. Ergo, dirty jets equal polluted water! And such microorganisms can seriously ruin your foot health. “Always just go for the traditional bowl when getting a pedicure.”

4. Using Q-tips to clean up your blunders

It’s all too easy for the cotton fuzzies of a Q-tip to get stuck in your varnish and disturb your mani. “Q-tips are really a nightmare,” explains Miss Pop. Instead, she advises using an old makeup brush for more precise touch-ups. “If you get a little paint on the flesh around your nail, it’s no great tragedy,” she says.

Remove smudges as soon as they are seen by dabbing them with nail polish remover on a flat cosmetics brush while the paint is still wet. I also enjoy filbert-head brushes that you may acquire at an art-supply store. Otherwise, you can always just push the polish right off when you’re in the shower.”

5. Applying thick coats of paint

Be on your guard, you generous painters: Because applying polish in this manner causes the paint to take a much longer time to cure, your finished product is far more likely to have smudges and nicks. Miss Pop insists that it is usually best to apply three or four light layers of polish rather than two thick and gloppy applications, and she bases her assertion on experience. When applying the paint in thin applications, it will dry more quickly. 

The composition of most polishes makes it impossible for them to dry correctly on excessively thick layers of polish. On the other hand, this rule of thumb has some wiggle room when it comes to topcoats. “Topcoats are more forgiving when applied thickly and typically don’t take too long to dry, no matter what,” she adds. “However, heavy layers still have the potential to cause topcoats to get rather foamy.” It is likely that the presence of pigment in colored polishes slows down the drying process, which is why colored polishes take longer to dry.

Why shouldn’t you use a base coat as a top coat? 

It is possible to use a top coat as a base coat and vice versa. However, if you don’t use the right coating, your results won’t be as good as if you did. An improper top coat can shorten the life of your manicure and make it more susceptible to peeling and cracking. Base coats and topcoats are used to hide the paint underneath them. They share a common set of ingredients but employ varying quantities in each.

If you compare the ingredients of a base coat with a top coat, you’ll see that the former has more plasticizers and sticky resins, while the latter has more film formers. The top coat is thicker, dries more slowly, and doesn’t have the qualities of a basecoat to totally impede the oils from your natural nails. Therefore, it’s not a good idea to use it as a basecoat.

1. Make use of a spray-on clear coat

Use a fast-drying top coat spray if you don’t want to wait for a top coat to dry. They function similarly to a top coat in that they hasten the drying time of your nail polish and make your manicure look shinier. Use a quick-drying top coat if you or your customers are in a rush. However, these sprays don’t offer the same level of protection for your manicure as traditional top coats.

2. Polish remover

Substituting cuticle oil for a topcoat is a great way to get a high shine without the hassle. Moisturize your nails with this oil, buff them clean, and then moisturize your cuticles again.

3. Manicure that is completely see-through

If you don’t have a base coat, transparent nail paint will do in a pinch. It is crucial to cover the cuticle with a thin, even layer of clear nail paint. Leave a space between the polish and the cuticles on both ends of your nails.

What can I use instead of a top coat?

If you can help it, try to avoid using them interchangeably. These two products share a similar appearance, but they serve quite distinct purposes. Because of their increased thickness and stickiness, base coats improve the longevity of nail polish. The increased resin content strengthens the nail. Topcoats are applied over an already painted nail to increase its durability and make it smoother. 

1. Hot shower after putting nail polish

Because the nail lacquer hasn’t had enough time to dry, you shouldn’t take a shower right after having your nails done at the salon. Even more unpleasant is a scalding hot shower.

According to Danielle Candido, a manicure specialist at Gelish, “exposing the nail polish to the heat and steam of the shower may cause it to bubble or smear.” It is recommended that you do not shower for at least one full hour after the manicure has been completed.

2. Going to bed right after applying polish

Candido recommends waiting for a minute or two for the polish to begin setting before running very cold water over the hands for three minutes to speed up the drying process. Polishes dry more quickly when exposed to cold water. However, she adds, “Be careful not to run the water directly on the nails since the power of the water may cause the polish to smudge.

3. Applying thick applications of color

In this case, though, patience truly is crucial. Candido warns against applying polish in thick layers since it takes too long to dry and increases the risk of smudging. Instead, apply thin, equal coatings and wait two minutes in between. The polish will actually dry faster. You’ll need an orangewood stick and remover to clear up the mess if you apply a thick coat of polish, Candido warns.

4. Using one stroke to apply polish

Furthermore, the dye will be gone within a few short days. Candido suggests using three to four thin strokes to apply nail color. Her strategy. Nail art instructions: “Start in the middle, near the cuticle; swipe down the nail to the right; return to the beginning; swipe down the nail to the left; finally, return to the middle and swipe down the middle. The entire nail should be wiped again if there is any exposed skin.

