By Mary N. DiZazzo

Base Coat and Top Coat -- the Absolute Bread in the Nail Polish Sandwich

Ciao bella,
Years of experience as a nail tech truly proved to me and my clients that the right base coat and top coat are essential during a manicure session. They both help to make the polish adhere to the natural nail. They also help to prevent chips and breaks of the natural nail. Some colored polishes especially non-professional colors have a strong pigment and when a base coat is not applied will stain the nail with pigment that is a yellow or orange tint. If you are getting a pedicure always insist you want a base coat applied to your toes before polish. Some techs take a short cut by not applying the base coat. Even when applying your own polish always use a base and topcoat on nails and toes!

Base coat works like a double sided sticky tape. After applying base coat, polish color will effectively bind to natural nail providing a receptive to polish forming a tight bond. Base coats contain plasticizers which act with a flexible element causing the natural nail to bend and not break. They also contain cellulose creating that double sticky layer so polish will adhere to natural nail as well as the polish.

Top coat, usually clear acts as a sealer that is applied on top of top dried polish and very tip of natural nail to ensure long lasting results of polish. Top coat also provides a high gloss shine and should dry in a few minutes. Nitrocellulose is responsible in adding the high gloss shine. Top coats also contain plasticizers for flexibility. Nail scientists formulated these two remarkable coatings with different mixtures of ingredients to create a long lasting manicure. We professional nail technicians thank them for that and all their extensive research to make our industry a successful and healthy environment! For a natural nail consult, call me anytime!

Buona giornata and God bless the United States of America!

--Mary N. DiZazzo-Trumbull

Read prior weeks' "All That Zazz" columns at Mary is a third-generation cosmetologist and a Massachusetts distributor of Kosmea brand rose hip oil products. She may be contacted at (978) 470-8183 or