Foundation Base Coats for Strong Nails

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Polish Like a Pro: The Basics of Base Coats

A flawless manicure starts with a solid foundation, so let’s begin with the non-negotiable basic: the base coat. You wouldn’t think to paint the walls without priming, right? The same principle applies to nail polish application: to maximize grip, color pay-off, and your lakur’s longevity, start with a Londontown base coat and top things off with one of kur top coat to really make your manicure and pedicure last.

Not sure where to start? Here’s our guide to everything you need to know about base coats—and why they actually make a difference.

Londontown Base Coats

Londontown's base coat collection includes a range of options that not only cater to your nail needs but also provide targeted kur nail care to help you reach your personal nail goals.

At the most basic level, each base coat serves as the protective barrier between your nails and the layers of polish, promoting healthier nails while extending the wear-time of your manicure. No matter which you choose, all Londontown base coats are formulated to help you achieve a flawless look every time—but if you want to maximize your benefits, these are the differences between each type:


  • Strengthening base coats are formulated with ingredients like Nitrocellulose and vitamin-rich botanical extracts that help fortify weak, brittle nails. These bases deliver the kur care necessary to promote strength and resilience while creating a protective layer between your bare nails and the polish. Try Nail Hardener & Base Coat if you have delicate nails that are prone to breakage.
  • Ridge-filling base coats are ideal for those with uneven nail surfaces or ridges. These base coats create a smooth canvas for nail polish application, filling in imperfections and ensuring a flawless finish. Try Fortifying Ridge Filler to help conceal bumps and create an even foundation for polish that applies without skip and instead, glides like a dream.
  • Nourishing base coats are enriched with vitamins, proteins, and botanical oils to moisturize and nourish the nail plate. They help combat dryness and promote healthier nail growth, resulting in stronger and more flexible nails. Try Nail Hardener & Base Coat, Fortifying Ridge Filler, and Grip Lock Base Coat—all of which are infused with our proprietary Florium Complex.
  • Hydrating base coats are designed to replenish moisture and prevent dehydration of the nails. All of our base coats can help lock in essential hydration to help prevent brittleness and support nail health.
  • Multi-tasking base coats are a time-saving solution for those who are always on the go. Try Gel Genius Base Coat if you need a fast-drying, gel-like foundation, or Duplex Base & Top Coat if you’re traveling (or a minimalist who loves a pared-down routine).

Benefits of Using a Base Coat

Londontown base coats make all the difference in how your nail polish applies and how well it lasts. They elevate your at-home mani-pedi routine by:

  • Protecting your nails from staining or discoloration. Base coats create a barrier between your nails and the pigments present in nail polish. They help prevent staining and discoloration so you’re able to enjoy a wide range of vibrant nail colors with peace of mind knowing that you won’t have to worry about yellowing once you’re ready to refresh your mani.
  • Enhancing adhesion so your polish can better grip—and last—on your nails. Base coats promote better grip between the nail plate and the nail polish in order to help extend the life of your manicure or pedicure. This helps prevent chipping, peeling, and premature fading so you’re able to enjoy your final look for longer.
  • Improving nail strength to prevent breakage. Certain base coats, such as strengthening and nourishing formulations, provide the essential nutrients needed to boost nail strength and reduce breakage. These create a protective shield that keeps your nails strong and resilient, minimizing the risk of damage.
  • Creating a smooth surface for a more flawless, streak-free polish application. Ridge-filling base coats create a smooth surface that minimizes the appearance of imperfections on the nails. Texture is smoothed over and you’re now able to work with a perfectly primed, plush foundation for polish to glide across.
  • Supporting nail health and growth. By using Londontown base coats regularly, you can help improve the overall health and appearance of your nails. Base coats protect against external elements (such as harsh chemicals and environmental stressors) to keep your nails looking healthy, nourished, and beautiful.

How to Use Base Coats

When applying base coat, try to cover your nail in three strokes: down the middle first, then one more coat on each side. Make sure you grab enough polish on the brush so you can complete each stroke in full without dipping back into the bottle. This helps create a super even, seamless base for your polish.

Then, cap the edges to further help prevent chipping and tip wear. Once you apply your base coat in three strokes down the length of the nail, finish by swiping it across the nail tip (perpendicular to the nail itself). Make sure to pull the brush over the edge to ensure full coverage—and once you’re done, make sure you let the base coat layer dry completely before applying your polish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use a top coat as base coat?

Aside from Duplex Base & Top Coat, which was specifically tested and perfected for dual-action use, we don’t recommend using a top coat as your base coat. Base coats are uniquely formulated to enhance polish adhesion and provide a protective layer between your bare nails and nail polish.

Can I use a base coat as my top coat?

Our 2-in-1 is the exception—but otherwise, use each product as intended for the best possible results.