Review: Essie Help Me Grow Base Coat

I wore Gel nails for a couple of months, a couple of months ago. They wrecked my nails. I've had them before and the after effects have never been as bad as they had this time. They were flaking, brittle, breaking, they wouldn't grow, they were yellow and very dehydrated. They were the worse they had ever been. I used to have really good, strong nails, but not anymore. I tried so many different things. I left them bare for a while, no polish, no products in a hope that they would begin to grow out. They weren't growing, while ever they didn't grow, the bad nail was going to stay. I looked online for a miracle cure. While in Boots, I went to the Essie Stand and saw the 'Help Me Grow Base Coat', 'That's what I need' I thought so I bought one.


I never usually start with this, but it was one of the biggest issues I was thinking about when I bought it. It was £8.99, I had a Boots points voucher, and a money off voucher, so I got it a bit cheaper but for the price I was expecting big things. It's Essie as well, it's a well known, well loved brand and I know the Essie polishes are good, but this is just a base coat, no one see's it, and to be honest if I just kept painting my nails no one would see the damage either. But, I knew the damage was there and I couldn't bare it anymore so I thought I would take the plunge and buy it. Is it too pricey? For a base coat, maybe.



'Helps protect nails' - isn't that what all base coats do? 'Helps protect from damage, prevent breakage, provides smooth surface for colour application'. After a couple of applications I could see there was no more discolouration, and no more flaking, so it was protecting and preventing breakage, but I didn't feel like it was necessarily reducing it. I could feel them becoming stronger, they were a lot less brittle. With my bare nails they are no smoother than they were before I used the product - however when the product is applied they are a lot smoother, and they do leave for smooth colour application - this is something that my Body Shop (for those who read my nails posts often, you will know how much I love this one) Top and Base coat was just not managing to do. Overall, it does answer the claims, but I think it implies there will be a lot more instantaneous results than there have been.


The colour in the pot is a cloudy one but it applies to the nails completely clear so can be worn on it's own. It also looks very thick in the pot, but it isn't. In fact I would say it's on the runnier side of the nail polish consistency spectrum, and applies quite thinly, which is why I would recommend applying a couple of coats.



The first picture shows the completely wrecked nails, the second picture shows my current nails, after applying a fresh coat of the base coat every week for four weeks. As you can see, in the appearance, it hasn't been a miracle cure. But in terms of the strength of my nails, it has transformed them. Before they were very brittle, prone to cracking and breaking at the slightest knock. Now, when I apply pressure, they do not budge, they are rock solid. They are also helping my nails grow, like the name suggests. The polish is not only better for their appearance, but it's growing that horrible damage out. I don't know if I would repurchase this product but that's purely because of the price, however I would recommend it if you have damaged nails like mine.  

Is there a product you love that helps damaged nails you would recommend me trying?


  1. I've not tried this Essie base coat but I am obsessed with OPI Nail Envy - it's so good and has transformed my nails! Thanks for the review :)

    Faye x
    i wish i could wink

    1. I might try that out, I'm a fan of OPI so I'll give it a go :) Thanks x