The selection below is not really representative of what I've worn in the past. Those are the ones, after all, that got used up, as I said. I do think I'm on the second bottle - and probably last, since this formula's discontinued - of Colorstay. Most of the ones I have now are frankly somewhat higher-end than what I've worn in the past, which as far as I can recall, mostly involves Sally Hansen. I've gone through a couple of bottles of Insta... (hmm, Insta-something, I think, but not Insta-Dri, which is polish & top-coat - aha, Insta-Grip!), and at least one of Complete Salon Mani base-coat and before that, I was probably using Hard As Nails for base-coat, because that gets you back to the dark ages before I knew all this other stuff existed.
By the way, I seem to be primarily using Makeup Alley (aka MUA) reviews to link to here. Reviews of boring stuff like base-coat are just not as easy to find as for shinier things!
- Rimmel Base Coat Top Coat Pro - I think I put this one at top left so that I could get it over with first; I don't really approve of the whole concept of combined base- and top-coat. (It came in a combo-pack with a bottle of nail polish, or I wouldn't have it at all.) MUA reviewers at the link above seem to agree with me here - although I didn't have as terrible a time with it as some of those people. It was just okay.
- Revlon Colorstay - as far as I know, this is discontinued, but I haven't exactly been haunting the Revlon aisle lately, so I could be wrong. (MUA says yes, it's discontinued. But even so, it might well still be findable at various discount places, if you're really moved to go look for it.) Anyway, I've gotten good results with this in the past, and it is (or was) reasonably priced, and so if it's gone, it's kind of a shame. (But Colorstay Gel is not supposed to need a base-coat, right? So I guess that's the reasoning there.)
- Orly Bonder - I like Orly Bonder. I have used it a lot. I can't say I'm in love with it but it works.
- Chick Base Coat - another one that's discontinued. I've liked most of Chick's products I've tried and I expect to like this one too, when I get around to it. (Some of these, I've saving until the other stuff is gone...)
- Nail Foundation (Butter London) - You can't tell it since the bottle is not transparent enough to see, but this bottle is damn near empty. I have used the heck out of this stuff. It's got a high list price but you can get deals on it, and if you find one, I have to say it becomes totally worth the (lower) price. (I'm not sure anything at all is really worth full-on high-end prices, in the end.) Anyway, there are mixed reviews up there but honestly, I have had very good results from this. Also it's in a big bottle with a long brush that's pretty good at fishing the product up from the bottom of the bottle, and that becomes important when you get down low there.
- Get Even (Zoya) - I really only bought this because it was said to be important to keep your ridges from showing on Zoya's matte polishes. I use it on other occasions, too. It's even more gluey and goopy than other ridge-fighting formulas, but it works.
- Bridge the Ridge (from American Classics, the same people who make Gelous) - obviously, another ridge-fighting polish. My aunt gave it to me for Christmas and I haven't tried it at all yet, I'm waiting on some of these others to run out first! It only has a few reviews but they seem positive enough.
(And now it's time to go to bed - I've had an Ambien, and when you start seeing patterns on what's supposed to be a plain white background, then it's time to go to bed because it's kicking in. 'Night.)