Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Best Peel-Off Base Coat?!?!?!?

Finally, me and science have come together and conducted the first comprehensive experiment on peel-off base coats! Cause ain't nobody (but me) got time to do all this research, you just wanna know what the hell to buy. So I tell you. 

I evaluated 8 different well-known (and some less known) peel-off base coat solutions on four different indicators:
  • Application (does it apply well or like shit)
  • Drying time (does it dry in a couple mins or does it take forever and a half)
  • Effectiveness of removal for swatchers (how well does polish come off after wearing your mani for 30mins)
  • Effectiveness of removal for normal people (how well does polish come off after wearing your mani for at least 24 hours)
AND if that wasn't enough tests, I repeated all these tests for every peel-off subject for both glitter polish AND multi-chrome polish. The peel-off results with the multi-chrome polish could also represent similar results for other non-glitter polishes like basic cremes, metallics, and so on, but it was important to test a polish type OTHER than glitter because we also want to know if the base coat causes any bubbling/unwanted textures under the polish. Multi-chrome polish would - more so than any other polish type - definitely show this.

That means I did 32 different tests using my nails! Watch the video below to find out what all went down :)




Links to all the products tested including the winner are in the video description box of either video!

*Some products were provided for my impartial review, and others were purchased by me. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.


  1. Hi Christine,

    In the name of science, I have one further suggestion for investigating peel-off base coats. White glue (and I'm assuming all the peel-off base coats you've identified in the video as being glue-based) is a mixture of water and polyvinyl acetate. Because you so readily identified the UNT product as being a different formula, I looked into its ingredients, which are listed as water, denatured alcohol, polyvinyl alcohol, and phenoxyethanol.

    Phenoxyethanol is a preservative, which I doubt contributes much other than inhibiting microbial growth in the bottle, so I'm thinking that the UNT product's superiority can be attributed to the use of polyvinyl alcohol vs. polyvinyl acetate, and that replacing some of the water with alcohol helps to improve the drying time.

    I think it should be very easy to DIY a similar formulation by thinning clear glue (which contains polyvinyl alcohol) with rubbing alcohol. Denatured alcohol is ethanol, but I suspect the isopropanol found in most rubbing alcohols should work very similarly.

    Elmer's brand sells a clear polyvinyl alcohol glue (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001G9EBDG/); there's also a generic one here:

    - a fellow amateur nail polish scientist

    1. I tried it and it worked really well!

      I used clear waterbased glue and some antibacterial spray that was part ethanol and part isopropanol. I don't have the unt base coat so I can't compare them but it definitly dried faster than white glue with water. I think it also peeled of a bit easier but I'm not too sure about that

    2. Such a great idea Sheyler. Franziska can you please be a little more specific? Exactly what was the spray you used. How much of each thing food you use? How long did it take to dry? think I will give this a try.

  2. Have you ever tried essence base coat? Its marvellous! I think they dont sell its products on your country but i think you would like to try his base coat!

  3. Have you ever tried essence base coat? Its marvellous! I think they dont sell its products on your country but i think you would like to try his base coat!

  4. Thanks for doing these super time-consuming tests. You are hardcore.

    Not sure about Essence base coat as a peel-off, but it is available at the Shopper's D.

  5. Wicked informative post - thank you for your time :)

  6. I bought UNT Ready for Takeoff, and the two times I used it I had noticeable chipping by 24 hours and it was very chipped and had to be taken off by the second day. Is around one day of wear or less normal for peelable basecoat, or am I doing something wrong? I'm using the basecoat, 3-4 layers of Femme Fatale glitter polish and Seche Vite topcoat. Any tips would be appreciated. Thank you!

    1. What you're doing wrong is using Seche Vite. It dries very fast, but dramatically shrinks the polish, leaving the tips and cuticles more exposed to chipping.

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  9. I bought UNT 'Ready for takeoff' and it's chipping by less then 24 hours of wear. I use base coat over it, few coats of nail polish (not glitter), essie all in one base and top coat and occasionally matte top coat. Am I doing something wrong? Some nails chip immediately and some last few more days.

  10. I have the same problem! I've wasted 2 evenings now trying different polishes, but it's always the same result... the whole thing comes off within 3-4 HOURS!!! I was hoping to get at least 1-2 days wear - like UNT's website says, but I'm not even getting several hours! I wait for the base coat to dry, put my polish, then use Seche Vite (but always cap the ends). Any tips?