Thursday, March 17, 2011

Back to Basics-Removing Nail Polish

Nail polish removal, sounds pretty straight forward doesn't it?  Put some remover on a cotton round and rub off the polish.  Sometimes that works, but other times you are left repeating the process over and over again on the same nail.
 Certain laquers are known to cause problems with removal.  Metallics take forever to dissolve, glitter clings stubbornly to your nails, holographic polishes threaten to never come off and dark colors leach onto your fingers.  How do you get that stubborn polish off with the least amount of effort?

First, lets start with talking about nail polish removers.  There are all kinds available on the market, and I've found little differance between the $1.99 bottle at CVS and the $10 premium brand at Ulta.  The ingrediants do make a differance though.  For natural nails, choose a bottle that contains both gelatin and acetone.  The formulas containing acetone work quicker and the gelatin keeps it from drying your nails too much.  If you have artificial nails consult with your nail professional for what product works best with your nails.

Now lets get started.  Gather your supplies.  You will need...
  • nail polish remover
  • 5 cotton balls, pulled in half
  • 10 small squares of aluminum foil ( I keep a bunch in a small bag with my nail kit)

I find it easier to do 1 hand at a time, but if you're more coordinated then me, you could probably do them both at the same time.

Now lets get started.  Take 1/2 a cotton ball, saturate with polish remover and press it over your polished nail. 

Now take a piece of foil and wrap it tightly around the finger, so that it is holding the saturated cotton ball half firmly against your nail.

Repeat with your remaining fingers and wait 2-3 minutes.

At this point the remover will have dissolved the polish, so all you need to do is wipe it off.  Pressing down firmly against the nail, pull the foil and cotton ball off your finger.

Voila! All your polish should  of come off.  Sometimes a small stubborn patch will remain, but that will wipe off easily with a clean cotton ball and small amount of remover.

I have found that since using this technique, I'm using less remover and the overall process is less frustrating.  Glitter polishes may still give you some trouble if you haven't used a base coat prior to application and so I always recommend using one.  Base coat will also help prevent dark colors from staining your nails.  I hope you enjoy this technique as much as I do.


  1. Cool! You could start a business selling the little foil squares. Wallah in French is "Voila!" ;-)

  2. LOL! But in spellcheck it's wallah!