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Reviewed and Recommended: Orly Bonder Rubberized Base Coat

March 31, 2009 Reviewed by admin 8 Comments
TIA reader Justine recently had her acrylic nails removed, and she is now enduring nail "GOP" (Growing Out Period). GOP is the seemingly endless period of time in which ones' natural nails look absolutely horrible and your moods swing back and forth between angrily vowing to never use acrylics again to desperately calling every nail salon in town to get an emergency appointment to have the acrylics put right back on.  Justine wrote to ask if anyone had success with products which might both disguise the damage plus strengthen the old nail surface while she endures the dreaded phase. Marta recommended the Barielle line (which had worked wonders for her dry brittle nails) and I suggested something called Orly Bonder Rubberized Base Coat.

I started using the Orly Bonder Rubberized Base Coat about 10 years ago, because I found myself in the very same situation that Justine is now in.  I had used acrylic nails for about three years, but because I was traveling internationally extensively (about 200 nights "across the ponds"  per year, and almost never in the same hotel two nights in a row), I had a very difficult time scheduling regular "fills" at home or on the road. Worse yet, the chance of finding a great acrylic nail salon open at 7:00 p.m. and "popping in" for a repair in destinations like Dubai, UAE or Istambul, Turkey was impossible. The last straw for my use of acrylic nails came when I was detained by the local police for questioning after trying (quite unsuccessfully) to have a hotel concierge find an acrylic nail salon for me (as well as arrange for the required chaperon) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Even my vanity has it's limits, and while a few years in a dark windowless prison might have been great for my sun-damaged skin and waistline, it just didn't seem like much fun.

When my acrylic nails came off, my natural nails looked and felt horrible.  Three years of "acrylic bondage" left them so thin that I could honestly feel a cool breeze wafting over their paper-thin surface. They were ragged and brittle, and had small cracks and snags across their entire surface. It seemed as if they would "catch" on every article of clothing, regularly breaking and ripping the corners.  If I had thought I could get away with wearing gloves 24-7 for the next year I would have tried it, but instead I resorted to the "hide your nails by keeping your hands in your pockets or rolled up into tight fists" ploy that only made me look like a person with really ghastly nails who was also anti-social.

Thankfully, I stumbled onto the Bonder Rubberized Base Coat and have been using it ever since with fantastic results.  During the horrible "GOP", my nails looked and felt better immediately after a coat or two of Bonder, and the Bonder absolutely helped to make them stronger and prevented them from snagging on clothing etc. You should see my ten great natural nails today.  I honestly have to trim or file them down every two weeks to keep them from getting too long, because they simply don't chip, peel, or split.

The rubberized base coat is not a typical top/bottom shiny clear coat.  It is a matt, flexible rubber coating which adheres firmly to your natural nails, and then additional nail polish adheres firmly to the rubberized bonder. It fills in tiny cracks and crevices on the nail itself, providing a great surface for your traditional natural-nail manicure, or it can be used as a  "clear" nail protector. (Note: since there is almost no shine, this would be my choice for a manicure product if I were a man). Bonder dries quickly and is almost invisible....yet your nails look great.  I do my own "french manicure", and two coats of the Bonder under my polish make my nails look perfect for about 10 days, despite the pounding that my hands and nails take every day training horses, swimming, landscaping,  etc.   If I want to go without color, I can also add one single drop of the bright red polish (which I use for my pedicure) to the bottle, shake, and I have a healthy and translucent "sheer light pink" color which lasts forever. And did I mention it is cheap? Not "economical" or a "great investment".....CHEAP!  You should be able to find Orly Bonder in beauty supply stores online for less than $10, and one bottle lasts about a year since polish changes are fewer and further in between.

Most nail technicians suggest that you remove your artificial nails every few months to let them "breath" and rejuvenate, but I don't know a single woman who does that unless forced, because the newly bare nails typically look wretched. So if you want to help the appearance of newly bared nails during the "breathing " time, give this inexpensive and effective bonder a try.Or if you want beautiful natural nails, and/or beautiful natural nails which hold a manicure for nearly two weeks, Orly Bonder is a great product to try. Start using it today, and you just might end up with ten perfect nails before summer!


Butyl Acetate, Isopropyl, Alcohol, Heptane, Ethyl Acetate, Trimethyl Pentanyl Diisobutyrate, Tosylamide/Epoxy Rsin, Polyvinyl Butyral, Nitrocellulose, Benzophenone-1, CI 26100 (Red 17), CI 60725 (Violet 2) CI 47000 (Yellow11)
  • September 13, 2014

    by Jessica

    Hi! I had that same problem!! I loved looking at my beautiful nails but after they came off I would get soo depressed! I found a product I Love!! Its called Jamberry nails!! They are amazing!! I put them on easy enough and they look incredible! They last for up to two weeks and are very tough! I dig in my flower bed and wash dishes do swimming and they stay on! Best part? No chipping! They are non toxic non latex and vegan! Check these out if you love beautiful nails! HTTP:// and like me on Facebook to find free samples @ or look for jamberry nails independent consultant Jessica Bryant.

