Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Essence Peel Off Base Coat

When I saw this mentioned online recently I knew I had to try it.  No matter how well the tinfoil trick works it's still a total pain to remove glitter polish, especially if you have a few layers on.  So the promise of a base coat which allows you to just peel it off when you want rid of it sounded almost too good to be true.
Unfortunately, Essence isn't available in the UK so I had to get this via a lovely friend in Europe who saw it, thought of me and then posted it over to the UK for me, bless her.
The base coat looks, and smells, a little bit like PVA glue which didn't come as a great surprise as I've read on a number of blogs online suggesting that using PVA in place of this base coat would do a similar job.
The idea behind the base coat is that you apply it to your nails before glitter polish meaning that you can then just peel the whole lot off in a oner when you are bored, saving you the hassle of scrubbing off the glitter like you'd normally have to. 
Here's what the packet has to say:
I decided to try it out under Models Own Emerald City, a gorgeous green glitter which I love but is a pain to remove.  I applied a thick coat of the base coat and then waited for it to dry.  It took a good 10 minutes for it to go fully translucent on my nail.  Once it had dried I applied my usual two coats of polish and a top coat and carried on as usual.

The polish wore well, there was no major lifting or chipping.  I did notice a fair bit of tip wear on the polish after a day or so but that can happen with any base coat and polish combination so I don't think it's specific to the Essence.  I had expected the polish to be ready to peel off very soon but actually it lasted pretty well, after a hot shower I could feel a slight amount of lift around the edge of a few nails but nothing major and no popping off.

When it came time to remove the polish I was fairly hesitant, everything you read tells you NOT to pick nail polish off as it damages your nails - a lesson I have learnt through personal experience more than once - but the Essence base coat requires you to do just that.

It was harder to remove than I expected, I assumed each nail would pop off with no bother at all but some of them did take a bit of picking to get the polish to fully lift so I imagine I could easily have got another couple of days out of the polish if I'd wanted.

Underneath my nails were not damaged at all, the base coat did - at times with a little bit of effort - simple peel off and leave clean un-damaged nails underneath.

I was really impressed with it overall, it's definitely something I will be reaching for again if I want to use thick and hard to remove glitter as it cut the removal time down significantly without cutting down the wear time on the polish similarly.

Part of me does wonder if PVA glue would do exactly the same thing but I am quite happy with my neat little bottle and brush combo from Essence.

Have you tried peel off base coat?  How did you find it?


  1. This is great where did you buy it? :) Jazz x

    1. My friend bought it for me, she lives in Germany. It's not avaliable in the UK unfortunately.

    2. Ah! I had a funny feeling you would say something like that :) Thanks anyway :)

      Jazz x

  2. It does go against everything you believe in to pick it off doesn't it? :)) I ended up using remover on my tips because I had the fear! I did use my teeth to get it going as I didn't actually think it would work but I think I need a thicker coat next time.

    1. I did a thick coat and although it took a while to dry it wasn't half as long as trying to get glitter off normally is!

  3. It isn't that PVA glue will do the same job - it's that the Essence peel-off base coat *is* basically PVA glue, with a couple of minor ingredients added. I think I've mentioned here before that I'm new to the whole nail blog world (and to painting my nails after about 20 years of not painting them) and PVA glue alone completely works as a peel-off base coat. There is an excellent post about it here

    I'm currently on my third glitter manicure this week (because I wanted to change my polish, not because it was peeling off) whereas before I learnt about using PVA I avoided using glitters too often because using the foil trick to remove them was playing havoc with my cuticles and skin.

    1. That's a great link! I hadn't bothered to look at the ingredients but I'm not at all surprised that is is basically PVA. Good news for when I run out of this little bottle!

      I am totally with you on the wearing more glitter, I love glitter but it's such a pain to get off, with the base coat (or PVA) you don't feel like you're wrecking your nails just to get a bit of sparkle on them.

    2. Oh good glad you liked it let me know if you need more in the future!

    3. I loved it, thanks again. xx