Monday, 29 April 2013

Do You Really Need Aqua Base with Holographic Polishes?

Hi folks! I have a bonus post for you today. I was recently asked by Harriet, a friend and fellow polish nut, if I had ever tried to use a matte top coat under holographic polishes instead of Aqua Base? I hadn't, and I was curious, so I promised I would try it. Another lovely lady named Tracey also suggested silver as a base, so I thought I'd turn it into a proper experiment. 

In the pictures below I have used the following different base coats: 

Thumb - bare nail, no base; index - regular base coat (Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat); middle - Nfu.Oh "Aqua Base"; ring - matte top coat; little - silver nail polish (Barry M Silver Foil Effects).

First picture is one coat of Nfu.Oh "64" over each base:

And two coats over each base:

Both pictures are shown without top coat.

The results really speak for themselves. As you can see, it actually looks pretty decent on a bare nail and wasn't too difficult to apply; on a regular base coat it looks awful - it applied terribly, is patchy, streaky, and the holo effect is pathetic; over Nfu.Oh "Aqua Base", it really looks splendid - application was effortless, two coats covered perfectly, and the holo effect is definitely the strongest; over the matte top coat it was a disaster - application was difficult, coverage is patchy, the holo effect is barely visible, and it has dried matte; over silver, application wasn't quite so tricky, but it still dried streaky, the holo effect is not very strong, and the colour has been altered. 

In answer to the question "do you really need to use Aqua Base (or similar) with holographic polishes?", my answer, in my humble opinion, is YES!! Just look at the difference. It's not just the opacity and the ease of application it provides, it's also the strength of the holographic effect. 

Of course, we have recently been spoiled by Color Club and their Halo Hues collections, as they apply like regular nail polish, do not require Aqua Base, and are top coat-friendly; however, in my experience, these are the exception to the rule.

I hope you find this post helpful! Thanks for reading, and come back again soon :) x


  1. The base really does make a difference! Great post :) x

    1. Thank you! It really does - definitely a worthwhile purchase :) xx

  2. I regularly use two coats of holo over matte topcoat and it works really well for me, I have found that one Layla holo sometimes goes matte on first coat but is fine on second

    1. I'm glad that works for you :) xx

  3. What a great experiment - thank you for sharing!

    In my experience I get the best results when I use aquabase too, with bare nails (especially if they've been lightly buffed so they are nice and smooth)a close second. If I'm too impatient to wait for the aquabase to dry I'll go for bare nails - I have had the holo mess up and go patchy / baldy when I've painted over aquabase that's not properly dry.

    1. That's a good point to make actually, I neglected to mention it! I don't mind waiting a few minutes longer for it to dry though, and the worst that happens if I don't give it enough time is a little bit of bubbling on one or two nails. It's still worth its weight in gold to me ;) xx