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Essie Protein Base Coat .5 oz

The base coat for healthy, strong and flexible nails. Helps strengthen and protect the nail while leaving a smooth finish. Wheat Protein enriches healthy nails for strength and elasticity. Protein Base Coat extends the duration of a manicure.

Key features

  • base coat
  • for strong, healthy nails
  • helps protect the nail

Honest reviews


Ok but it DOES contain formaldyhyde

Essie says this does not contain formaldehyde, but it does. Base coat works ok but improperly decribed on Amazon. Looking for a good one without the harsh and harmful chemicals.

Shelby Olivehill, TN

Seems to make manicure last longer

Others have stated some of the benefits. I have tried many base coats and this is my favorite so far. Protects nails from discoloration better than others I have used (Orly Bonder, OPI) and it seems to make the manicure remain free from chips longer than the other products too. I have used this with several brands of polish (Essie, OPI, Wet n Wild, Sally Hansen) and all the brands seem to remain chip free longer. I should add that I always use a coat of Seche Vite as well.Update– After several weeks of use my nails are turning yellow. This has not happend before when I was using the OPI as a base coat. So I am thinking it must be the formaldehyde in the Essie base coat. I have removed it from my nails and after a few days will go back to OPI. Will not use the Essie again.

Iris Cocolamus, PA

It actually makes my nails BREAK AND SPLIT!

I felt compelled to write this review based on my bizarre experience with this product. I am an exclusive Essie polish user, so I thought I’d try this as my base coat. Well, when I started using it, I found that in only a few weeks (like, two or even less), my nails really dried out, got hard as rocks, and started splitting on the sides. At first I thought it was just my bad luck with the damage to them, but seriously, within just a few days of each other, they ALL split on the sides and some even totally ripped off to the fingertip because they’d split on BOTH sides of the nail. And the hard as hell nails on top of it? It was like I had acrylics on, but they felt awful. Not flexible at all. I cut all of them at where they’d split and stopped using it.Flash to this past two weeks. I’d been using another base coat but decided to go back to this one just in case I was being ridiculous about them causing my nails to dry out and break. Well, I have to tell you – it’s been just shy or two weeks of using it again after a 3 month hiatus and EIGHT of my nails are split on the sides again, as well as three of them actually peeling in half at the tip! This is NOT coincidental, people. I have no idea WTF is in this stuff, but I’ve never, ever had this happen. I’m giving it two stars only because I can’t technically prove that this product is the cause of my issue, but damn, if it’s not I can’t imagine what is. For three months I had no issues and now in under two weeks, my nails are craptastical all over again. Coincidence? I think not. So as far as this base coat goes… RUN AWAY!!! RUN AWAY!!!…UPDATE 4/30/13: As my nails grow out, they continue to peel in half, as in, peeling a top layer of nail off – leaving a flimsy, half-thickness nail in its place. It’s definitely due to damage caused by the FORMALDEHYDE in this product! Only 4 of my 10 nails even look normal right now. About to cut them all off and start from scratch. I’ve already started using Nailtiques on them to try to make them healthy again, as well as started to take a biotin vitamin supplement. I’m praying this works or it’ll be a loooong time until they grow out from the nail bed. Changing from 2 starts to 1 – Stay FAR AWAY from this product…

Leslie Gould City, MI

So far best base coat I have found…!

I’ve been using CND Stickey with Seche Vite. I switched to Essie because my nails were drying and peeling from the CND Stickey. I can’t speak to how well they treat my nails but this base coat is awesome in terms of how long it lasts. I paired it with Out the Door top coat and I am going on day 5 with one tiny chip that is barely noticeable. I have used Seche Vite and NailTek base coats which chipped immediately, but this stuff is great. I will update as to whether it keeps my nails healthy, but so far this will be my go to base coat…!Update: I have been using this base coat under my polish for about a month now. My nails are back to normal and look extremely healthy. There isn’t any peeling, redness or dryness. I would pay twice as much as I did for this stuff!!!

Leann Jacksonville, NY

Works pretty well, but not miracles

My nails used to be fabulously strong, but I guess I started painting them too much and they’ve become kind of fragile. I wanted to try a gel manicure but had read that they can completely wreck your nails. I started searching for a new nail strengthener, as I had not had any luck with the ones I’ve tried, and this one came highly recommended all around the web.It definitely made a difference and the slightly opaque color makes a great base or can look nice alone. There is still some amount of breakage, but it does seem to be less. I did end up getting a gel manicure and when I took it off my nails did look a little worse, but not terribly so. A couple more uses of this has helped repair them again.

Eula Louisville, KS

Good product but not blown away

I have used this product regularly and I don’t really notice any difference in the strength or growth.Not what I expected from an Essie product

Tabitha Gaston, SC

Didn’t work for me

It didn’t work for me, seemed like polish chipped worse than without base coat or as compared to other base coats – BUT – Essie refunded my money when I sent a note via their customer service.I appreciate a company that stands by their product and customers (hence five stars).

Marian Danielsville, GA

Nothing spectacular…

I can’t really say that this base coat did any sort of nail "wonders" for me. Maybe I didn’t use it long enough–I don’t know, but I don’t think I would buy this again IF I had the opp. to purchase a base coat that is better.

Nanette Buchanan, NY

In love!

This product goes on really well and prevents staining from dark nail polishes.It’s the perfect base coat for thin nails… Helps your colors last longer plus whenever you clean your nails off they’re so healthy

Erma Tunnel Hill, IL

Great Base Coat!

