Hi! I usually after base coat, I apply pink 102 (1coat), cure, then thinly apply White 101 and clean the smile line before curing. (I alternate 2 fingers a time). If the white looks blotchy I apply another thin coat, cuz it's better than bobbing on 1 thick coat. Then top coat. Never needed to dry brush with Mani Q but if you find the base a bit blotchy, it wouldn't hurt to dry brush. Make sure you clean your smile line brush after each nail (I wipe on an alcohol soaked wipe).