Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Scotch Naturals On the Rocks Top Coat and Base Coat Review and Pictures

In today's post, I'll be sharing about my experiences with Scotch Naturals Top Coat and Base Coat. I did some tests to check whether the top coat and base coat extended wear time on the water-based nail polish, Scotch Naturals Seaboard. To find out whether they fared well against my stringent criteria for great, healthy and efficient beauty products, read on after the jump!

Recently, Scotch Naturals Singapore contacted me to thank me for my post on Scotch Naturals Seaboard, a beautiful and mysterious darkened teal colour that can't quite be captured on camera. Here are some swatches in case you forgot how it looked like. It looks navy in the swatches but the camera doesn't pick up its true brooding blue-green shade.

Since I'd mentioned in my post that I didn't know where to buy the top coat and base coat, Scotch Naturals Singapore informed me that they can be bought at the Scotch Naturals SG website for S$22.90 each. They also kindly sent me their top coat, base coat and soy based polish remover to test. I was very excited to receive these products as I wanted to test out 1) whether the Scotch Naturals top and base coat could extend wear-time (previously found to be about 4-5 hours until it started chipping) 2) the soy polish remover. I've never tried a non-acetone based nail polish remover, and I'm always excited to find products that are healthy and effective, so this was a great opportunity. I'll be reviewing the base coat and top coat in this post and the soy polish remover in the next post.

Scotch Naturals Base Coat

The Scotch Naturals Base Coat (S$22.90) comes in a 10.5ml glass nail polish bottle and is made of Water, Acrylic copolymer and Ester alcohol. That's only 3 ingredients, all of which are safe for wear. It looks translucent and milky and has a thicker consistency than a Orly Bonder, which I normally use as my base coat.

According to the Scotch Naturals SG website,
Our fortifying base coat nourishes nails while providing the perfect foundation for our polishes. Our base coat significantly extends the life of Scotch Naturals WaterColors assisting in adhesion and durability.
Let's find out in a bit whether it does significantly extend the life of the Scotch Naturals water-based polish!

Scotch Naturals On the Rocks Top Coat

As you can see from the above picture, I seem to have received a tester top coat, and no ingredients were stated on the label. Thank Google (I make the worst jokes) I did a little research, and found out that the Top Coat ingredients list are as follows: Water, Acrylic copolymer, Polyethylene wax (
Source). Seems like the only different between the top coat and base coat is the last ingredient - Ester Alcohol (base coat) vs. Polyethylene wax (top coat). I believe the alcohol in the base coat ensures it dries fast, while the wax in the top coat is the ingredient that adds shine.

According to the Scotch Naturals SG website,
Our deluxe top coat protects nails from scratches and provides an extra boost of shine.
Stay with me as I test out whether the top coat does prevent scratches and boost shine!

Testing out Scotch Naturals Top Coat and Base Coat

Day 1
Here's a picture showing what I applied on my nails. Below it is a list of what I applied on each nail. I didn't even bother showing the thumb - I applied 2 coats of Scotch Naturals Seaboard with top coat and no base coat and it chipped away by the end of the first day.

Pointer: No base coat, 3 coats of Scotch Naturals Seaboard, topcoat applied to half the nail.
Middle: 1 base coat, 3 coats of Scotch Naturals Seaboard, one top coat applied.
Ring: 1 base coat, 3 coats of Scotch Naturals Seaboard, no top coat applied.
Pinkie: 1 base coat, 3 coats of Scotch Naturals Seaboard, one top coat applied.

I waited 2-3 minutes between each coat of base coat/nail polish/top coat. For the coats of Scotch Naturals Seaboard, I waited until the polish looked semi-matte (it applies glossy and dries semi-matte) before applying the next coat.

Here's the picture without all the words so that you can see the texture and shine of the top coat. It is really glossy! Compare my pointer and ring (no top coat) to my middle and pinkie (top coat) and you'll see the difference in shine. Without top coat, Scotch Naturals Seaboard dries semi-matte. It's pretty on its own, but the top coat makes it look phenomenally glossy, which is always a good thing in my opinion.

Day 3
I didn't show how my nails looked like on Day 2 because they looked about the same as Day 1, with minor tip wear. It seems that the polish shrinks from the tips by the second day. That was rather annoying, and apparently it's not because of the way the topcoat is applied - others have problems with tip shrinkage too.

On Day 3, you can see major chipping happening on the pointer, at the half with no top coat. The other half with top coat was holding up pretty well. Tip wear occurred for all four nails, but apart from that, the other 3 nails were holding up well.

Day 4
By Day 4, most of the polish on my pointer had chipped off in an unsightly fashion. The other 3 nails looked rather worse for wear. I decided to take the polish off at this point because of the ugly chipping on my pointer.

Conclusion: This test shows that the base does really does extend the life of Scotch Naturals polish by quite a bit. The 3 nails with base coat on lasted a total of 4 days compared to the meagre 4-5 hours the last time I wore Scotch Naturals polish without base coat. The top coat did make the nails very shiny, and I didn't notice any prominent scratches with top coat on. However, it did not extend wear time significantly. The steep pricing of S$22.90 each for the top coat and base coat is my only reservation about recommending these products, even though they do enhance the Scotch Naturals nail polish experience. I would recommend them if you have strong reservations about using other brands of base/top coat that could contain harmful chemicals or are not water-based. Scotch Naturals, as a water-based line of polish, is definitely healthier for your nails, but the pricing could be an obstacle for some.

EDITED 6 August 2012: Based on some clarifications by Scotch Naturals Singapore, you may also like to use the top coat to condition your nails for a week before using the colour polishes. Sometimes it takes time for the nails to get used to water-based nail polish, especially if you have been using solvent based nail polishes.

Let's Break It Down

Product Name: Scotch Naturals On the Rocks Top Coat and Scotch Naturals Base Coat
Product type: Water-based top coat and base coat
Amount of product: 10.5ml each
Price per product: S$22.90
Where to buy: Scotch Naturals Singapore (local) and Scotch Naturals website (free shipping on orders above US$35 for U.S. domestic orders only)
To buy or not to buy: If you're health conscious and are looking for a water-based alternative to top and base coats, Scotch Naturals is for you. The steep price may throw off some people, though.

Product Approved 4/5

Disclaimer: I received these products for review. My opinions are completely honest and 100% my own. No compensation was received for this review.

Rachel loves sharing about the beautiful things in life from different perspectives. She writes on beauty and lifestyle in Cherchez Beauté , and does more abstract stuff on Antelune . When she's not writing, she's playing with her dog Holly, doodling and reading fiction. You can follow her on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram .