The key to working with holographic polish is how you hold the brush (this tip is also good for any polish). You want to keep the brush flat on the nail and slowly drag it downwards, using the tip of the brush to apply the polish can cause streaks and bald patches ( especially if you go over an area multiple times).
1. Using a shine buffer to create a super shiny surface (recommend by Layla as the correct base).
- not only does this allow the polish to go on very smoothly it also give the polish a natural high shine once dry without the use of a top coat.
- this doesn't dull the holo at all, in fact it creates more of a holo effect because the surface of your nail is so smooth.
2. Using an "adhesive" base coat.
- I DO NOT recommend using an adhesive type base coat to apply holos. Why? Because the polish "sticks" to the base coat, but only in certain spots. The result is a very patchy application that will need multiple coats in order to even out the color.
- I'm not sure why but this did seem to dull the look of the holo, you can still see the rainbow but it's not as vibrant as it could be.
- again I had troubles with the holo applying very patchy over the base coat, so basically I would avoid using ANY type of base coat under your holographic polishes.
- and again I did notice a slight dulling of the holo with this one as well.
- the application was similar to using the shine buffer, it went on smooth and even.
- much like using the shine buffer this didn't dull the holo, but unlike the shine buffer this didn't leave a high shine to the polish once it was dry.
- if you want to intensify or slightly change the color of your holo this is the perfect way to apply.
- if your color polish dries matte, apply a shiny topcoat before applying the holo.
- this is my favorite way to use holographic polish because you can take the holo color you love and make it better!
on the left is Mercury Twilight on it's own and on the right is Mercury Twilight over Essie No Place Like Chrome. The difference is slight but noticeable, gives the rainbows a more vibrant appearance. Using a color under your holo also allow you to use less of your holographic polish because you don't need to build up the color on it's own.
*note: base coat must be completely dry before applying your holo. If you notice that there is no rainbow effect that means your base coat was not dry before you applied the holo. Only DRY holographic polish will have rainbows.
And before anyone asks, I don't own Aquabase so I can't comment on it. I will say from what I've heard it takes forever to dry (like 30 minutes) but does create a great base for holos.
I prefer no top coat but I know many people want to use a top coat over their holo, so here's what I recommend...
1. Sally Hansen Insta Dri (clear triangular bottle).
- not sure what it is about this top coat but it's recommended by a lot of people to use over holos because, once dry, it doesn't have any dulling effect.
- I didn't notice any dulling effect and can say this is a good choice to use over holos.
2. Sally Hansen Insta Dri (red bottle) (basically any quick dry top coat).
- this does have a slight dulling effect. I don't recommend using a quick dry top coat over holos.
- these 3 gave about the same results: minor dulling compared to the Sally Hansen Insta Dri (clear triangular bottle), much less than a quick dry.
If you want to add a top coat to extend the wear your your holo mani you can also do a top coat "sandwich". After applying your top coat let it dry then add another thin coat of your holo polish. This will give you all the holo effect along with extended wear.
That being said my go-to application is: base coat (of choice), 1-2 coats of color polish(I like to use a color the same as the base color of my holo), followed by 2 coats of my holo polish, no top coat.
Now I must say that this post doesn't necessarily apply to all holographic polishes. There are some (like the new Color Club Halo Hues) in which you can use any base coat you like and a top coat doesn't effect them. Not all holos are created equal so if you find your holographic polishes are tricky to apply, this may help you out. =)