Friday, July 20, 2012

Can You Remove a Full Manicure in 5 Mins Using 2 Cotton Balls?

I am the luckiest girl in the world.  I married a crafty man who loves him some Pinterest.  He recently found a link to Gingerbread Manne a nail blog with a simple yet impressive tutorial for polish removal.

Now, I absolutely HATE polish removal, especially since I've been using glitters and we all know how ludicrous glitter is to get off nails.  I've largely stopped painting my nails because I am sick of it taking 20 mins and as many cotton balls to get it off.   This method takes 5 mins and uses 2 cotton balls.  That's for ten nails.  Being the skeptic I am, I thought I would give it a shot and see if it really worked.

Here is what you need.  Polish Remover (does not need to be acetone) two cotton balls and a pair of scissors.  That's it....that's all.

Step 1. Unroll one cotton ball,  in my case I had to snip it with scissors to get it to open.  I ended up with a little extra bit, I set it aside.

Step 2. Tear the puff strip into nail sized pieces.  I kept mine on the thicker side so it could hold a little more polish remover.  I made 11-12 pieces One puff is enough for 10 fingers.

Step 3.  Dip the end of one of your bits of cotton into the polish remover (I poured it into cap) You don't need to dunk it, it will travel up the cotton pretty quickly.

Step 4.  Press the wet cotton onto your nail.  Make sure to push it on firmly. 

Repeat Step 4. on the rest of your hand.   I did one hand at a time. Keep your other hand free to finish removal.

Let these bits sit on your nail for 1-2 mins.  If any look to be drying out just use an extra bit of cotton to dab on a bit more remover.

Step 5. Tear the second cotton ball in half, moisten slightly with remover and use to push the saturated cotton off your finger.  The cotton and polish should wipe off easily.

Here is the final result.  Less then 2 mins and 1/10th of one cotton ball for a nearly naked nail.

This is the first hand without and followup cleaning.  You can see almost all the polish is off.

Once I removed the bulk of the polish, I went back over my nails with the extra bits of cotton I had remaining from my second cotton ball.

Final Results
 Right hand clean

Left hand cleaned

And here is the final tally.  Ten nails, five mins and slightly less then two cotton balls consumed.  That is all it took to remove a manicure that consisted of

1 layer of Seche Vite Basecoat
4 Polish layers (including 2 glitters)
2 layers of Seche Vite Top Coat

Final Thoughts

I am totally and utterly converted.  Not only was this method fast and resourceful, but concentrating the remover only on my nails saved the skin around my nails from drying out.  I usually get so frustrated removing glitters that I bust out the pure acetone big guns, which is just way more chemicals and drying then one person needs exposure to.  I will never use any other method to remove polish.

Check out Gingerbread Manne, the blog where I found this amazing tutorial.


  1. Wow, this looks great! I have been using felt to remove my nail polish as it results in less fuzz than cotton balls, but it definitely takes me longer to remove my manicure! I may have to dry this the next time I have an especially stubborn glitter manicure, thanks for the tip.

  2. I never thought of felt, good idea. I usually cant stand removing glitters with cotton for that very reason. I would get so mad, by the time I got the glitter off, I didn't even want to polish them anymore. This method changes everything. It's sooooo fast too. I was stunned.

  3. Very useful post. Thanks for sharing. I am recently delving into the world of polishes, and I can use all the tips and tricks I can get my hands on.


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