I’m often asked by my clients which basecoat is best for achieving what lots of us want – strong and healthy nails. Firstly, it’s important to go for a ‘treatment basecoat’ rather than any old basecoat – you want to choose one with decent ingredients.

I’ve used Jessica products for many years now, I’ve been lucky enough to work for the brand in the past so was able to learn about each product inside and out and be involved in intensive nail training! I could go on and on about all of the Jessica products and how brilliant they are. One of the things I love most about this brand, is that they have formulated a treatment basecoat for many different nail types. Jessica actually offer 8 different prescriptive basecoats and I swear by them for sorting out all nail issues and maintaining good nail health!

Two of my favourite Jessica Basecoats…

Critical Care

An award winning nail strengthener – it’s an intensive treatment for soft nails, it’s going to boost growth and strengthen very weak nails. It’s also perfect for brides to be as you will have longer stronger nails in just 6 weeks! It’s packed with an exclusive protein formula and is fortified with calcium and intensive nail strengtheners. Nails really do feel instantly stronger after this product has been applied.

Key Ingredients: Keratin, Soy & Wheat Protein & Complex Strengtheners


If your nails have been battered by acrylic extensions and butchered with electric drills – Restoration is your rescue remedy. The perfect base coat for nails that are feeling sore, weak and tender from acrylics or extension damage. It’s packed with a regenerative formula containing healing Echinacea to aid the recovery process and will rebuild poorly nails from foundation to surface.

Although the gel nail treatments I offer at Willow Cottage aren’t damaging to the natural nail, I always recommend my clients use this after the removal of their gel overlays – nails can be dehydrated after the removal process due to the acetone solution which soaks the gels off. Whilst applying, you will really feel this product soaking in, giving thirsty nails a well-deserved drink.

Key ingredients: Coneflower Extract, Complex Strengtheners, Echinacea

How to apply…

Now these basecoats aren’t going to perform miracles after one time use. They are designed to be reapplied every other day. Apply the first coat ensuring to work the basecoat into the nail bed with 8-10 strokes. Finish by brushing across the free edge (tip) of the nail to seal it in. Follow with a second coat. Reapply another coat every other day for a week – then remove with nail polish remover and start again. Repeat this process for 6 weeks. Ensure to use Jessica’s Phenomen oil and Nourish daily for the ultimate hydration treatment – more about that in my next blog post.

After 6 weeks…

Your nails then need to be reassessed to determine whether you need to continue using the treatment basecoat for a little longer or moved on to another basecoat which will maintain the health and flexibility of the nail.

So how do we fit this regime into our busy lives? I recommend keeping your products by your bed and making this your bedtime ritual!

I must tell you also – Jessica provides itself in being as natural as possible and none of their basecoats (or any of their products) have any nasties in them – such as formaldehyde. They are enriched with natural botanicals, antioxidants and are cruelty free, vegan friendly and 7 toxin free.

Everyone should be using a Jessica prescriptive basecoat, there’s one suitable for every nail type (including healthy nails). If you’re unsure of which one you need, book in with me for your free nail analysis and application.