So Not Worth It: Sally Hansen’s Big Peel-Off Basecoat Is A Nightmare And I Give Up Entirely

Hi! As you may have noticed, I don’t really tend to do a lot of the beauty review stuff around here. This is not to say I don’t like make-ups and stuff, because I totally do, it’s just not something I usually have a ton to say about. Either I like something or I don’t, and I move on. Unless it is Albolene, in which case I have lots of things to say always. Or like, the fact that I’m still mad that Chanel discontinued my favorite Glossimer, Force, several years ago. But probably no one cares about that.

However, you should know that I am a major nail polish hoarder. Like, seriously, I have all the nail polish. Piles of nail polish. Piles of other nail art crap. It’s kind of a problem. Like, I cannot walk into a drug store without coming out with all the nail polish.

My favorite things, naturally, are anything gimmicky. Like, I love textured nail polish or nail polish with other weird effects (oddly, my favorite all-time “leather” nail polish was a Wet ‘N’ Wild limited edition, and it is killing me that I am running out). I love the Esse Belugaria one that makes it look like your nails are made of weird black rocks that apparently no one else likes, and I really, really love this one black and white Revlon Graffiti topcoat that makes your nails look like the background of an ’80s New Wave album or something.

revlon graffiti

That, my friends, is super cheap and awesome and you should totally buy some.

Anyway! Being that I am a sucker for anything gimmicky, I was licorice all-sorts of excited to see that Sally Hansen had come out with a peel-off base coat, that would supposedly make all your nail polish, um, peel-off-able. I fucking love peeling things, and I put a lot of weird shit on my nails and some of that takes a minute to come off with remover. I also do it so often that my nails were getting a little dry. Finally! The solution to a very small amount of my problems!


Ok, so immediately after purchasing, I go home to try it. It was a little difficult at first and I realized that in order for it to be all even and whatnot, that I had to let my nails dry flat. Like, when I first did my thumb and just let it dry like normal, all the base coat drifted to the side of my nail, forming a weird bubble thing like when you put too much glue on a thing. But, I figured it out.

I decided to not do anything too crazy with the polish part–no glitter or studs or anything. Just regular nail polish. Sort of. Here’s the pic I sent my mom. She likes to keep pictures of my nail experiments in a file for when she finally decides to put me in a home.


According to the packaging, this is how it was supposed to work.

A fast, convenient base coat makes it easy to remove glitters and other special effect polishes in a single step. Just paint on the base coat, apply polish as usual and enjoy the manicure. When it’s time for a new look, simply peel off the polish in one fluid movement! No scrubbing, soaking or fussing – just a clean, healthy-looking nail.

A week later (today)… that is not what happened. That is not what happened at all.

Here is what my nails looked like an hour ago! On the bright side, they didn’t chip all that much throughout the week, although I don’t know if that had anything to do with the base coat or not.


On the less bright side, it took me like, 3 minutes to get this far on one nail.

nails 3

I have now been peeling my goddamned heart out for like, an hour, and this is where I’m at now. Please forgive the fact that I am terrible at taking pictures and have no idea how to use a camera phone. Mostly I was just really trying to avoid getting my sad, non-flat screen TV in the shot so you all don’t judge me.

sally hansen big peel off nail polish

Note the sad little pile of nail polish peelings next to my mug!

I really don’t think I did this wrong, but it seems like the only part of this polish that is willing to peel off is the bottom. And that is not exactly all that helpful.

In conclusion! I feel I have to tell you that Sally Hansen’s Big Peel-Off Base Coat is really just a big rip off. But not in the way that it actually rips off of your nails. It stays there. And now I’m going to just have to say fuck it and do the rest with regular nail polish remover.