How this rosy-tinted base coat and quick-drying top coat earned a spot in Elle’s kit.

Written ByELLE

Photography ByDREW ESCRIVA


Name: Elle

Job Description: Celebrity Nail Artist

Where to Find Her: New York City

Instagram: @enamelle

I have nail ammunition for any and every scenario. Damaged nails, healthy nails, short nails—you name it. But what works well for me or one of my clients doesn’t necessarily work for everyone else, which is why it’s so important to have a slew of options. So when VIOLET GREY asked me to test the chicly packaged tenoverten Base Coat and Shield Top Coat, I was hoping for a hit to add to my toolkit.

Too many people overlook the base coat. They think of it as just another step, but it’s as important as the rest of the manicure. Why? Because the base coat does what its name implies. It holds on to the nail, manages any staining, and leaves a strong foundation so the polish adheres to your nail properly. The tenoverten Base Coat is excellent because it has ridge-filling and camouflage properties. If your nails are damaged or slightly off-color, or if you’re looking to take a break from gel polish, this product brings them back to life. Its rosy, glowy finish will allow you to keep your claws au naturel—no matter how much you want to hide them.

To be used in tandem, the tenoverten Top Coat is incredible because it’s quick drying. This is my favorite part—no one has time to sit for 20 minutes and wait for their polish to set. The Top Coat also seals your polish, giving it longer-lasting wear. A little-known tip for making your manicure last longer is to reapply your top coat every two days. This thin formula is perfect for extending your mani. Using the Base Coat and Top Coat as a set can make for better adhesion. If you mix and match formulas, you may experience product breakdown or allergic reactions, and you won’t be able to pinpoint what went wrong.

But the most important part of any manicure is proper prep. I always tell my clients to treat your nails like your skin. After you’ve applied any lotions or oils, make sure your nails are free of debris and oil. I like to use a natural antibacterial soap and wash off the nail. Then I use 98 percent isopropyl alcohol to clean the nail plate. This acts like a toner by boosting the pH level. Once the nail plate is dry, you can apply the base coat and top coat. If you follow this protocol, your manicure should last more than a week.