  • October 6, 2011

    by Regina

    I just bought the Orly product this week and tried it last night. I wanted to just leave it as a base cost only and not put color on it. When it dried it felt tacky. Did I just not wait long enough? I did put color over it. Feels good so far. Thanks

  • April 10, 2009

    by justine

    I received my Orly Bonder a few days ago, and so far, I am very impressed. I think they may have changed the formula though because I couldn't get hold of the opaque version Kate mentions. The one that arrived was a transparent, coppery color. This means that you can't add color to it, but you can, of course, buy Orly's colored nail varnishes!

    Ann, I think it is the perfect thing for your fragile nails. I am still filing my nails right down because I still have some grooves from the acrylic. However, the Bonder has made them instantly stronger. I am more confident now about growing them a little longer.

  • April 1, 2009

    by Ann Stewart

    I have a nail problem that's getting worse. I have grooves (I've never worn acrylics or any other fake nails). The nails are thin where the grooves are, so they're flimsy, and, if I somehow manage to grow one to a decent length, all of a sudden one day, without any reason, it'll break off. Or it gets rough on the edge near the quick and if I don't file it back, it'll get all Halloweeny. Will this rubberized stuff help? I think I know the cause -- I don't have good circulation in my fingers. I don't have the same problem w/my toenails, which get a lot of circulation from walking, and in my fingers I have Heberden's nodes, which, when they're active (as far as I know they're only active once, for 1-2 years), are swollen, red, and extremely painful. When one is active, the nail on that finger become strong and normal. I think this is due to the extra circulation due to the inflammation. So anyways, would the rubberized stuff help my "naturally" thin, fragile nails?

  • April 1, 2009

    by Kate

    Hi Chris,

    I don't know if this will fall into the category of "texturizing" your straight hair, but I just purchased the Liquid Keratin kit which is supposed to make my long thick somewhat course hair sleek, shiny, and gorgeous for 45 days after application. I will be applying it next week and will submit a review to Marta in early May.You can check out a video and before/afters on the Liquid Keratin website, between then and now. I am a little nervous about using it, but curiosity wins out, so keep your fingers crossed for me.

  • March 31, 2009

    by justine

    Kate, that was hilarious. And what a life saver. Did I tell you about the 16 year old pimplely sales clerk at Walgreens 'ughhhh-ing' at my hideous nails? It was so embarrassing.

    I have actually established a pretty good system though in case anyone else is thinking of doing this. I take a daily dose of biotin, which supposedly helps strengthen nails. I also keep my nails filed right down until the huge groove that has been left from the acrylics works its way out. Then I have been using Barielle hand cream or Burt's Bees hand cream as often as possible. I will definitely be adding Orly Bonder to the regime. It's seems to be exactly what I have been looking for.

    I am hoping to be able to display my hands in public again very soon. I think I actually developed a new grip trying to keep them hidden after the shame of the Walgreens episode.

  • March 31, 2009

    by dmpond25

    I was dooped at the mall about 1 year ago to talk with one of those center kisok people. This was for Dead Sea Mineral (Seacrets is the brand). Well, I bought a nail kit that included cutical oil, lotion, a nail file and a buffer. Let me tell you, that buffer is gold! it will polish your nails to such a shine you will think you have polish on. They also guarentee the buffer for life--just bring the block to them and they will replace the pads. Anywho, I've used these products to keep my cuticles in check and also a nice sheen on my nails (without chips). I would recommend the buffer for those getting over the acrylics. It's gentle (dont buff too hard) and will get your nails in tip top shape, especially if used with the Orly product.

  • March 31, 2009

    by Chris

    How do you people always seem to know EXACTLY what I'm looking for? Last week it was tooth whitener, today it's nail strengthener stuff! I just got acrylic nails about a month ago, because although my nails grow fairly rapidly, they tend to chip and break if left au naturel. So the acrylics are great, but I need a fill just about once a week, which is a little too time-consuming for me. So I think the acrylics will be coming off soon, and the Orly will be going on. (This is where I sigh and covertly pull out the credit card.) Now just to let you know, I've been contemplating getting a perm or something to "texturize" my straight hair. Somebody MUST be doing an upcoming post on that, right??!!

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