Thursday, July 17, 2014

Nails Inc. Kensington Caviar Base Coat Vs. Avon Gel Strength Base Coat

I posted a video on Youtube recently about trying the Nails Inc. Kensington Caviar Base and Top Coat duo, the minis of which I'd received as a bonus for placing a $50 order on their site. After having tried them for five days straight, I believe I can give a reasonable opinion. I will talk about the top coat in a separate post.

Here's what Nails Inc. has to say about their base coat:

"Kensington caviar base coat helps to nourish nails whilst helping to prevent staining, smooth the surface and prolong the duration of your manicure. Apply one coat underneath your chosen nails inc polish. - See more at:"

I'd mentioned in the video that I didn't see a way for me to buy the base and top coat separately on the site, but I think at the time I was looking specifically for the mini duo, which they don't offer. I did find the full sized base and top coats (10ml/.33oz) on their site for $10 each:

Nails Inc. Kensington Caviar Base Coat

Nails Inc. Kensington Caviar 45 Second Top Coat

This is a picture of the duo I received (4ml/.13oz each):

I had reservations about the base coat. Firstly, I already have a favorite go-to base coat that does everything I need it to do and thensome: Avon Gel Strength Base Coat. Secondly, the Nails Inc. base coat had a very strong hot-pinkish tint to it; I was afraid it would stain my nails, especially because I would be applying two coats of it, like I always do with my base coat. My fears were unfounded, however, as I did not experience any staining. By the way, Avon Gel Strength Base Coat retails for $6.50 (worth every penny and MORE!) but frequently goes on sale for $3.50 - $3.99: Avon Nail Experts Gel Strength Base Coat.

Before I tell you how I feel about the Nails Inc. base coat, I must first tell you why I love my Avon Gel Strength Base Coat so much. Firstly, the stuff smoothes out the nails beautifully and dries quickly, making for easy, flawless application of nail color. It adheres well to polish and protects my nails from staining. It keeps my nails strong, flexible, and resistant to breaking.

HOWEVER, the MAJOR reason I love this base coat so much is that it contains magic. OK, maybe not actual magic, but, it does something magical to my nail surface. It does some kind of special sealing and healing that when taken off, makes my nails look super smooth and...buffed. Seriously, my nails almost look like they have a thin layer of clear polish on them when completely naked. My mom tried it for a week and she proclaimed the same thing. She said her nails were looking rough and dull and were cracking really badly for months; however, after using Avon Gel Strength base coat for one week, her nails looked TRANSFORMED and healthy. I'm sorry I don't have before/after pictures to share with you.

So, you have to understand that switching or even giving the time of day to any other base coat is a huge sacrifice for me...

Back to Nails Inc. Kensington Caviar Base Coat: I don't know if it's a testament to the nail polishes I wore (Julie G Santorini and Broadway Nails Easter Annie), or the base and top coat that they were paired with, but, my nail color remained completely in tact, with not a single chip, or even the slightest hint of tip wear, for five straight days of typing, playing in water, commuting and even washing my hair. I felt like the base coat was protecting my nails, even as they banged against stuff and even slightly bent a couple of times as they bumped into things (they're getting too long!). A lot of times with base coats, I don't feel like they're really protecting my nails; meaning, my nails will feel "vulnerable" with the wrong kind of base coat...I did not feel that way with this one.

HOWEVER...when I removed it, there was some peeling on one of my nails that was not there and never is there when I use my Avon base coat. Also, gone was the natural "buff" deliciousness that I get with my fave. In fact, my nails looked a little dull and parched, and, I felt like I needed to (and I DID) give them an oil treatment before moving forward with my next mani. Keep in mind, however, that this is in comparison to my super luscious and deliciously hydrated-looking nails after removing my Avon Gel Strength. The way they looked after removing the Caviar base coat is probably normal for most people, and even for me before discovering my Avon product. It obviously works fantastically well at keeping on your nail color and making your nails feel strong, however, I don't feel like it "treated" my nails to anything extra...and I like extra:).

If you'd like to see how the mani looked five days later, watch the below video starting at 9:08:

Will I use the base coat again? Umm...probably not. I don't like the way my nails looked and I didn't appreciate the peeling tip on one of my nails. You don't go months with zero peeling, switch your base coat for one week, see peeling and not attribute the offense on the change of base coat!

I know that everyone's nail chemistry is different, so, maybe you'd like the Nails Inc. base coat better than the Avon base coat. BUT, I can't recommend Avon's base coat enough. And NO, I am not and have never been an Avon representative. In fact, there have been some Avon base coats that I've tried that were simply horrible on my nails! For me, base coat is just so very important, and must be carefully selected.

Simply put, my nails are very sensitive to base coat; it's very difficult for me to find one that I can say I wholeheartedly trust. It may be weird to use the word "trust" when it comes to a base coat, but it's a serious situation for me! From yellowing to peeling, to drying out my nails, my base coat journey has been rough!

I will forever try new fast drying top coats, but, it'll be quite a while (and it'd be a hard-to-sell challenge!) for me to try another base coat, considering what I consistently experience with Avon Gel Strength Base Coat.

For an easier-to-obtain base coat that I trusted 100 percent prior to Avon Gel Strength, I recommend Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Hard As Wraps Acrylic Gel + Nylon. I've only ever seen it in and on CVS, but it's also available on Amazon, if online ordering is your preference. I prefer the one called Tint, but the Clear works well, too. It performs almost identically to the Avon one, but, it tends to get goopy halfway through the bottle, whereas I can get all the way to the bottom of Avon Gel Strength without issues. My nails did look healthier upon removal, too, but not as fantastically healthy as they do with my new fave:).

Until next time,

XOXOXO - Jessika

Current Mani:

Index: Maya Cosmetics Ethereal. Middle and Pinky: Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Lady Luck with a coat of Maya Cosmetics Gathering on top of the Middle. Ring and Thumb: Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Joker's Wild with a coat of L'Oreal The Temptress' Power on top of the Ring.


1 comment:

  1. thx for this comparison. i will try out the avon base coat :) i have the kensigton caviar base, but it alternates the color, if im using a very light color nail polish, i used essie muchi muchi, verly light pink, and on this base coat it got a more pinkish color, unlike when used it on some different base for light colors its not very good...i dont know yet if its strenghtens the nails or do something special for them, because i have it just for a week we will see...but definitely ill try the avon base :)
    thanks and have a nice day :)