“ Brand: 2true / Type: Coat „
I don't always bother to apply base coat before I use nail polish, and to be honest I have rarely regretted the lack of it. I have only suffered nail staining a handful of times since I began painting my nails 15 years ago. Model's Own, OPI and Revlon nail colours are the guilty brands of recent times. The effect from the Revlon polish was especially bad, so I decided I should be careful and use a protective base coat more often. The one I already had was well past its best so I went to Superdrug for a replacement. I opted for a product from the budget make up brand 2true simply because it was £1.99 for 9ml. I also liked the fact it promised to be a ridgefiller too, as I have a small, shalllow ridge on one toenail and I liked the idea of solving two problems at once.
As mentioned above, 2true are a budget brand of make up. I have found many of their products to be excellent, especially considering their low price - most items are £1.99 each but you can also mix and match any 3 for £4.99. I believe the companies products are only available from Superdrug on the High Street but all but the smallest branches do seem stock at least some items. The basecoat is to be found amongst the nail polishes - quite literally - and it could be mistaken for a pale coloured polish as a result. Once you have found it, the bottle doesn't present much to look at. It is short and thick with no artwork or decoration on. I don't personally mind the fact that it looks a basic product because that is what it is!
2true say that the base coat will " seal the nail providing the perfect base for smooth and even nail polish." It adds the product will protect the nail and also help to prolong the wear of your nail polish.
GETTING THE BASE IN PLACE
The wide lid makes the brush easy to hold, although the brush itself is one of the small and stubby kinds that I dislike. I would rather have a taller bottle that could accomodate a long shafted brush so I didn't have to use it so close to the nail. This means I would minimise the chance of accidently catching the lid rim on a nail. The head is normal sized though, and it does spread out well enough across the nail for you to apply the base coat in a few strokes.
The base is a milky white colour, looking almost a pale pink in the bottle. I have used base coats with the same colouring before, so this didn't put me off my purchase, but I did hope it would not look unnatural on the nail. The colour is weaker out of the bottle, as it is obviously less concentrated. However the polish has a thick texture, and you are advised to apply two coats which builds the colour up again. More of that below. Anyway, the base does dry very quickly, the first layer taking only a couple of minutes and the second slightly more. I was impressed by this as the consistency made me think it would take longer than average to "set".
AN UNFORTUNATE FINISH
I have mentioned the fact that I have used base coats with a similar colour to this one before. Once on, they tend to look more natural than their initial appearance would lead you to expect. The same is not however true of the 2true version. As a base coat is designed to be covered up, you may think it doesn't matter how it makes your nails look unless you want to use a clear polish. Sadly, it can alter the colour of the polish you put on top, and not always in a good way. After one coat of the base, my nails still looked O.K and quite natural. The finish was glossy and smooth, and the minor ridge on my left toe nail look convincingly filled in even without the second layer. I applied the second coat, and was left with pasty white nails that looked far from healthy. I was going to cover them with polish, so I didn't worry at that point. When used with a navy blue, the base coat didn't show at all and I was perfectly happy. Unfortunately, the base has muddying effect on some other colours - a pale blue polish also from 2true looked paler than normal, and lacking in it's normal "zingyness". It made a poppy red colour from Nails Inc look a nasty red brown, and a soft pink from NYC looked washed out. I couldn't predict the effect it would have on any particular polish, but it has mostly been paler shades that have been affected. Under a clear varnish, it looks awful and like a french manicure gone wrong.
Used under a safe dark blue, the base coat has been doing duty on my toes where I can give it full credit for preventing staining. The polish concerned is the Revlon one that stained before, so I feel the base coat really has made a difference. Apart from making some colours look less attractive, I can't say the base has made much difference to the finish of the polish. I didn't feel they were any easier/smoother to apply after using the base, and the colours didn't really last any longer than they have done before I used the base as well. As for the ridge filling, my ridge did indeed appear to disappear after a coating of this and polish. It was a shallow horizontal ridge that has almost grown out, but having it filled does make polish look smoother. I am not sure how the base would perform on a deeper or more prominant ridge, but as it did a good job with one coat on mine, I think it would be worth a try a least.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THE BASE COAT & RIDGEFILLER?
As I chiefly wanted to use this as a security layer against nail staining caused by darker polishes, I wasn't too disappointed that the base affects the appearance of some lighter colours. It also altered a red polish though, so I could not be sure it would be "safe" to use with all stronger shades. I have discovered that going against the instructions and using a single coat does not affect the bases ability to protect the nail against staining or the ability to fill minor ridges. The benefit of this is your nails look less "milky" and any polish you pop over it doesn't alter much in appearance, if at all. So used like this, the product does a reasonable job and would be suitable for those looking for a cheap base coat or simple ridge filler. I know some people like to wear base coats on their own, but I do not feel this product would be suitable for that becuase it makes your nails look anaemic. It is cheap, so I am going to rate it more generously than I would otherwise, but all in all, I am going to pay a bit more for a more consistent product.
[This review is also on Ciao under my user name.]