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How To Remove Glitter Nail Polish in 5 Easy Steps

Updated on January 25, 2014

And Then The Party's Over...

After all the fun is done, anyone who has used these gorgeous varnishes knows they can be a challenge to remove. Whereas standard glossy or shimmery types will come right off with polish remover, glitter wants to stay on for more party! Although there are many methods for removal, this article will demonstrate a tried and true method of mine. I hope you find it helpful.

Candy For Your Fingers!

Glitter is one of the hottest trends in nail polish. Gone are the days of subtle colors in glossy cream finishes of pink and red. Glitter is like candy for your fingers! Today, I'm going to be removing a gorgeous pink glitter color by Boom Sparkle Nail Polish. It is called “Dirty Pink”, and it is available from Boom Sparkle on Etsy. Typically, these glitzy lacquers come in a clear or tinted base with any variety of sizes, shapes, and colors of solvent-resistant glitter. They may be holographic, iridescent, or even matte. They are a great way to top off (or cover up chips on) a classic manicure. Alternatively, they can be layered and worn all alone for a super bling effect.

Remove Glitter Polish in 5 Steps

  1. Grab any standard acetone-based nail polish remover. These are widely available and very effective. Using acetone on a regular basis can have a damaging effect to nails, but it is essential for this project. I recommend using acetone remover for stubborn jobs like this, and non-acetone for standard nail varnish.
  2. Soak 1 side of a cotton ball in your acetone nail polish remover. Typically, three to five swigs of the bottle will be enough to have it properly dampened.
  3. Hold the cotton ball in place on your fingernail for about 2 minutes, gently moving it back and forth.
  4. By now, the acetone has loosened the polish. Using a bit more force, you should be able to move the cotton ball back and forth to finish the process as normal.
  5. Repeat for each finger.

Materials needed: Acetone nail polish remover and cotton balls.
Materials needed: Acetone nail polish remover and cotton balls.

There, It's Not So Hard...

See! It's pretty easy when you get down to it. However, it is certainly a time-consuming process. So, why not distract yourself from the task at hand? There are several things you can do to pass the time while waiting for the lacquer to dissolve. Here are some ideas:

  • Catch up on your favorite tv shows or web series.
  • Listen to music, maybe something new?
  • Talk to a girlfriend on the phone (it's been too long since you've called her anyway!).
  • You've got one hand free, so have a snack!
  • Instagram your experience or live tweet it.
  • Start planning your outfit for tomorrow.
  • Discover some new vloggers on YouTube.
  • Two words: Online shopping!
  • Enjoy a nice, long relaxing soak in the bathtub.
  • Pick colors for your next manicure.

Still Having Trouble?

If you're still having trouble removing those stubborn sparkles, try increasing the amount of liquid on the cotton ball. If it's still not doing the trick, you may also consider investing in a small bottle of pure acetone from your local beauty supply store. Beware, it's pretty potent stuff. I would not recommend using pure acetone on natural nails on a regular basis. If you must, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterward, and use a moisturizer or cutucle oil, as it can be very drying.

It's Worth the Effort!

Although glitter nail polish can be difficult to remove, it is well-worth the time and effort. Once you get the hang of the removal method, it's actually pretty easy. Always be sure to gently scrub your nails after using an acetone product. Additionally, using a base coat before beginning a new manicure will help protect your nails from any staining or damage that may occur.

Even More Glitz!

Here are a few more of my favorite glitties. Ok, I know this style is not for everyone. However, there are a range of different types of these polishes from wild and outrageous to simple and sparkly. Creating an accent nail is a popular style too. If you can't quite commit to an entire hand of shimmer, it can be nice to treat yourself to a single sparkly nail to keep things interesting.

White Rabbit (#113) and Pink Bubblegum (#114)
White Rabbit (#113) and Pink Bubblegum (#114)
Rainbow Ice (#102)
Rainbow Ice (#102)
Distant Galaxy (#104) and Interstate 74 (#103)
Distant Galaxy (#104) and Interstate 74 (#103)

Love It or Leave It?

Are you a fan of the flashy polish?

See results


Let me know what you think about this method! Feel free to leave a comment below to share your best tips and tricks for the perfect manicure. I'm looking forward to hearing your feedback!


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