First up for review is the Double Duty Strengthening Base & Top Coat. It's sold at Boots for £4.95 (13.3ml) and can be used as a base or top coat. I've never used it as a top coat (as I rely upon Insta-Dri) but I love it as a base coat.
I apply a thin coat as a base coat every time I paint my nails, it dries quite fast (within a few minutes) and prevents darker colours staining my nails. It contains moisturising ingredients like vitamin B5 which helps to protect the nails, and it provides a nice smooth surface to apply polish on to. I find that polish does apply more easily and smoothly with the base coat (though I suppose that may not be a feature of only this base coat- I've not tried many others to compare) and it really helps to reduce the appearance of any peeling or ridges in my nails.
It also helps polish to grip onto my nails- I'm not sure how much it prevents chipping; it seems to make no change to the amount of tip-wear I get, but it definitely has stopped my polish peeling off in big flakes- now if/when I get chips, the rest of the polish actually stays on!
|Double Duty and Insta-Dri|
Insta-Dri is a polish I've had for several months now, and I really don't know how I coped with waiting so long for my nail polish to dry before I had it! This top coat is a lifesaver for me- a person who is constantly fidgety and really impatient!
It's available for £6.15 at Boots (also 13.3ml) which for me is possibly a little on the pricey side- though I've had this since the end of June, and I've used it at least once a week since then and I've barely even used 1/4 so it's definitely worth it! (plus I actually paid for it with advantage card points so it's not like I spent money on it!)
As you'd expect with a name like Insta-Dri, it really does dry super fast (it's touch dry in around 30 seconds) which is great as it means much less sitting still! It's also very good to use with nail art as it doesn't tend to smudge any details- as long as polish is given a minute or two to become tacky before you apply the top coat. Although it dries the top layers of polish really quickly it is worth remembering that the bottom layers of polish can still be disturbed if you hit/dent/smudge/scrape them hard enough!
It gives my nails a lovely high shine finish, and doesn't cause shrinkage on me (though I've heard some people do have a problem with it.) But best of all, it really prevents my manicures chipping! there us a noticeable difference the the longevity of my polish when I do Vs when I don't (which is rarely) use a top coat.
I really recommend both Insta-Dri and Double Duty- they both really work to make my manicures easy and quick to apply, as well as long lasting and chip-free.
What do you think of Sally Hansens' base and top coats?