CND Stickey Anchoring Base Coat Review & Pictures

CND Stickey Anchoring Base Coat Review & PicturesSince getting into polish more seriously in 2008, I not only built my collection of colours, but also of base coats!

(I have way too many, but I’m determined to work through them all before I buy any new ones.)

The CND Stickey Anchoring Base Coat was the first base coat I ever used. Believe it or not, it wasn’t until 2008 that I began painting my nails properly with a base coat and top coat.

Prior to that, not only did I not bother with them, but I also used to paint over old manicures with new polish. *Shivers* (Not sure what I was thinking! Oh yeah, and I used to think myself to be very clever by peeling polish off my nails instead of using remover – really bad for the nails!)

Now, I never paint without using base and top coats. Talk about 180 degrees!

CND Stickey Anchoring Base Coat Pictures

CND Stickey Anchoring Base Coat Review & Pictures

CND Stickey Anchoring Base Coat Review

CND Stickey Anchoring Base Coat Ingredients

Alcohol Denat., Ethyl Acetate, Heptane, Butyl Acetate, Polyvinyl Butyral, Trimethyl Pentanyl Diisobutyrate, Nitrocellulose, Tosylamide/Epoxy Resin, Ispropyl Alcohol, Benzophenone-1, CI 42090 (Blue 1), CI 47000 (Yellow 11), CI 60725 (Violet 2).


√ Soft & stickey base coat
√ Helps anchor polish to the nail
√ Helps prevent peeling & chipping

Key Notes

CND Stickey Anchoring Base Coat Review

Dry Time

Aside from how well a base coat works, the other major factor I always take into consideration is how fast it dries. After all, I don’t want to have to wait a long time for it to dry before I can even begin painting my nails.

CND Stickey Anchoring Base Coat dries very fast, so after you finish painting the last finger on your second hand, you can pretty much go straight in with the colour.


It certainly lives up to the name. The finish of this base coat is tacky. If you touch it with your finger, it feels a bit sticky. This supposedly helps polish get a better grip and helps to prevent chipping and peeling.


This base coat works pretty well. Considering that I’m still using it today after discovering it in 2008, that should tell you right there that it does what it says it will.

No, I don’t use this base coat exclusively. I’m going through my collection of base coats, so you’ll notice that for swatch and nail-art posts, I’ll list the same base coat for a long while. Then, when I finish a bottle, I’ll move on to the next bottle from another brand (that’s already in my stash. I don’t buy base coats anymore. Haha, I have way too many to finish as it is!).

When I use CND Stickey Anchoring Base Coat, I rarely have problems with chipping or peeling. However, I rarely have that problem in general.

What I notice the most is how this polish prevents staining. I’ve used some base coats that don’t protect your nail at all and just help your manicure last longer.

Stickey seems to do a moderate job at protecting your nails against staining, even though I didn’t see anywhere on the bottle any claims about that. (However, if you’re going to wear a major stain-prone polish, I suggest doubling up on your base coat.)


My bottle of CND Stickey Anchoring Base Coat has a long and thin brush. Maybe the new packaging has a new brush, but if you get this older version, it’ll take you longer to apply the base coat. (It doesn’t bother me because my nails are small and narrow, so whether I use a narrow or regular brush, it’s fine by me.)


The bottle you see in my photos is the old design. Now, CND has small bottles (around 9.6  mL or so), and the shape is rectangular instead of oval like this.

As far as I know, the formula is exactly the same, and the company just changed the packaging. You get less product now, but the price is higher than it used to be.

Is the New, Higher Price Worth It?

If you can purchase this for less than $5, yes, it’s worth it! However, if you have to pay more than that, I don’t think this base coat is that amazing that you can justify it.


  • Dries quickly
  • Helps your manicure last longer
  • Helps protect against staining
  • Inexpensive

  • New packaging has less polish & a higher price tag

Final Verdict: 8/10

This is a great base coat, and I have no major complaints. It has worked well for me all these years, so recommend it if you’re looking to try a different base coat.

What base coat is your favourite? Do you switch the base coat you use, or do you stick to your favourite?


18 thoughts on “CND Stickey Anchoring Base Coat Review & Pictures

  1. Allison

    Hi Mary!

    I have a big problem with chipping– I’m really tough on my nails. I heard such great things about CND Stikey Base that I bought a big one, but then it didn’t really work for me very well. I had chips on the second day. Sigh!

    I usually use American Classics Gelous with Seche Vite on Top (I loved your review for Seche… it’s like magic). Then my mani can usually last 4-5 day without chipping.

    I always wondered how often you do your nails. You have a new review every day (which I love). Do you really change your polish daily?! Where do you find the time?!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Allison!

      Aww, I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t work for you. Finding the perfect base-and-top-coat combination that increases your manicure mileage really varies from person to person. I guess I’ve been lucky because most of the base coats I’ve used have been great.

      YES, Seche IS magic! I wouldn’t paint my nails often if I didn’t have it (or Nubar Diamont, which is also good at drying your polish quickly).

      Usually I like to wear a manicure for at least a day, but often I wear it for 2-4 days. If I’m wearing nail art that took me a long time to do (like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle nails), I have to wear it for at least 4 days!

      Often the manicure you see on my blog isn’t what’s on my nails that day in person. Usually they’re behind a couple of days or even a week. Although, maybe 1% of the time, what’s on the latest post is still what’s on my nails. 🙂

      It’s really challenging finding the time to paint my nails, but I try to do it right before I go to bed. (Hehe, without Seche Vite, I would NEVER think to paint my nails right before going to sleep for fear of sheet marks in the morning!) Then, when I wake up, I take photos of my manicure and sometimes a few times throughout the days I’m wearing it. (Since I have a full-time job, the only way I can capture the best light is usually in the morning or on the weekend. But, since I don’t actually swatch polishes and I wear pretty much everything you see on here, I can only fit in content for one post in one day. i.e. I don’t swatch 20 polishes all on the weekend like a lot of other patient and talented nail bloggers do so they have an ample supply of photos. It’s just not my style. Plus if I did that, I might come to hate nail polish, which I don’t want to happen. I like enjoying my manicures fully.)

