A good base coat can do wonders for your nail look. It not only protects your nails from discoloration, but a good base coat will also make sure your nail polish will stick for longer. Of course you still need a good top coat to protect your polish from chipping, but I find that a good base coat that smooths the nails, fills up the ridges and makes my nail polish is a must in my nail routine. I had heard tons of good news about the Orly Bonder base coat, which seems to have been renamed to the Polish Bond base coat. When I spotted it in Boots in London I picked one up and decided to give it a whirl.
Orly Polish Bond base coat
Since I bought this a few months ago while on vacation, I don’t remember the exact price, but I believe I paid around 10 pounds for this product. Orly isn’t a brand that is widely available in The Netherlands. I have only found webshops that stock it and I don’t know why, but ordering something like this online just isn’t really something I prefer doing. So I couldn’t believe my luck when I found the last one sitting on a shelf while I was on the airport on my way home. And sometimes last minute decisions can be good ones. I have been testing out this base coat since late October, so by now I have a decent impression of what it does.
Orly Color Care Polish Bond comes in a 11 ml bottle which has a rubberized handle at the top. I find that a really nifty gadget. When you use nail polish bottles for a long time, the rim gets a bit dirty. The crusty nail polish can dry the cap in place and if the cap is smooth it makes it that much harder to open. The rubberized cap of the Orly bottles means that will never happen: no slipping grip and I like how it’s easy to hold. It’s the perfect size for me to hold and lies in my hand comfortably.
The main reason why I wanted to try this base coat is because it promises to be a rubberized base coat. This base coat is supposed to leave a ‘rubber’ texture which should make your nail polish adhere better to the nail and thus make for a longer lasting nail look. Of course, how long nail polish lasts also depends on other factors: the nail polish itself as well as what top coat you use. On me, some brands simply last longer than others and my nails are prone to chipping as they are thin, bendy and brittle.
I use the following to do my manicure at all times:
- Trind Nail Balsem
- Trind Nail Repair
- Orly Polish Bond
- Color of choice
- Glitter top coat of choice (optional, but a usual thing for me)
- Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat
The base coat itself looks orange/ brown in the bottle, but actually comes out clear. The texture is very liquidy. You only need a thin coat to cover your entire nail. Once it sets and dries the base coat feels like rubber, just like promised. I found that not all nail polishes like this base coat. I have a few that need thick coats to go on opaque, as the base coat simply ‘catches’ on the nail color and creates gaps or streaks. So be careful when you start using this. I found that brands such as OPI go on fine, but the Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine polishes need two thick coats to go on opaque.
To give an impression of the lasting power, I decided to put this to the text. I took pictures of my manicure on Day 1, right after polishing. Again on Day 3 and again on Day 5, right before I took it off. The nail color I used is Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in 812 Nightwatch and Catrice Million Styles Effect Top Coat in Return of the Space Cowboy. Sally Hansen polishes tend to chip on me quite quickly so I was curious to see how this would go.
Day 1: Freshly polished, ready to be tested.
Day 3: First major chips & tip wear
As you can see most of my nails have tipwear by day 3. There is a substantial chip on my left thumb and on the corners of my middle and ring fingers. This has nothing to do with the quality of the base coat though. I used to be an avid nail biter, but since I skipped that habit, I took to playing with my nails. I slide my nails against my fingers continuously throughout the day, which causes the nail polish to wear more quickly. The fact that I fell down an escalator a few days before I wore this manicure and broke all my nails on my left hand also didn’t help. By Day 3, this manicure had been subjected to 2 full days of work, showers, dish washing, meal preps and the usual daily goings.
Day 5: More chipping, time for a fresh manicure
My right hand fared a lot better with this manicure, then the left one. I am right handed though and so that usually is the hand where my nail polish chips most quickly. I blame the tumble down that escalator for the bad state of the nails on my left hand. But as you can see, most of my nails still look decent by day 3. But because of the major chipping on my thumbs I decided this had to go. By Day 5, this manicure clocked in 2 extra days of chores and work, dance class, a weight lifting work out, more meal prep and showers.
I think it is safe to conclude that this base coat makes my nail polish last. With OPI polishes, which last best on my nails, I’ve been able to wear a manicure for 7 days straight with just a bit of tip wear. I simply had to take it off as my nails grow too fast and the manicure had become sloppy looking because of that. Whether it lasts longer than with other base coats, I cannot safely conclude. I find that the effect is stronger depending on which polish you use on top of it. But pick a bad polish that doesn’t last long to begin with and this base coat has some effect, but it’s not as if that polish will suddenly last 7 days.
In sum, the Orly Polish bond base coat makes your nail polish last, but how long, that is relative to the other products you use it with as well at the overall condition of your nails. The only real downside I have found so far is the fact that some polishes can go on streaky when using this underneath, but on the whole, this base coat has become a staple in my manicure routine that I cannot live without.
What is your favorite base coat?