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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Review: New Milani Smoothé Base Coat & Glossé Top Coat

NOTE: base and top coats work differently according to body chemistry and lots of other variables (i.e. the nail polish you use in conjunction with the base and top coat, how many coats of each product you apply, and how rough--or gentle--you are with your nails while wearing the products). Therefore, I can only give you MY opinion of these products (as I do with all of my reviews) and I hope that my opinion will better enable you to decide whether or not you'd like to give these products a try.

When I first received the new Milani Smoothé Base Coat & Glossé Top Coat for review several weeks ago, I knew it was going to take a bit of time to test these products out and really develop a strong opinion of them. So, finally, I'm ready to give you my most thorough review possible!

 Milani Smoothé Base Coat & Glossé Top Coat
(retail: $4.99 each, .45 oz)

According to the Milani website, these products are DBP, Toluene & Formaldehyde Free (just like their polishes).

Description of Glossé Top Coat:
 A quick drying, high gloss clear coating that accelerates the drying time of nail enamel while also providing sunscreen protection for your manicure.  This product contains UV obsorbers to help protect the color from fading, and acrylic that provides a hard & chip resistant coating for extended wear. 

Description of  Smoothé  Base Coat: 
A ridge-filling base coat designed to prime your nails for the perfect color application. This formula was created with a combination of Okoumé AE and Botanical Extract of Bamboo to fight ridged weak and aged nails.  Good-bye ridged and brittle nails! 

As far as the base coat goes, I can confirm that this product does a nice job of filling ridges (of which I have many). It has a sheer, white, milky consistency and dries to a satin finish:


I love that this base coat contains bamboo, which an extremely strong material to begin with.

During the many times that I tested this top coat and base coat over the past several weeks, one particular instance sticks in my mind the most, so I'd like to show you a photo of this particular manicure. In the following picture, I am showing you what my manicure looked like on DAY SEVEN after wearing these products (I happened to use a Milani nail color for this particular manicure):

Please, please read the following: 

1) The indentations on my index fingernail were made before the top coat had dried (user error!). I didn't intend to photograph this manicure, so I never got around to fixing it. 

2) I want you to ignore my middle finger and the subsequent GIANT CHIP you see. I made that chip on day three of my mani during an unfortunate mishap while washing my cheese grater (I literally ran my nail against the cheese grater in the sink). So this nail is NOT indicative of normal wear and tear.

So aside from these issues, I think this mani looks AMAZING for day seven! Heck, I can hardly get past day FIVE of any given manicure without excessive chipping and/or peeling. And as you can see, there's still a fair bit of shine to the top coat--it's certainly not dull!

And finally, I thought it would be interested to put Glossé Top Coat to the true test. After thinking about how I could show you the shininess of this top coat, I decided to put it over a matte polish. But then I thought, "Well, heck. You can slap any ol' top coat over a matte polish and it's going to look super shiny in pictures."  So I decided to put it over one of my most "challenging" matte polishes--a TEXTURED matte! 

NOW we're talkin', right? Can Glossé Top Coat bring the shine AND even out the bumpy texture of Borghese Vigento Berry? Let's see:

(enlarge photo for a closer look)

For reference, it takes me two coats of Seche Vite to eliminate most of the bumps in Vigneto Berry. After two coats of Glossé Top Coat, you can see that most of the bumpy areas are smooth, and it's nice and shiny as well. Success!!

FINAL VERDICT: I'm sold. I truly love the new Milani Smoothé Base Coat & Glossé Top Coat. When worn together (I have not tried them separately) they work beautifully to extend the life of my manicures by several days. I find Glosse Top Coat to dry pretty quickly (not as quickly as Seche Vite but it certainly doesn't take a long time for it to dry) and I am beyond impressed with the fact that, even when worn with non-Milani nail lacquers (for the record, I tried these products with Borghese, NYC, Wet n Wild and Sinful Colors polishes) they work like a charm for me. So much so, that I haven't wanted to use my regular base and top coats since I started using these products. Great news, given that the retail price of these products is just $4.99 each!

Have you tried Milani Smoothé Base Coat & Glossé Top Coat yet? If so, what are your thoughts? If not, are you tempted to pick them up?

A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.


  1. I just used this a few days ago and I think it's the shinest top coat I've ever encountered! I was surprised the bast coast was milky but I think a few other brands are also milky.

  2. Hmm! I've been looking for a ridge filler to keep on hand so I might just pick this up. I appreciate you testing it over a couple of weeks to really give us a good idea of how it performs. :)

  3. I want to replace my seche vite because of the toluene, these one might be the one!! this or poshe...

  4. The base coat has my name written all over it! I usually ignore my nail ridges, but I wore a chrome polish the other day and noticed that they're VERY noticeable... So it's off to the drugstore for me :) I don't think I'll invest in the top coat though, just because I need something that dries extremely quickly or there's a 90% chance that I will dent every finger.

  5. what was your favorite base coat before testing this one out? :)

  6. These sound (and look) amazing! I'll have to pick them up on Cherryculture or something :)

  7. Oh, thanks for the review! I've been trying out the Glosse top coat recently (the few times I've had a chance to paint my nails) and I've liked it so far. (I think I saw a nail blogger compare it favorably to Nubar Diamont, which is my usual top coat of choice, so I picked up a bottle when Milani was on sale a few weeks ago.)

    Hadn't tried the base coat yet, but I like that it's milky colored. I think I might have to go grab one with my beauty card extra bucks this week.

    :D xoxo Rach

  8. I was wondering about these and I'm glad to know they work so well!

  9. Thanks for the review.

    I think I'll check these out. I don't have my HG base/top nail polishes yet.


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