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Monday, November 26, 2012

School Glue Glitter Base Coat; Does it Really Work?

Hello gentle readers.

In my travels around the nail blogging community, I have heard a good bit about using white school glue as a base coat for glitter manicures that aid in easier removal of the glitter polish you are wearing. Traditionally, those of us who love to wear glitter have had a tough time removing it. I have read so many different tricks, tips and assertions that this or that is the only way to effectively remove the glitter from the nails. I tried some, with varying levels of success. My favorite method of glitter removal is to do the foil method. I use this method frequently, it is effective, easy and doesn't take nearly as much time as trying to scrub the glitter off, nail by nail.

I recently read about an easy glitter removal base coat made from white glue and a little water. Intrigued, I decided to try it for myself. I used a cleaned out empty top coat bottle, I filled it about... 2/3-ish with white Elmer's glue and then filled it up to the top of the shoulder of the bottle with water  and gave it a good shake, shake, shake. I applied two coats, letting it dry in between coats. The base coat dried pretty quickly, blowing on it made it dry faster. It went on a little milky and dried clear.

I then applied a glitter manicure. I used two coats of Milani One Coat Glitter (one coat, my aunt) in Blue Flash and accent nails done in three coats of China Glaze Lorelei's Tiara. The polishes went on easily and smoothly, just as with normal base coat. I topped my glitters with Gelous and Seche Vite. Dry time was as normal. I did my normal cleanup with my cleanup brush and acetone. The glue didn't interfere with that process in the least.

Wear time with this base coat is not impressive. I applied this manicure early on the first day, by the next morning, after a shower and much hand washing, it was beginning to chip. By that afternoon, it was coming off of a couple of nails in larger chunks. I went ahead and picked and peeled off the manicure. I don't have pictures of that, I did it while I was in the car and we were driving around. I tossed the polish shells out the window. I should have tossed them into my purse. But I didn't think of it. I was having too much fun peeling my manicure off of my nails. The glitter peeled off easily, once I got it started. There was no damage to the edge of my nails from starting the peel process and no damage to my nail plate after the polish peeled away. It all came off clean, just a little left over residue on a few edges which were easily whisked away with a little remover on a  cotton round.

So, does white glue base coat under glitter work? Yes, it does. It is super cheap, easy to get and mix up. It applies smoothly and dries quickly. There is no chemical odor, just the smell of white glue, which is not unpleasant. Removal is easy-peasy; next time I'll use a wood cuticle pusher stick to start the peeling process. This is best for short term wear. An evening, a special event, a party or for a day or so. If you want to wear your glitter for a longer time, normal base coat is a better choice.I will be making use of this glue base coat often.

Have you tried using white glue as a glitter base coat? What do you think of it? Did it work for you? Did you have longer lasting results than I? Please share, I'd love to hear your experience.

Thank you so much for popping in and reading. Have a great day and may your polish never bubble.


  1. I posted my experiences with glue just this morning! Mine was welded on my nails, with just a few chips. I haven't mixed water in my glue though and I only used one thin layer

  2. Its funny that you should post about this now. I actually live in south Korea and a korean brand here have made a peel off base coat. Its very similar to a pva glue base coat but Ive found the wear time seems to be a bit better (if you can resist the temptation to peel it off that is!!) and its obviously in a proper nail polish bottle already, set to go.

    I wrote about it in a post on my blog if you care to take a look:

    I LOVE IT!! Since I first bought it about two months ago I think I've found a way to incorporate glitter polish into every mani I've done! haha. :)

    Amelia @ UGLY DUCKLING xxx

    Come say hey at! :)

  3. I did mine without thinning with water. It lasted about two days, including showers and doing dishes without gloves. It would have lasted longer but I kept picking at it to see if it would peel =P And then once it did start to peel, it was waaaaay too much fun to stop!

  4. These two glitters look beautiful together! I really do plan on trying this for myself soon--got the glue, got an empty, cleaned out bottle of SV, just need to remember to set it up! I've heard mixed results about how long people's manicures lasted with this for a base, but it should *definitely* be a huge time-and-sanity-saver for swatching...or just like you said, for an evening out. Thanks for posting your results! :D

  5. This only takes moments to mix up and it goes on nice and smooth and dries quickly. For me, wear time isn't all that stellar. I had chips the next morning but for when I want to wear glitter for a day or so, this is going to be my go to. Plus, peeling he glitter off? Seriously fun. LOL

    Thank you for your kind words about my manicure. I loved those two together. My hairstylist and a couple of other stylists at the salon where I have my hair done went bonkers for it. :D

    I don't have any trouble with glitter when I am swatching. I work fairly quickly and it is still pretty wet by the time I am ready to remove it and move on to the next polish so it just swipes off with remover and a cotton round. Thank goodness. I couldn't imagine doing glue or foil every swatch! LOL

  6. I need to try it full strength and see if I get a little bit better wear time. I mixed in water, as that is the method I read about on someone's blog.

    Peeling that stuff is so much fun. Once you get started, try to make yourself stop! LOL That is why I didn't have pictures of that step... I started in on it in the car and well... Yeah. :P

  7. Mine did not last long at all, not even a day. Two started peeling off so I peeled the rest off. That was the fun part. I haven't used it since. I will have to try it without thinning it with water and see how long it last!!

  8. No wonder mine did not work - I missed the part you needed to add water to the glue! I put the glue on my nails and it sure did not peal anything off - I was working with paint thinner to get the stuff off!

  9. I love doing this, but I never get more than a day (if that) out of the manicure. And I don't think I added any water, for what it's worth.

  10. I made mine like you did, with some water mixed in, and I pretty much always get a solid 24 hours out of my manis with the glue basecoat. So I love it! I change my polish daily, so this is perfect for me.

  11. Oh yay! I'm glad that it works well for you and you are happy with it. I agree, this is great but probably best for shorter term wear. It just doesn't hold up for a long time and realistically, who can resist peeling it? LOL

  12. I have read input from people who add a little water and those who use the glue without diluting it and the results seem to be about the same. I just added water to make it smoother and easier to apply. I'm going to have to try it undiluted, also, see if I like the application as well. Thank you so much for your input. :D

  13. Actually, a lot of people don't dilute the glue with water and get a great result. But maybe adding some water will work better for you. :)

    It's weird that the glitter didn't peel off for you... So far, I haven't read about anyone having trouble easily and cleanly peeling off their glitter with this glue as a base. Just prooves that your milage may vary and everyone is different. :)

  14. Undiluted may be the thing for you. I found that making sure to seal my free edges with top coat helped prevent water from getting in under my polish for a day. I think that once water gets in, the glue/base coat fails, since the white glue is water soluble. :)

  15. I did 2 coats of glue (undiluted) 2 coats of glitter polish (cheap brand "Sinful" in "Frenzy") and one coat of quick dry top coat (also cheap brand, Nutri Nail, I think) and it lasted 4 days without a single chip. I showered daily, washed dishes about 10 times, and as I'm a single mom of 3, there was a lot of running around. I think the top coat is key.


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