Best of Three: Budget Peel Off Base Coats

Peel off base coat has really taken off this year and you kind of have to wonder why the revolution didn’t happen sooner! Bloggers and nail polish fanatics found this DIY solution for hard-to-remove glitter nail polish quite a while before manufacturers twigged on and started marketing similar products. As we come to the end of 2014 it’s great to see more brands producing affordable versions, but what is the best peel off base coat you can get on the UK high street?

Miss Sporty Peel Off Base Coat

Superdrug / Boots £2.29
This polish goes on white and dries to a clear matte finish so you know exactly when it’s ready to lay on your nail polish over the top. I’m very impressed by how quickly this dries – by the time I’ve finished the 10th finger, the first one is already dry.

The brush in this one is round and firm which is great for getting a perfect curve around your cuticles. It’s also great fun for peeling – I can normally get all nails off in one piece!

I know wear time is a concern with peel off base coats and some are known to chip quite quickly. While I haven’t been able to run a proper endurance test with this one, I have successfully worn it for 24 hours without chipping

MUA Peel Off Polish Base Coat

Superdrug £2
I’m just gonna come out with it – this is my least favourite of the three. As you can see, this is the only one of the group that’s clear which makes application really tricky because you can’t always tell where you’ve got coverage without twisting your hand to the light at funny angles. It shrinks before it’s dry if there’s even a trace of oil on your nails and you can’t tell whether it’s dry without touching it which obviously messes things up if it’s not yet dry.

If you can get past the bad application, the peel off function works okay but I haven’t gotten more than 15 hours of wear without my polish chipping at the tips.

NYC Strip Me Off Base Coat

Superdrug £2.99
NYC are one of my favourite brands on the high street because the polishes are always great quality for the price point. I was very excited when I saw that they had a peel off base coat on the way. It performs very similarly to the Miss Sporty. Again, it goes on white and quickly dries to a clear matte. It’s also nice and easy to peel off with long wear. I wouldn’t actually be surprised if the products are pretty much (if not exactly) the same since NYC and Miss Sporty are both Coty brands.

Although the price runs a little higher on this one, you get a little bit more product for your money (9.7ml vs. 8ml) and I prefer the brush in the NYC. It’s a little longer, somewhat flat and I’m just very used to using the NYC brushes.

I got a full 48 hours wear out of this one with no chipping and it may have lasted longer if I didn’t have to peel it off.

Best of Three

For me, NYC’s Strip Me Off takes the crown. The application is easy, it gives long-lasting wear, it’s easy to peel off and it all comes at a perfectly pocket-friendly  price.
If you’re currently using the MUA peel off base coat, you should throw it in the bin and buy this one. Your life will be so much easier!

  • Great recommendations for peel off base coats. I’ve never tried any of them but the NYC one might be something for me to look into.

  • Eva

    I just peeled off my glitter nail art, I wore NYC strip me off under it and it works so well! I had an Essence one before and with that one the polish basically came of in small chunks, with NYC I can manage to actually take of the polish in one piece 🙂 I’m glad it came out best in your test 😀

  • I didn’t even know about these! Been using glue and that takes forever to dry! Will take a look at the NYC one next time I’m in a store!

  • Rei Greenstreet

    Wow! I have yet to see that NYC one around. Hopefully I can find it.

  • I need to try peel off bases! Definitely going to pick up the nyc one!

    Jodie //

  • Why have I never seen any peel off polishes? Thanks for bringing them to my attention haha xx

  • Sara Kozioł

    Do you know if these base coats will work on top of a gel nail? I get gel on top of my nail to strengthen them, but I’ve been afraid to try out the glue I usually use in case it did more harm than good. I just miss wearing glitters so much!!

    • Courtney Wood

      You should go for a glittery gel polish – Gelish have some nice ones 🙂

      • Sara Kozioł

        that’s the thing. I don’t like having gel polishes because I change my mani fairly often. So I always just get a clear coat to strengthen and then I can do my manis as usual

    • Yes, absolutely! These peel off polishes just act as a thin, peelable barrier between your nail (or in this case, gel) and the polish on top. I don’t think it could penetrate or do any damage to the gel you have on.

  • Phoebe Moon

    fabulous! thanks for the great review! 🙂

  • I love the NYC base, I was going to do my own post singing it’s praises because it’s fantastic and really makes light work out of something that can usually take an hour to do

  • Thanks for this post! I’ve used the one by Essence a year ago and it was a disaster, so I was a bit concerned whether these would be better. The NYC sounds great!

  • Cliona

    I find that most top coats peel off for me no problem anyway, much as I hate when that happens. It’s always horrible to spend aaaages on a mani that just cracks and peels off in no time 🙁

  • Nellie

    Thanks for doing this review. I couldn’t find the NYC but I picked up the Miss Sporty.
    A fantastic idea if it works!

  • Chanrans

    I am using the NYC one and it chipped so easily and didn’t last…

  • Thank you for this post! In Hungary I can buy just the Miss Sporty version but I will try it because of your opinion. 😉

  • This sounds great, but I’ve yet to see any of these for sale in Australia yet. I hope they come here eventually, though. I hate trying to get glitter and stickers off every week when I take my polish off.

  • World Pedi Spa

    Very nice recommendation. Although I’ve never heard of this but thanks. 🙂

  • Lynn Kinloch

    Thank you so much for recomending/drawing my attention to NYC Strip me off. Such a revelation! As someone that expects her polish to last a full week I was a bit reluctant to go for the peelable base coats as I was concerned they wouldn’t have the longevity of wear that I want. But NYC’S price point and your recomendation made me give it a go and I haven’t looked back. My Christmas Mani survived more washing up than my hands have been subjected too all year lol and still didn’t come off until I peeled. I now have no worries about going for the glitter in my varnish collection. Thanks again Sammi 🙂

    • So glad to hear that Lynn! It was definitely a life saver over the glitter crazy Christmas period!

  • Kikii McI.

    How do these peel-off bases cope with staining? Do they help to limit it?