Great base coat! It’s definitely makes any nail polish last long, especially when paired with the top coat! Great Buy!

Annmarie Jacksonville, MO


My nails were experiencing crazy breakage so I invested in this protein base coat. I’ve only used it in about 5 manis or so but it seems to be combating breakage for my nails however I can’t necessarily say it has made my nails stronger.

Julianne Coldwater, OH

Great Base Coat

I started doing my own nails a few months ago, and this polish is a great base coat. It goes on smooth, and it is not clear, so it creates a good base for sheer nail colors. This is a very important new HG product for my weekly home manicure 🙂

Juanita Huggins, MO

really helps

i use to rock just this on my nails, its a little milky look but it really made them feel healthy and strong, i loved having this one, i felt my nails stayed better looking longer

Sherri Seneca, KS

Really helps!

My nails peel/break rather easily because I’m constantly immersing my hands in water (e.g. washing dishes). I usually paint my nails to try to prevent excessive breakage. However, my nail polish chipped so easily no matter what the brand. I started using this and it really helped my manicures last longer. I have been using this for a few weeks now (3 manicures) and all of them have lasted so much longer than before. Plus, my nails don’t stain when I use dark colors anymore. Yay! Love this! Buy it!

Dee Sherwood, MI

Base Coat

This is good base coat, you can use with or without the nail polish. I haven’t used it personally but my daughter uses it and she likes it, she says that it makes her nails stronger, which is good enough for me. So I would say it is a good product to have. And the shipping was fast too.

Patti Grant, MI

Holds nail polish, but peels nails

Item came packaged nicely. I have noticed that my nail polish lasts longer with this base coat. I have also noticed that the tips of my nails actually peel, like the actual nail, not nail polish. Great base coat but something in the formula doesn’t seem to work with my nails

Flossie Castella, CA

High 5

Even though this says base coat, it looks great used alone for every day. One coat gives a soft matte finish, then I top with quick dry Northern Lights for a two minute polish job with the slightest tinge of sparkle. It lasts more than a week, even with hands scrubbing and in the sink regularly. Used as a base for other nail polishes, it increases longevity of polish by several days.

Vanessa Gilford, MI

Helps fortify nails

I never really used base coats with any of my nail polishes until one day I saw my nails getting a little yellowish from my dark colored polish. Yikes! I immediately started searching for a base coat to protect my nails. My nails have always been stronger, not brittle or fragile. I like this base coat because it protects your natural nails and it can be worn by itself too, since its transparent. It dries up pretty fast, in about 5 seconds or less and I only use 1 coat of it on my nails. I think this has even helped my nails grow faster than before. Would definitely recommend this product to anyone who needs a good base coat!

Jaclyn Wellsville, PA

Done wonders for my nails!

I am a picker… when I have too much time on my hands I pick all my polish off. This has done wonders for my nails in supporting the number of times I have to paint them each week. My nails are stronger than ever, but not in that gross thick way they can get. I love this!

Madeline New Hampton, NY

My fav

I’ve used lots of bases and just really like this one. Definitely makes a difference when I use this before a color coat and it’s even great to wear alone.

Tammy North Tonawanda, NY

Helps with keeping nails strong.

Love this product. It is helping my natural nails stay strong and grow out. It also helps to keep nails from absorbing polish colors.

Ashlee Williamsburg, MO

Love it

I was skeptical at first I acctidently filled my thumb nail too thin and it hurted, once I put Essie protein base coat on really made my nail strong and does last for a while would purchase again.

Freda Barbourville, KY

I love this base

I really love this base coat. It’s awesome and I would recommend it to all the ladies that want that professional experience.

Luella Kellysville, WV

Nice base coat

This nail polish does it’s job! Goes on first, keeps my nails from turning yellow.Not too expensive and easy to apply

Louella Dent, MN

Manicures last!

Going on day 5 and I’m just starting to notice chipping. Usually I would have already redone my nails! I might actually change my nail polish just to change the color, and not because it’s chipping. That’s a first! Also, this is the first time in a long time that my nails themselves aren’t flaking. I’ll give an update when I use it more, but great first impression!!

Estela San Martin, CA

Excellent job Essie!

I already had a base coat by Essie, but when I came across the protein base coat I had to buy it. I love it, my nails are growing faster then before, it’s a great fast drying (as always with Essie products) base coat! Seller ships fast! Thank you!

Simone Columbia, MO

Hm … not a huge fan of this in particular

I am normally a huge Essie fan, but this base coat was a little disappointing. It looks nice alone since it’s a little opaque, but at least on me, it lifts and chips rather easily. I even tried it with a coat of good to go, and it didn’t help. I haven’t tried it under polish, but when I do, if I see different results, I will update.

Ines San Gregorio, CA

Best Base Coat

This is the best base coat I’ve found and I’ve tried most of them including CND, OPI and Nail Tek. My nails are healthier since using it and my polish stays on days longer. Great find!

Fanny Cool, CA

good product

protects my nails, actually, I feel they are stronger since I started using this under my polish.will purchase again.

Dora Union, MO

My nails are well, hard as nails!

I bit my nails for nearly 20 years. I’ve been using this base coat under my nail polish for a few months now, and you’d never even know the difference. My nails aren’t flimsy anymore; they’re strong and even useful for opening things! Woo hoo!

Ruthie Clontarf, MN