Easiest Way to Remove Glitter Nail Polish

Love glitter nail polish but HATE how hard it is to remove?  I felt the same way.  Then I learned …The Foil Method – the easiest way to remove glitter nail polish.

The essence of the Foil Method is that you are leaving the cotton soaked with regular nail polish remover in constant contact with the nail, allowing the remover to work through all the layers of polish.  Wrapping each finger tip with aluminum foil helps keep the remover from evaporating quickly as it would in the traditional way of removing nail polish.

I took these photos two years ago when I first opened my Etsy shop and shared them on the Glitterifed Nails Facebook page.  They are just as relevant today as they were then.  I still get questions about how to remove glitter nail polish so I figured it was time to share them here.


What you need:

cotton balls or round cotton pads

foil squares cut about 3″  (I use Reynolds Wrappers pop up aluminum foil sheets.)

regular nail polish remover

Optional:  pump dispenser bottle for nail polish remover



nail polish remover

Regular nail polish remover and pump bottle.



Yup, the cheap stuff works just fine.  Less than $2 at Wally’s.  I like this old MK pump bottle I’ve had for more than 10 years.  I just keep filling it up with the cheap stuff.  You can find brand new pump bottles at Sally’s Beauty near the polish removers for less than $5.  It’s not required but does make it easier than fiddling with a lid or worrying about knocking over an open bottle of remover.


foil and cotton

foil sheets and cotton pads or cotton balls


I cut the cotton pads in half and the foil sheets into 12 squares.  I prefer the cotton pads because they hold more polish remover than a cotton ball.  I also use them for eye make-up removal.  I always love a multi-tasker!



half a cotton pad folded in half



Here’s what I’m removing… one coat of base coat, two coats of base color, two coats of glitter top coat (Princessa) and one coat of Seche Vite top coat.  Six coats of polish altogether.



six layers of nail polish!




Place cotton soaked with regular nail polish remover on nail.


Wrap a square of foil around your finger tip to hold the cotton on your nail and keep the remover from evaporating.  Now wait 5-10 minutes.  Terrorize your kids or pets with “The Claw” to amuse yourself while you wait.



“The Claw”


After you’ve waited the 5-10 minutes you can start removing the foil and cotton.  I save the foil squares to be re-used.  Just smooth out flat and save for the other hand or next polish removal session.

Before you pull the cotton off – wiggle the cotton side to side  and with gentle pressure pull the cotton and attached polish and glitter right off the nail.




Polish on the cotton, not on the nail.



Elapsed time…closer to 10 minutes.  The little bits of leftovers can be removed by refolding the cotton to a clean spot.  The star flicked right off with my thumbnail.  Larger glitters like shapes can be a little stubborn.



Almost all gone. Just a little clean up left to do.


That’s it.  Easy Peasy!

I have to say, if I hadn’t learned this, I wouldn’t be making my own line of glitter nail polishes.  It made all the difference =)

What do you think?  Do you use this method?  Like it?  Hate it?  Do tell!



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Andrea Clem