Finding that perfect base and top coat is hard. Especially when it can change by the brand of polish you pair with them too. Lately, I am lucky to get polish to last more than 48 hours so am on the hunt for that perfect combo that will work with the majority of polishes. So far so good with a combination of two of these Alter Ego products!
Alter Ego Nail Enamels currently has three base coats to choose from as well as She Shines base and top coat combo, that I only use as a top coat. She also has a matte top coat.
Comparing Alter Ego Base Coats
Sticky Situation by Alter Ego Body Care is a green tinted sticky base coat. I have tried a lot of sticky base coats over the years but my nails reacted really well to Alter Ego Sticky Situation. I wore a polish for 6 days with tip wear and a small chip on one nail. Definitely a keeper for me. It is not rubberized to the point of some others. That is good for me as I prefer polish to evenly apply over it and not get stuck.
Smooth Operator by Alter Ego Nail Enamels is a ridge filling base coat. You do need to use two coats and allow it to dry between coats. It did make my nails feel really smooth but did not last like Sticky Situation. Someone recommended mixing the two with Smooth Operator applied first but it still chipped in 2 days. I got three days using Sticky Situation then Smooth Operator but it did not look quite as smooth. It has a milky white tint that evens out the colour of your nails and makes polish pop a little too.
Alter Ego Tenacious Base Coat is their “regular” base coat. It has a milky white tint that helps with stained nails. I tried this with a blue polish that often stains my nails even with base coat and no staining. It is less opaque than Smooth Operator and more like a true white in colour. On the nail it more just evens tone than appearing white.
All three have decent dry times and I could do my nails almost right away after finishing all 10 nails.
Alter Ego Top Coat Reviews
Alter Ego She Shines is their regular shiny top coat. It can also be used as a base coat but I don’t find it very effective since my nails benefit from a sticky base rather than a shiny one. As a top coat, it is shiny and a decent formula. I tend not to like really runny top coats. While it is certainly more liquidy than Seche Vite, my go-to, it is thick enough. It is not a fast drying top coat, and so doesn’t suffer from the shrinkage of those but it is fairly quick drying.
She Matters by Alter Ego is a matte top coat. Like many matte top coats, it is slower to dry than their shiny top coat. I prefer using it over a fast drying top coat to make sure that my polish doesn’t get dented as it dries.
Each retails or $7 US for a full size bottle. Note that Alter Ego bottles are 17ml so larger than most indies but also come in a specially shaped bottle. They stand well when applying and don’t fall over like some shaped bottles. But I know some of you are round bottle snobs, so something to be aware of. Shop Alter Ego’s full range of nail polish including base and top coats here.