DIY: Peel off Base Coat


The talk of the nail polish world is Essence’s Peel Off Base Coat. I first heard about it from a post on More Nail Polish, which led to me to further posts from Pretty Purple Polish and Lab Muffin.

It was the Lab Muffin post that intrigued me, because she noted that the base coat was essentially PVA glue and water, and even further research on PVA glue revealed something even more interesting.

What is PVA glue you might ask? Well, that was the thing that intrigued me the most. Most of you will know it as Elmer’s Glue. Yes, the same glue you used in construction paper portraits in kindergarten. Or, if you were like me, you spread it all over your hands, let it dry, and… hey, you would peel it off.

How come it took us this long to figure this out?

The most common use of this base coat is for under glitter manis. No more foil, no more scrubbing all night. None of that.

Or is that true? Click the jump to find out.

I didn’t end up going with true Elmer’s Glue, and I don’t know if that affected the process at all, but that’ll have to be determined at a later date. I went with RoseArt brand school glue. But hey, it was thirty-four cents. For 4 whole ounces! That’s a loooooooooot of manicures (especially if I can get the cap off and dip the paint brush I’m using straight in, or if I can acquire an empty polish bottle. My method right now wastes quite a bit.)


As everyone else who has either reviewed the actual Essence product or done their own version has mentioned, it goes on white and dries clear. And excuse my bare nails, I need to buy some more bubble soak from Sally’s and clean them up. The 31 Day Challenge has been horrible to them.


My manicure of choice for this, Wet N Wild Hallucinate over Kleancolor Black. A combination I want to use more often, but Hallucinate is such a glitter bomb.

So I went ahead and let them sit for a few minutes before trying to peel it off. Again, I don’t know if this affected the process, we’ll have to see.

The actual product from Essence claims that the polish should peel off in one sheet. I didn’t experience this with my DIY version.


Doesn’t look like sheets to me.



As you can see, it didn’t even all come off at once, and left polish all over the finger on my other hand I was using to peel it off. However, a quick run with polish remover finished the job with no problem (except with the remaining glue becoming stringy before coming off. I have heard that soaking the nails before peeling makes the process easier, so maybe that was what I was experiencing.)

Again, I don’t know what I did wrong, if the glue was too cheap quality or if I tried to peel them off too soon, or if I didn’t soak my nails first. I’m guessing it’s “tried to peel them off too soon,” but I’m not sure.

Overall, I would try this again when I was doing it with an actual manicure, so it has time to wear before I peel it off.

I haven’t been able to find the actual Essence Peel Off Base Coat to do a comparison. I’m not sure it’s even available in the States yet. But if and when it does come Stateside, I am guessing it’ll be on the pricey side, due to the only retailer here that carries the brand is Ulta. Not like I need it, when I can get the same stuff, at approximately 8 times as much product (assuming Essence comes in .5 fl oz bottles), for way less.


One thought on “DIY: Peel off Base Coat

  1. I’m a little late on this post but…OMG I HAVE TO TRY THIS! Alright…my stint of over excitement is over enough for me to go back to forgetting that my keyboard has a caps lock button. Anyways, I am going to try this, because I only used glitter polish for the first time in January, and while it looked great, I was so confused and frustrated when it came to the removal process that I’ve only used it one other time since then. Having the polish come off like this (even if it didn’t work exactly like it did on Pretty Purple Polish and Lab Muffin) will be a huge step up for me.

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