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Top/Base Coats - Sally Hansen - Ultimate shield fortifying base and top coat

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rated 2.7(29 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 2.7
  • 41% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.5
  • Price: $$

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rated 5 of 5 on 5/12/2014 3:23:00 PM More reviews by kimble55

Age: 30-35 Skin: Normal, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium Eyes: Blue

I am just blown away by the durability of this stuff! It is the best I have ever tried for preventing chips (and as I ALWAYS have my nails painted and have done for years I've tried a lot!) It is not that unusual for polish to chip within a day on me, even with a good base and top coat. I guess I'm just clumsy with my hands. But with the first use of this I got 6 DAYS wear (the colour I used it with was an OPI one for reference) and even then the colour was only wearing off on the tips and there were no noticeable chips so I could probably have made it last a bit longer than that. In 10 years of polish wearing that is unheard of for me! I've also tried it with my Essie polishes and it works just as well with those too.

It is tricky as a topcoat on a fresh manicure though - I find it to be quite thick so if your colour isn't completely dry it will grab it and streak it. This isn't one of those "fast dry" topcoats. So I normally use my Essie Good to Go to dry my nails fast after a new manicure and then put this on the following morning as an extra shield. That might sound like a lot of messing around but its a lot quicker and simpler than having to redo my whole manicure because I've already chipped it! I haven't had any problems with bubbles as other reviewers have said but maybe it is because my polish is thoroughly dry before I put this on. I haven't used it a as base coat yet because I have other base coats to use up but once they are gone I'll switch to this as a base coat also. Great value too!

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 1/12/2014 12:12:00 AM More reviews by wendycoco

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

Shocked at the low rating this has!!!
This is by far the best base top coat I have ever used. I bought it but was not expecting much because I really don't find Sally Hansen that great. I just didn't feel like spending $10 on Essie's all in one which up to that point had been the only one that helps my polish last for a few days.
After 6 days of polish with this base top coat I finally changed my polish and not cause I had too but because I wanted to change the colour! This has never happened.
I'm a bartender as well work emergency dispatch so my hands are always working so my nails can take a beating. Yet no chips no peeling nothing! Also there's no shrinkage and I find that's rare with any polish.
I paid about $5 at Walmart for this. It doesn't dry fast I just use my essence fast dry drop oil which is about $3.
I will never use another base top coat again.
I also use witch craft to help with thickening my nails cause they are thin. So it's the base coat then two coats of polish then a coat of witch craft then the top coat and I'm good. I don't even get air bubbles. Highly recommend this product!

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 12/31/2013 12:02:00 PM More reviews by FaceofMaleah

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Very Dry, Fair, Neutral Hair: Red, Straight, Fine Eyes: Hazel

Wow! I'm really surprised that a lot of people aren't a fan of this base and top coat. I bought it off a whim to do a manicure for my mom and I when we were out of town and it is definitely the best base and top coat I have ever used. The formula is really thin which I like (not at all gloopy) so it applies evenly and it dries really fast, leaving my nails feeling very strong. I've had my manicure now for 6 days and with the exception of one nail which I chipped when using a cheese grater, the rest of them are completely perfect like the day I did my manicure. I used to use Essie base and top coat but this is definitely better. Love it!

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rated 2 of 5 top reviewer on 11/17/2013 7:45:00 PM More reviews by GimpyPoop

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Tan, Warm Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I've only used this as base coat and it's a pretty mediocre one. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in the red bottle is one of my HG top coats, so I had picked out Ultimate Shield as a base coat without much research. I suppose the product being a dual purpose base and top coat - it's a bit slick as a base coat. It's not terrible at filling nail ridges, but you have to apply a couple of generous coats. As with a lot of nail top coats, I find that the consistency thickens over time, so it's always nice to have that nail polish thinner handy (I cringe when people use acetone to thin out their nail polishes).

Overall this is better than a lot of plain ole clear nail polishes as it's thicker and seems sturdier, but it's nothing remarkable and I'm not planning on repurchasing!

