Review: Essie “First Base” base coat

So a few days ago when I reviewed my Julep Maven box, I included a picture of my manicure using the Boho Glam color Dianna. What I didn’t mention is that while testing out the box, I was also trying out another product — Essie’s “First Base” base coat.

So, my nails are super thin. They flake, they break, and they don’t hold polish for crap. I’ve used products to varying degrees of success to improve their strength and brittleness, but there never seemed to be anything that really worked to keep the polish on my fingers. I can normally count on experiencing a chip within a day of wear, no matter how careful I am. And honestly, it’s all downhill from there — once there is a chip, I have to remove all the polish, normally by peeling it off. Speaking of, is there a feeling more satisfying than peeling a whole sheet of polish off a nail?

ANYWAY. No amount of “chip skip” products, chip-protecting top coats, or base coats seemed to keep my polish from wearing. UNTIL NOW.

Essie "First Base" base coat
My mani is still kickin’ thanks to First Base!

Essie’s “First Base” base coat is rubber adhesive base coat that “bond[s] polish to the nail surface, to protect color wear and create a smooth canvas for color application,” according to the Essie website. First Base enjoys a 4.4/5 star rating on ULTA and 4.7/5 lippies on MakeupAlley. I didn’t even know that prior to buying! I was just at ULTA browsing the nail treatment section. The first rubber adhesive basecoat I actually saw was Orly’s Bonder basecoat, but the Essie one was cheaper, so that’s why I bought it. Lucky for me, considering Bonder only has a 4 star rating on ULTA and 4 lippies on MUA!

Applying the basecoat is very easy. The formula isn’t too thick, so it spreads evenly, but it isn’t so thin that it runs and drips. It dries fairly quickly as well. It has a slightly rough texture when you touch it — I suppose this is the rubberized adhesive property! As I noted in my review, applying Dianna wasn’t exactly easy (and I tried applying it on a bare nail as well, so it wasn’t the base coat!), so I wasn’t sure if this would be a fair test. But it has been 5 days of wear, and my mani is looking just as good as it did the day I applied it! I am very pleased with this base coat, and I don’t think I will ever use anything else! First Base is my base coat for life!