How Many Coats of Nail Polish You Need?

How many coats of nail polish do we really need? We all know how much nail polish costs. Some brands are cheaper than others, and some brands, like ORLY, provide salon-quality while remaining affordable. 

Have you considered using less polish to make the bottle last longer? Has it helped? Or Have you instead found yourself reapplying after a day or two?

Everyone else seems to have perfect manicures. And yet they never go to the salon. So why does your polish keep chipping? 

Let us tell you a secret: it’s not the polish. It’s how you apply it. But it’s nail polish; is there even a wrong way to do it? 

Continue reading to learn the answer. 

How Many Coats of Nail Polish Should You Use?

The sad truth is that if you skimp on layers, your nail polish will peel and chip. It’ll show.

Let's be honest, you skipped the base coat nail polish and fast drying nail polish top coat, and now you want to know how to fix it. 

We've all done it. But how much nail polish should you use? Is there such a thing as too much or too little?

The answer is yes. There is a perfect golden number of coats you should be applying. 

The magic number is four. A base coat, two coats of color, and a topcoat. This is the recipe for a perfect at-home manicure.

Now, let’s take a look at the difference between a base coat and a top coat. 

Base Coat vs Top Coat

The Purpose of a Base Coat

how many layers of nail polish

Many of us are tempted to forego the base coat. The extra step seems like a hassle. It’s thick and usually takes forever to dry. But have you ever wondered at the purpose of a base coat?

For one, it smooths out any ridges or bumps in the nail. This means a smoother application of your chosen polish. There’ll be no uneven bumps and it prevents the polish from chipping too.

But a base coat can also nourish and strengthen your nails. 

How long to wait between nail polish coats? You should wait until each coat is completely dry. This prevents lumps from forming. No one wants a lumpy manicure. It’s not pretty.

For a base coat to suit all of your needs, we recommend our ORLY Bond Case Coat.

The Importance of a Top Coat

how many coats of top coat nail polish

Do you know the debate on clear nail polish vs top coat? Well, the best clear nail polish to wear alone is a top coat. 

But how important is it for your manicure?

It’s pretty important. A top coat seals the nail polish, helping it last longer. It protects your polish from fading and peeling. It even protects against water damage.

Top coats can be fun or understated. They don’t have to be a clear, gloss finish. If you want some sparkles, choose one with glitter. 

Or if you prefer less gloss, the best matte nail polish top coats are stunning too. 

But, how to use top coat nail polish? The same way you would your regular polish. Just three perfect strokes is all it takes. 

A stroke on each side and one in the middle. This might be a little tricky when using your non-dominant hand. But once you’ve perfected it? You’ll have salon-perfect nails every time. 

Remember to use this method with every coat you apply. This includes the base coat and your color nail polish.

Our ORLY No-Cleanse Gel Top Coat is perfect for any gel manicure.

Final Note

We know that a top coat can help our manicures last longer. But many of us love the long-lasting effect of gel polish. 

You’ll be happy to know that you can use regular nail polish with a gel top coat. 

So, if your favorite color doesn’t come in a gel polish? No problem. Apply your base coat, two coats of your color polish, and then a gel top coat.

Did you enjoy reading our blog? Then consider checking other guides: