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The best way to remove glitter nail polish

‘Tis the season to sparkle, right? You might not have the occasion (or the confidence) to wear a sequined dress, but we can all pull off glitter nail polish.


t If you’re anything like me this New Year’s Eve (or really, any day that ends in “y”), you will take a trip to Glitter Town and admire your twinkly fingertips with each tick of the clock. Why? Because… You. Love. Glitter. That is, until it’s time to remove your polish. Then… You. Hate. Glitter.

t We’ve all been there. It practically takes a sandblaster, a bucket of acid and a chisel to get the glitter off. There must be a better way to bid adieu to a manicure that brings so much joy. So, I tried five different methods to remove glitter nail polish.

t You’re welcome.

Method 1: Plain old nail polish remover jar


t Pictured: Cutex Regular Twist & Scrub Sponge Acetone Nail Polish Remover for Natural Nails, Nails Inc. Pop Art 2 in 1 in Sloane Street and Knightsbridge, Essie in On a Silver Platter and No More Film.

tCost: $3.99

t Pro: You probably have regular nail polish remover at home

tCon: It doesn’t really work

tThe verdict: We all know how this story ends. You shred 17 cotton balls before getting your nails clean. And even then, you find a glitter barnacle that just won’t let go.

Method 2: Popular Pinterest hack, remover-soaked cotton balls affixed with tin foil


t Pictured: CVS Nourishing Nail Polish Remover with cotton balls and Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil, Wet & Wild Megalast in Sugar Coat and Wet & Wild Fergie in Walk of Fame, Milani Nail Lacquer in Gems and Pool Party.

t Cost: $2.49 (remover), $1.99 (cotton balls), $2.99 (foil) = $7.47 total

t Pro: Soaking your nails in remover works better than scrubbing

t Cons: It’s time-consuming and you look like a science experiment

t The verdict: I don’t want to work this hard. By the time you go to the kitchen, dig out the foil, cut it into 10 squares, soak 10 cotton balls in remover, wait 5 minutes for it to work, remove all the foil, and clean up the edges with more remover, you could have just used Method #1.

Method 3: Another popular Pinterest hack, using an Elmer’s glue-like base coat


t Pictured: OPI Glitter Off Natural Base Coat, Sally Hansen Gem Crush Nail Color in Cha-Ching!, Julep Nail Color in Barbara and Bette.

t Cost: $9

t Pro: Easy to apply

t Con: Easy to peel off (this is a bad thing, trust me)

t The verdict: Whether you use a home-made concoction of Elmer’s Glue and water, or you pony up $9 for OPI’s version, this method goes to the opposite extreme. You can’t keep the polish on! Your nails will start to peel quickly, so only use this if you don’t want your manicure to last the weekend — or the night.

Method 4: A fancy upgrade from Julep on the Tin Foil Method


t Pictured: Julep’s Party’s Over Glitter Nail Polish Removal Kit, Ciate Paint Pots in Serendipity, Butter London 3 Free Nail Lacquer in Scallywag.

t Cost: $28

t Pros: Terrific name, far easier, and less goofy-looking than the Tin Foil Method

t Con: Expensive ($28!)

t The verdict: I will definitely use all the packets that came with the kit (at this price, I’d be a fool not to), but it’s unlikely that I’ll reorder the remover pads. And those little black finger booties are too snug to fit a cotton ball. So… that’s a no.

Method 5: A fancy upgrade from Sephora on the jar method


t Pictured: Sephora Instant Nail Polish Remover for Glitter (and Nail Patches, Nail Tattoos, Pens… ), Sephora Formula X Effects Nail Color in Sparklebomb and OPI Liquid Sand Nail Lacquer in What Wizardry Is This?

t Cost: $9.50

t Pros: It smells great and it worked!

t Cons: I wish the jar was bigger so it would last longer and that it was truly instant

t The verdict: Ladies, I think this is the one. Let me be clear, this isn’t “instant” as the jar would make you believe, but compared to the other methods, removal was pretty fast. Plus they included a scrubby pad for the stubborn sparkles. Did I mention it smelled good? Worth a trip to Sephora.

t Ding-ding-ding, it looks like we have a winner! Whatever method you choose, just remember this: Life is short, wear the glitter.

Images: Jen Gaonach

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