I used one bottle of this for a few years. It isn't horrible (hence why I didn't bother switching to something else), but I don't think it made any positive difference in the life of my manicure. The only thing that impressed me is that a single bottle lasted so long; I'm having better lasting power with Sally Hansen Advanced Hard as Nails now, and it's not even intended as a b/c.
*Update August 2012: Unfortunately I have to lower my rating down to a 3, as I am fairly certain that this was the cause of my staining/yellowing and peeling tips. It was also a little bit finicky in use since I had to make sure I really waited for it to dry in order to prevent the nail polish from wearing away faster. I would no longer repurchase.
Product's Claims: True or False?
1) Grips Polish for Lasting Adhesion: True
2) Prevents Wear For Up To Two Weeks: Moderately True
Bonder is very nicely packaged. It has a cylindrical frosted glass container, absolutely no square edges can be found on this thing. The smoothness of the bottle makes it feel more comfortable in my hands while opening and closing the bottle. The handle is almost as long as the bottle and is made of some type of rubber material. The directions and product info are easily read on the bottle as well. My one issue with the handle is that, for some reason, it feels a bit uncomfortable. I don't know if it's that it's a bit too short or if it's because of the pattern on the rubber, but it can be a bit hard for me to open sometimes and can rub up against my skin a bit and cause some redness. I have numerous polishes from the Canadian Quo by Orly line that has the same rubber cap but with added vertical ribbing along it and do not experience this issue. The brush is long and slender, and I do wish it was slightly shorter and wider, but it's not a big issue. The base comes in a separate cardboard box which is entirely unnecessary.
The base coat has a slight orange tint but it does not appear on my nails, at least not enough for me to notice it. It goes on very shiny and by the time it dries it looks pretty well matte. Once dry it definitely does have a strange feel to it on the nails, I guess almost rubbery. It's a very watery/thin consistency that can pool into the cuticles a bit, so be cautious while applying it to prevent getting too much on the nail. It dries very quickly as well. Bonder is 3-Free as well, although this has never been something that I've paid attention to in polishes.
I'm not blown away by its ability to keep my polishes on. I get the same wear with this as I do any other base coat I've used, but I do notice better wear over nails that happen to be a bit weak and somewhat peeled/torn on the edges - with other bases those nails would show chips on the edges. When my nails are in good condition, which is most of the time, chipping isn't really an issue. My problem is more tip wear, and this doesn't seem to be that much better. With any base I normally get 1-2 days of wear before I get any tip wear and then the tips stay at about the same level of wear for the rest of the week. What I do really love though is how strong my nails feel since I've been using this. I was previously using Essie's All In One Base and it seemed to really weaken my nails, as do all treatment products for me. Bonder doesn't claim to help strengthen or moisturize nails, but I feel like it's having this type of an effect on my nails, or at least allowing my nails to get back to their natural strength even while wearing polish. My nails also seem to be growing much better lately, and this is really the only change in my nail care other than reintroducing a nail buffer (which I've used once). In terms of the look of my polishes in conjunction with Bonder, the polishes come out just as shiny, although they don't seem to come out any smoother or more even than with other bases or when applied to naked nails.
Bang for your Buck:
18ml/0.6oz for around $10CAD at Sally Beauty Supply. It can look a bit pricey as an initial payment but the amount of product given is quite generous. I can easily see this lasting at least 5-6 months with weekly use or less.
It's nothing special in terms of maintaining my nail polish on the nail when compared to other bases I've tried, but I like the rubber effect and my nails seem to be really appreciating the formula overall - in this aspect I am quite pleased and surprised! I'd likely still try out other bases, but I will likely repurchase and will play around with it to see if I can get even better wear from it.
* Overall Rating: 5/5
* Price: 2/5
* Packaging Quality: 4/5
* Repurchase: Yes.
I would buy this again if only it prevented staining.
For me, a good base should truly act as a "base protection" for my nails on top of being adhesive to any polish that I paint on top of it.
This still allowed some of my darker polishes to stain my nails.
So I will be looking further~
I have tried EVERYTHING ON THE MARKET with the hopes of extending the life of my polish past a day or two. This is the first product I have found to actually make a difference!!!
A basecoat that really "bonds" to your nails. A thin layer is all that's needed to make your manicures last and last. I do give my nails a break from it though every 3 weeks because the chemicals are rather harsh.
Edit: I have since stopped using bonder as a base coat. I found after a while it really dried out my nails. I still use it to help seal in glitter on top but not as a base. I now ONLY use orly nailtrition as my base coat all the time and it's wonderful, my nails are healthy and strong.
I also love to use this as a topcoat when I wear glitter, instead of several coats of topcoat I need one coat of bonder to smooth it all out.
A great product with multi purposes!! Will definitely buy again :)
This basecoat has generally been working well for me - except when I use a nail strengthening treatment or don't use bonder directly on my nail. Then polish chips as normal, and occasionally peels off in rubberized sheets.
The strange thing about this product is that on my nails, whenever I use it the tips of my nails curl up very very slightly within hours. That can't be good! I've tested it with various nails at the same time and the same polish, top coat, but different base coats - insta-curl (which goes away after a few days of using something else, usually a nail strengthener like Nailtek's).
It *could* be due to my wrapping the basecoat around my nail tips, and so there's extra base coat on the underside as well, perhaps? If so, that's a bad idea with this product.
edit: (Update 3 weeks later): And oh hey, the tips of my nails are stained orange now :/
this is my favourite base coat. I've tried others, including Orly's own Top/Bottom (gross stuff, that!) and I keep coming back to this one. It makes my OPI and Essie polishes last long, and keeps dark polishes from staining my nails. Must have in my beauty repertoire!
I got this product for $3-4 dollars at a discount salon store. So, it was a pretty food deal. I did a hungaer games nail design using this base coat 4 days ago, and my nails still look fresh and new! I LOVE IT! I WILL buy this again! :)
I got this because so many people seem to love it! I guess its a body chemistry thing, but it did not work for me at all. My polish peeled off in sheets every time I used it. And it stained my nails an orangey color.
I saw this recommended online on some beauty site and thought it would be a great base coat. I tried it many times and didn't find that it performed well. It feels like it never really dries, doesn't make your polish last longer, and it's over-priced. I had my polish start to peel the very next day.