Essie First Base Basecoat


37 reviews

86% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.4

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 4.4

Price: $$$


Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Tosylamide/Formaldehyde, SD Alcohol 40B, Isopropyl Alcohol, Trimethyl Pentanyl Diisobutyrate, Triphenyl Phosphate, Camphor, Aqua(Water), Benzophenone-1, Blue 1, Yellow 11, Polyvinyl Butyral.

Age: Unknown

Skin: Very Oily, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

Best base. Nail condition: Soft, bendy, weak and peeling. This is the only base that prevents my nail tips to bend inside out and split. It really protects my nails from damage and allows them to grow. Also, this is one of the very few bases that doesn't cause peeling and dryness. When I take this base off, my nails are healthy looking. Another great quality is that this doesn't yellow my nails! I have about 1/4 left of product in the bottle and it is still performs like new and it doesn't turn goopy with time. BEST BASE!

on 7/4/2014 1:28:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

My nails have started becoming very brittle and I've been wondering why. Then I came across some reviews that this base coast has the same effect on others, too. Although it dries really fast, a base coat that causes nail to become super brittle is a no-no.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

So I have been trying this basecoat out for a couple of weeks I think, and I think I really like it! I have tried several different basecoats and nail treatments such as OPI Nail Envy, and none have worked for me, but this one seems to make a different.

My nails are unbelievably strong, but even though they are so strong, they peel like crazy!! I guess it's because I change my nailpolish 5 times a week, sometimes even more. First Base has made my nails stop peeling and it also makes my nails grow faster. It's a great base and makes even the most tricky nailpolish glide on easily. When it comes to drying time, it varies a lot. Sometimes it takes only 2 minutes, sometimes 15 minutes. Depends on how much you put on. You only need a tiny layer.

Will repurchase again for sure. It works really well for peeling nails, when it comes to strenghtening the nails I don't know. :)

on 5/19/2014 9:33:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Other, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

This is the HG of all base coats. I use two coats of it because it is very thin and light. One thing I found that was really different from when I use other base coats is that polishes that went on streaky previously went on smoothly with this base coat. For me that is a huge plus. As for my polish lasting any longer than usual, I did not notice much difference because I use a really good top coat anyway. If you are a polishholic this is the base coat to have. Never use just a clear nail polish or a top coat as a base coat as it will not work. Base coats are designed to be more sticky so polish sticks to them better. The reason I gave it only 4 lippies is because I would prefer this formula a bit thicker so I won't have to use 2 coats.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 2/14/2014 5:58:00 PM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

My nail polish normally lasts 4-5 days without chipping and about a week before I have to redo it. This base coat made my nail polish peel off (chipping after only 2-3 days!) and left my nails brittle and dry. The search for the perfect drugstore base coat continues.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 1/22/2014 2:36:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Best base coat I've ever used. It dries quickly, it makes the nail polish super easy to apply (don't know how, it just glides on the nail making the color even) and makes the polish last a very long time.
I only wish it came with the new longer brushes that essie has.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Dries fast
Good consistency


My nails are naturally strong and grow very fast but after years of wearing nail polish constantly and using pure acetone as a remover they would start peeling from time to time. I decided to try First Base in order to help reduce and prevent peeling as well as staining after reading all the great reviews here on MakeupAlley.

The brush is adequate, and the formula has a nice consistency. I'm nearly halfway down the bottle and it hasn't thickened much yet. It appears to be a turquoise color but actually the bottle is tinted turquoise, the product itself is clear. It dries pretty fast. Sometimes when I unscrew the top, the white cap comes off separated from the brush, which is a bit annoying so I knocked a couple of lippies off the Packaging rating.

Unfortunately this didn't help extend my manicure. Usually with no base coat/top coat most polishes will last at least 3-4 days with minimal tipwear for me, but with First Base combined with Essie's Good to Go as my top coat my manicures chip after just 1-2 days. This might work better with non-fast dry top coats but I haven't tried any yet.

But the reason why this gets just 2 stars is because I still get staining all the time plus my nails still peel, even though I switched to Zoya Remove Plus which is much gentler than straight-up acetone. First Base doesn't do its job as a base coat whatsoever, I might as well skip it since my nails aren't truly protected with this! I hate to give it a bad review because of all the raves but it simply just didn't work for me. I'm going to finish my bottle since it was a little pricey at $8 but will not repurchase.

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

on 10/12/2013 5:47:00 AM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Black

This is really, what I would believe, to be one of the best basecoat around.

I remembered my manicure CHIPPING always, and it wouldn't last more than 2-3 days with daily light work... The frustration of changing my manicure that every few days is just, urgh!

But after using this basecoat, it performs so well that the difference is very noticeable. No longer my manicure chips, and I mean completely it doesn't chip at all. Even during a particular week when I worked at a warehouse temporarily, picking and packing clothes, lots of hands-on work, it did not chip at all. It just wore off at the tips more than usual which was perfectly normal.

Also, the basecoat itself is very lasting. Unlike colour nail polishes, it does not turn thick and gooey. I mean it DOESN'T. I have this bottle which I have used for few months now (+-weekly manicure), and the solution is still as good as new, and it still has 1/4 of it left. Very long lasting and therefore worth the price paid.

This basecoat has a tint of turqoise but goes on transparent. Application is heaven, goes on smoothly and dries fast. And ofc, prevents staining.

Have been using this basecoat for months now, and it has become my HG. Don't wanna do any manicure without it! :)

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 9/12/2013 3:56:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Other, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

I ordered this from amazon because it was a lot cheaper then in the stores, I think it's like $10 at Ulta & I just spent $10 on Essie Good To Go from there so I wanted a lil savings on my base coat. I love this base coat! Its the best I've ever used! I used this with 3 coats of Turquious & Caicos & GTG both by essie & got almost a full week with only a lil tiny chip! Which is totally a first for me! My nails chip like crazy after 2 days no matter base/top coat situation or the quailty of the polish.

on 8/13/2013 4:19:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Black, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

This is the first base coat I've ever tried and I have to say, I am impressed. I didn't think base coats were necessary before and thought it was part of a marketing scheme to get consumers to buy unnecessary products.

The application is smooth, goes on very easily and dries super quick. Makes the application of my nail polish a lot nicer. It also aids in protecting my nails since the colour doesn't bleed through onto my actual nails. It makes removing nail polish a breeze and it doesn't stain my nails at all even when using pigmented colours like red.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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