I think I’ve shared with you the vicious cycle that, until ~3 years ago, kept me from having nails of any length. My nails are naturally prone to peeling. Some minor impact causes the layers to separate; losing layers leaves the tips thinner and weaker; and when I invariably knock my hand into something, they break.
In 2009, Seche (the company that makes topcoat Seche Vite) came out with three basecoats: Retain (for healthy nails), Rebuild (for soft, peeling, weak, thin nails), and Recondition (for brittle, inflexible, prone-to-breaking nails). I’ve been using Rebuild as a basecoat since it hit the market, with excellent results. When I first started posting on-nail polish swatches, I titled them “Look at my nails!” because I couldn’t believe how nice they looked.
Anyway, a few months ago, AlexandraRC introduced me to Butter London’s basecoat, Nail Foundation. This stuff is SO COOL. It dries crazy-fast (major benefit when you have a puppy), to a matte finish (which is great because you know when it’s dry). But best of all, it really acts like (skintoned) foundation for your nails. It masks Visible Nail Line under sheer polishes, without affecting the color of the polish at all. I’ve been using it exclusively for a few months now.
Unfortunately, I’m really noticing the absence of Rebuild. I thought that merely keeping my nails polished was protecting them from themselves. But Rebuild makes a real and noticeable difference; my nails split less when I’m using it regularly.
I’ll still use Nail Foundation — especially for sheer polishes — but I’ve realized it can’t be my one-and-only.
Rebuild is $9 ($7 at Sally’s, if you have a card). Nail Foundation is $18.