The new year gives us a fresh opportunity to take better care of ourselves, and I believe that includes pampering and treating our nails!! My nails generally take a beating each day, from doubling up as bottle openers, peelers, scratchers and envelop openers, my nails do all these and more. Endless washing and scrubbing, and of course non-stop nail polish and the seasonal gelish, has weakened my nails considerably over the past couple of years. They chip easily, look dry and flakey without nail polish, and don’t hold nail polishes as well as when they were completely healthy. I’ve been searching for the perfect nail base for a long time, as I need something that will protect my nails and hold onto my nail polishes, and finally found 2 that I love – Chanel La Base Coat and Guerlain Nailift La Base!
Chanel and Guerlain released a new treatment and protective nail base coat last Fall 2015, the Chanel La Base is part of the permanent collection whereas Guerlain’s Nailift was limited edition (although it is still available for sale, while stocks last!). There are a lot of similarities between the 2, and I’ve been using them interchangeably for the past few months. Both carry a light pink tint even, leaving a my-nails-but-better look. Interestingly, both Chanel La Base & Guerlain Nailift are formulated with Argan Oil and Vitamin E to regenerate and fortify brittle weakened nails. Hence, these are much more than just regular nail polish, but are treatment bases.
In the above, you can see the effect of Chanel La Base on my dry brittle nails. Just a simple coat leaves my nails looking healthier and better moisturised. The ridges are also smoothened, allowing ensuing nail polish layers to go on easier. The finish is matte, looking as natural as possible, which is why I have taken to wearing this on its own when taking a break between polishes.
I borrowed my hubby’s thumb for the nail swatch above as mine are all fully occupied at the moment. Guerlain Nailift La Base has all the ridge smoothening and hydrating properties as Chanel, but leaves a glossy finish when dried. This makes it a dressier alternative to nude nails in between nail polish changes.
Apart from the difference in finishes, the applicator brushes are also different. Chanel La Base comes with the brand’s usual small rounded brush, whereas Guerlain Nailift La Base comes with the brand’s wide and flattened brush. I’ve been using Chanel’s nail polishes so much this past year that I’ve grown accustomed to working with it, and for a base coat that does not require much precision, I actually prefer this smaller brush as it allows me to apply a thinner coat. The Guerlain brush is nice as I can cover most of my nails with just 1 stroke, but I found that it dispensed too much and created a thicker coat. It dries fast enough regardless, the only difference it makes is that generally I found the thicker my nail polishes, the more prone they are to chipping.
I’m so glad to see high end beauty brands finally taking our nail health seriously! We all want to change up our nail colors and designs every so often, and having strong healthy nails is an important foundation. Both Chanel La Base and Guerlain Nailift are equally lovely in my mind, both keep my nails from peeling and cracking. The applicator brushes are quite different though, and the finishes are diametrically different as well. I found myself unconsciously reaching for the Chanel La Base more often when applying nail polish. For those days when I’m giving my nails a well-deserved break, I prefer Guerlain Nailift for that additional glossy finish. Guerlain is limited edition though, so if you are still on the fence, just grab one and think later!