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rated 3 of 5 on 3/3/2012 9:51:00 PM More reviews by Ninko

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I can see where the bad reviews are coming from; this one
's a bit tricky indeed. I had a horrible experience the first time I used it, it was like "welcome to bubble city", though it dried pretty fast. However, the next 4-5 times I used a very thin coat, and it was perfect - nice, smooth, rock-hard finish, and as I've mentioned, it dried fast. The manicures last appx 4-5 days which for me is a miracle - I tend to bump my fingers into things non stop, and I work on a computer a lot. So I'm quite happy with this product; I'm taking away a lippie because it is tricky - you have to make sure you dry your polish before you apply this top coat, and you have to apply a thin layer. So yeas, while it's not the best product out there, it's still not bad at all!

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rated 2 of 5 on 6/26/2011 12:15:00 AM More reviews by LoveMaiah

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

The product title seems very appealing and draws you in. At fist it applies easily but as it dries a tremendous amount of tiny bubbles appear. I would not buy this product again.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 7/26/2009 3:26:00 AM More reviews by Natashia

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

This product was discontinued in my country and it left me so sad . This dries in seconds , easy to apply, applies thin layers and does not shrink my polish . The bottle does go goopy after some time but fortunately that is towards the end . Some product wastage but no biggie .

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rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 4/29/2009 6:27:00 PM More reviews by tragicglamour83

Age: 25-29 Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral Hair: Red, Curly, Fine Eyes: Green

This is a great top coat for preventing chipping and peeling, plus it provides a UV shield. My manicures really last with Ultimate Shield on top, and it creates that extra shiny finish! I've been using it for a long time, and have had no problems with it bubbling up as others have mentioned. I don't use it as a base coat, but put a thin coat on top of my color when it is 3/4 or so dry. This dries very quickly to the touch, and can be sped along with a few quick sprays of nail dryer. The only issue I have with this is that it thickens up fairly quickly, so I can never get through a whole bottle before I have to replace it. Once it has started to thicken you have the problems with the brush dragging, or applying too heavy of a coat. Still, Im a big fan of this stuff and am surprised at its low rating.

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rated 3 of 5 on 4/12/2009 5:01:00 PM More reviews by missobtuse

Age: 19-24 Skin: Dry, Fair, Cool Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine Eyes: Blue

Back in Jan. 09 i need a new top coat and after looking at all of the ones available in my CVS i decided to get this one.
For the first month and half i loved it. It applied really easily (i never had problems with bubbles or dragging). It dried really fast. And my nails didn't chip tell around day 6 or 7 of wearing it.
But once i got about a 1/3 of the way through the bottle (took about a month and a half) the stuff started to get really thick and when ever i put it on it was impossible to spread on the nail. The brush also wasnt long enough so once you get about half way through its impossible to get any product on the brush.
I pulled it out today (April 09) and though i would give it once last chance....and it's as think as a body cream. It literally just sits on the nail and you have to force it to move.
Overall i would say that it works great as a product and it does exactly what it claims to do, but the bottles longevity is bad. If you use up topcoat fast or you don't mind buying a new bottle every month or so then this is a perfect product, but if you want something that last i would suggest a different product.

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rated 5 of 5 on 3/26/2009 1:44:00 AM More reviews by twhitt06

Age: 30-35 Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

Wow! This is my HG base & top coat and yet no one else seems to like it. I have never gotten a single bubble and don't have any dragging issues. I had read somewhere that bubbling was a result of the angle you are holding the brush. Not sure if that's true but I do know that I don't have any issues with the formula of Ultimate Shield. I put on one coat of this, 2 coats of OPI color, a coat of ultimate shield and then a strengthening/drying oil on top which dries the polish completely within about 5 minutes. I do let each coat dry a few minutes as Ultimate Shield does has a bit of a jelly consistency so it needs to dry a bit before putting anything else of it or under it. Manicures done in this fashion last 5-7 days before I see even the tiniest chips or tip wear.

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