Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Apothecary: Nubar Foundation and Diamont

Hello ladies,

Today I wanted to share my experience using Nubar Foundation Base Coat and Diamont Top Coat. I'm glad I had the opportunity to test big three free treatments from Nubar. These products are formaldehyde free, toluene free and pthalate (DBP) free. I am aware that some readers are very concerned about what chemicals are present in their nail care regimen. I want to honor that choice in adding Foundation and Diamont to the Apothecary section. 

Nubar Foundation Base Coat and Diamont are the best performing big three free treatments I have tried. Foundation Base Coat remains sticky to the touch after painting to help secure color to the nail. The formula is slightly less tacky than CND Stickey, but reasonably similar. The consistency is thin and it adheres evenly.

Diamont is spectacular. It's a fast dry topcoat that hardens polish in minutes. Diamont is self leveling. It delivers a smooth, glassy layer over color with no visible brush stokes.  As with most quick dry topcoats, application requires a good amount of product on the brush to glide over and seal the nail. I start with a large drop at the base the nail and use three quick strokes to complete the manicure. 

Diamont works well as a layer beneath Konad stamping. It dries polish quickly and lessens waiting before stamping can occur. I had no trouble with the designs transferring cleanly. I also used Diamont over Konad special topcoat and it sealed the manicure perfectly with no issues. 

I appreciate how the formulas work with my Nubar polishes and I will continue to use them as part of their system of color. However, I prefer the older formula CND Stickey and Air Dry as my go to base and top coats with other brands. I really like the way formaldehyde resin works as a hardener. I haven't found a single big three free formula that can mimic formaldehyde resin. My nails feel more flexible with Foundation and Diamont. I noticed a similar affect with Zoya Anchor and Armor. Some might argue that formaldehyde resin makes nails too rigid and leaves them prone to breaking. I disagree. I have some damage to my right thumbnail. I noticed using a big three free formula that slight bit of fine surface cracking was starting to feel textural once I removed my polish. After a week without formaldehyde resin, the corner of my nail chipped off. It had been holding together for months. Returning to Stickey and Shiney, my thumb nail feels smooth again to the touch and strong. For preserving nail length, I love my chemicals. 

Despite issues I have with big three free treatments, I do think Nubar created the best available with Foundation base coat and Diamont top coat. I will use them with my Nubar polishes and can recommend them as quality treatments. Both are available at



  1. I've never used the basecoat only the topcoat. That is one excellent topcoat. Dries fast and does a terrific job. I ran out and have tons of other things to use.

  2. 0o00o i mustt try these ones out.. sorry ive missed a fiew of ur posts hun.. ur nails are gorjuz like always

  3. I might try these, thanks for the review!

  4. I've never tried their base (I love my ProStrong base for many reasons so have never really experimented) but I agree that the Diamant top coat is a great quick dry option & I try to always use it when I have a Nubar mani, since others have reported that their colors don't always play nice with Seche

  5. I have Sticky but what top coat do you like and use? I have several but am still trying to find the best top coat.

  6. Thanks for the review, I think I need to try these :)

  7. The secret is out! I like the fact that these products are are formaldehyde free, toluene free and pthalate (DBP) free. I will have to source and give these a try! Thanks Diana!

  8. Where can you find NUBAR Diamont?

  9. Diamont is available at You can also buy it in the UK! I forget the URL the company is on my twitter though.

    I like Diamont over my Konads, I use Seche for Layering. You gotta try Poshe if you haven't already. I am liking it better than Seche, and I do like CND Air Dry although I don't know what formula I have.

  10. Lucy: The Foundation base coat is of good quality too. I know what you mean about having a collection of treatments. I end up using the ones that aren't my absolute favorites for pedicures. I'm glad you had a chance to try Diamont. I will probably end up getting the refill bottle.

    Skye: Thank you sweetie! Foundation and Diamont are certainly worth trying.

    gildedangel: No problem. I am sure you would like them. :)

    Colette: I haven't tried Diamont with any other base coat than Foundation. It's good to know it works as well outside the Nubar system. Thanks for sharing your experience. :)

    KatJobson: Nubar Diamont and Creative CND Air Dry are my favorite top coats. If you click under the label "apothecary", I have a full review of Air Dry. I much prefer the larger size bottle because of the brush. I hope that helps.

    AllYouDesire: They are definitely worthy of a try. :)

    Danielle: I'm interested to hear what you think of Foundation and Diamont. Nubar does big three free expertly.

    Ezra: Looks like Judy took care of you. :) I have a section in the sidebar called Tempting Merchants. I always provide links there if they aren't in the original post. I will go back and update purchasing information with this review. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    beautyjudy: Thanks for jumping in there for me and helping Ezra when I couldn't get to my computer. :) The thing that concerns me about Poshe is I have seen some comparison swatches where it dulls shimmer. I'm not sure if it were an older bottle or what could have happened.


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