5. Not touching any part of the cuticle

Manicures suffer when cuticles are not meticulously maintained. To avoid polishing your cuticles, Candido believes you need just leave a hair’s breadth. Plant the brush on the nail plate close to the cuticle and spread it out with light pressure to get as close as possible without touching the cuticle.

The next step is to raise your fingernails slightly and push towards the cuticle, stopping just short of the cuticle. Then, run the brush down the nail while angling it slightly left or right between your fingers to go along the sidewall (the edge of the nail plate on either side).

How to do a 2-in-1 base coat and top coat?

Use it before or after painting your nails; it’s versatile that way. Therapists at Sorbet suggest. utilizing Sorbet Mani-Care 2-in-1 top and base coat to replicate the results of a salon manicure at home.

Learn the inner workings of Sorbet and experience that satisfying tingle. When applied as a base coat, Sorbet Mani-care 2-in-1 top & base coat improves nail paint adhesion; when used as a top coat, it protects the manicure and keeps the gloss for days.

Step 1. Prepare your nails

Use the ideal nail canvas to encourage manicures that last longer. Nail Prep removes debris from the nail plate and fortifies it with vitamins and hydration to make nails stronger and more flexible. Rub Nail Prep into each nail to get rid of any residue from oils or lotions. Lint-free pads are highly suggested.

Step 2. Primary coat

As a special base coat designed to extend the life of nail lacquer on natural nails, our product is a must-have. You shouldn’t use this on fake or acrylic nails. 3 If your bottle of Base Coat is unclear or jelly-like, you can clear it up by placing it in an inch of hot water. It’s not recommended to heat it in the microwave or soak it in water. Use two coats on each nail and wait for them to dry matte between applications. To avoid cuticle and skin lifting, avoid touching them.

Step 3. Lacquer

Our lacquers, which come in over a hundred and fifty different hues, are specially developed for the Dazzle Dry system and dry quickly while providing a substantial amount of wear time.

You should paint your nails with two coats of nail polish and let each coat dry completely before moving on to the next. To avoid cuticle and skin lifting, avoid touching them. It is recommended that 6-8 drops of Revive be used to full-size bottles of thick Nail Lacquer, and 3-5 drops are added to tiny bottles (or more, if necessary).

Step 4. Premium finish

Our Top Coat dries quickly and won’t turn yellow, providing a high gloss surface and abrasion resistance. After the Lacquer has dried matte, apply a thin coat of Top Coat to each nail. In five minutes, your manicure will be complete. Depending on the size of the bottle, add 6-8 drops of Revive to thin out thick Top Coat (or 3-5 drops to mini bottles) (or more, if necessary).

Step 5. Revive

Due to natural evaporation, the consistency of your Nail Lacquers and Top Coat may change. Do not be concerned! Revive is formulated to properly rehydrate your items. Suppose your Top Coat or Nail Lacquer is overly thick; thin it down by adding 6-8 drops of Revive. Add more if necessary. A Base Coat should never have to Revive added to it. It would be detrimental to the product’s quality. Store with an original cap to prevent evaporation from occurring.

Watch How to apply soak off base coat and no wipe top coat for nail art DIY | Video

Top 5 FAQs and answers related to can you use the top coat as a base coat?

May I use a top coat as a foundation coat?

Topcoat is too thick, takes too long to dry, and lacks the qualities of a basecoat to adequately lock out the oils in your natural nails, she continues.

Should I use a base coat before painting my nails?

Avoid dark colors and use natural tones instead, such as sheers or pastels, if you absolutely have to forego the base coat. However, remember that using a high-quality, long-lasting product is especially crucial when applying color directly to the nail bed.

Whether the base coat or the top coat is applied first is crucial?

The top coat isn’t as crucial as the base coat, says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Kavita Mariwalla, MD. Especially if you choose a dark color, “if you don’t wear a base layer, the polish will potentially weaken and damage your nails,” she warns Bustle.

In what ways is a top coat helpful?

When applied properly, a top coat does far more than just add shine to the nails. The top coat serves as the weaponry for your manicure. Nail polish fades quickly when exposed to elements like sunshine and water. Thus this helps preserve the color for as long as possible. The final coat protects the paint from wear and tear and extends the life of the finish.

We need to know when to apply the base coat?

Applying a base coat is the next step after removing the old nail polish. Base, color, and top coats should all be applied separately, with drying time in between. If you don’t let the base coat dry completely before adding color, the paint will chip. You might be concerned that this will take a lot of time.


To most people, nails aren’t all that important, but to women and girls, they’re almost indispensable. Nail appointments are simple to schedule, but it’s important to be well-informed before visiting the salon.

Can you use a top coat as a base coat, or vice versa, when getting your nails done, either professionally or at home? To quickly answer your question, yes, a base coat can be used as a top coat. Top coats can be used as a base coat as well. But keep in mind that switching the coats around might not yield the same results.

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