Today I’m reviewing a water based clear polish from Born Pretty Store. If you’ve ever worked with nail foils, you will know that people swear by water based top coats to finish off their manicure. Foils are known to shrink and crack when virtually any top coat is applied, ruining their beautiful finish, so I jumped at the chance to get this product when I heard the words “water based” in the formula because I was curious to see just how effective it would be.
This must be their generic box because the list looks identical to the one they use with their other polishes.
As for the formula, it’s clear and on the thinner side but not runny. It smells a little bit like a mix of ammonia and some sort of cleaner, although I can’t put my finger which one. It comes in a 9 mL cylindrical bottle with a good sized flexible brush that can easily paint most nails in 1-2 strokes.
I tried it out on my peeling natural nails. Because the formula is clear, it doesn’t do much in terms of masking any current damage, but it provides a protective coat that dries quickly and leaves behind a decent shine.
Because Born Pretty calls this a base coat, I think the assumption is that you will apply additional coats of color on top of this layer.
But here’s the moment of truth where you can see if it works as a nail foil top coat! Here is what my holographic animal print foil nails looked like before top coat was applied:
After the water based base coat was applied and allowed to dry for a little bit, you can see the results:
While the foil didn’t crack, I think some shrinkage might have occurred to cause the holographic effect to fade. This is still better than applying top coat and then watching all your hard work applying foils disappear before your eyes!
I also tried this top coat out for durability with some spring concert nails that I did with foil. Most of the foil wore off after about a day of hand intensive labor, so it doesn’t do much in terms of protection on its own. You really ought to use another layer of regular polish or top coat over the water based layer if you want to shield your nails from the rigors of daily life.
In terms of a base coat, it works well and is pleasant to use. In terms of a top coat for foils, you will need to apply another layer of regular top coat over the water based one if you want your foil work to be protected, but it’s super effective at keeping your foils intact.
Probably most surprising of all was that the base coat was a little hard to take off completely with regular nail polish remover. I noticed that I had patches of clear polish on my nails after removing the color coat, so maybe it’s more durable than originally meets the eye!
Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)
If you are interested in purchasing this base coat (retail price is $6.29 USD), the link for the item is shown below. Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off the regular priced items your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping. Happy polishing!