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Pam R!

      Those huuuuuge bottles always look so fun. I want to buy it, haha, but I can’t justify getting it when I still have oodles of other base coats to finish up. However, when I’m done all of them (what, in 10 years? Haha), I want to get one of those HUGE bottles. It’ll be funny to whip it out one day and show friends. They’re already know I’m polish-obsessed, but I think having a big bottle of base coat like that will make them laugh so hard! 🙂

  2. beachgal

    My fav base coat after tying what seems like 50 of them, is Orly Nail Armor. It’s mainly made as a ridge filler/combo base coat. I don’t have ridges but this is my fav base. I don’t get staining even with the biggest culprits of that like reds and blues. I use it for my toes as well as my nails. I always put on 2 or 3 coats – enough until it looks like I have a kind of streaky sheer nude on. Its the one that helps keep my polish on longer and makes even picky colors lay down easier. Lots of folks seem to like Sticky and or Bonder. Bonder my polish popped off using it like I was wearing press on nails! Sticky for me is good but did not do the job for me that Nail Armor does – plus it’s lots easier to find Nail Armor for me too..if I am on the road for medical and forget my base it’s easy to find it at a lot of places now. I do watch for Orly sales and stock up – probably the only Orly bottle of anything that I empty out.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey beachgal!

      That’s one I’ve never tried! The only base coat from Orly I have tried is Bonder, but it didn’t prevent staining against their own polish, Orly Spark (the mellow yellow)! (Otherwise, it was good.)

      Very smart of you to use multiple coats to prevent staining. I’m just way too lazy…hehe, I only use a single coat unless I’m using a polish that I’m worried will stain.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Lizzy!

      Haha, okay, so we both committed the cardinal polish sin. 😉 You know what? At that time, the outline of the polish beneath the new one didn’t bother me. Haha, don’t know why not! And back in the day, after I finished a bottle of remover, it took me a year to go out and buy a replacement. 😛 I kept picking my polish to remove some of it or painting new polish on top of old polish. :S Talk about laziness!

      Hmm…I had no idea that LA Colours even HAD a base coat!

  3. Heather

    My nails have peeling problems, so I like to use Orly’s Ridgefiller base. Smooths everything out nicely. I wonder if this would be good for my sister. When she stops biting long enough to actually have nails to paint, she has issues with the polish staying on. Not chipping, just completely coming off in sheets. It’s the weirdest thing. If she can be more consistent with the not-biting maybe I’ll pick her up a bottle of this. Thanks for the review! =)

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Heather!

      Hmm…what kind of nails does your sister have? My nails are pretty normal and on the strong side (thanks to genetics), so I don’t know if someone with peeling nails or thin nails would find this base coat as effective. It takes a very bad base coat for me to notice it causing problems with my nails, so please keep that in mind.

      It might also be a problem with the base coat and top coat combination. Some just don’t play well with others. I really recommend Seche Vite, but it does have Toluene, if that’s a concern for you. I swear by it, though, and have used it for many years. Although some people experience that ‘falling off in sheets’ problem with Seche. Trial and error, I suppose!

      Good luck helping your sister find a good base coat! 🙂

  4. Wendy

    I have two favorite basecoats. The first one is Butter London foundation base coat. I use this when the polish I am using is uncooperative, streaky and dragging. Othewise I opt for the more economical one which is CND stickey base coat. I believe it is effective against chipping.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Wendy!

      Ah, yes…I’ve heard rave reviews about the one by Butter London! 🙂 Their polish formula is top-notch, so it’s great to hear that their base coat is no different!

  5. maddy

    My favorite base coat was OPI Original Nail Envy. I have just about a quarter left of it left but I’m not sure whether or not to buy a new one because I still have a bottle of Seche Clear and I’m looking for a cheaper base coat.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey maddy!

      That’s a base coat that surprisingly I’ve never tried. However, one of my friends swears by it, and she has thin, peeling nails. It has strengthened her nails pretty quickly.

      Hmm…maybe just finish what you have first. 🙂 Save your money!

  6. Cindi

    I don’t really have a favorite base coat. I used to just use a clear polish as a base, but now I use polishes that say “base coat” on the bottle. I have been using Sally Hansen Miracle Cure in the blue bottle to try and prevent peeling and dryness. It seems to semi work, so I keep using it. I have used OPI, Seche Vite, and other drugstore makeup brands of base but can’t tell any difference between them. I have not tried the CND brand.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Cindi!

      Sounds like Miracle Cure will be good especially in the winter when nails tend to be drier. (That’s another one I need to make a mental note of to try.)

  7. Karrie

    I’m so late with this but I want to try Sticky so bad! Right now, I’m using Sally Hansen Hard as Nails hardener as a base coat. It doesn’t help at all with staining. It DOES make a really smooth base though. I have ridges on my thumbnails and it makes them disappear.

    Like you, I didn’t use a base coat for a long time. I would paint my underwear-less nails and leave that polish on until it all chipped off (naturally or helped by me)! And this was my life until just 6 months ago.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Karrie!

      Welcome to the world of base coats! 🙂 There are so many options out there. Among my top picks are this one and Nubar Foundation Base Coat. They’ve been the best at protecting my nails and also smoothing things out a little. (I also have ridges!)


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