How to Remove Glitter Nail Polish Easily : 4 Techniques and Products

Glitter Nail Polish

Ah, glitter nail polish. It makes your fingers look so pretty and sparkly. And with holiday season just around the corner as much as many of us would like to avoid it, there’s sure to be lots of glitzy manicures in your life.

Despite the fun of the manicure, glitter nail polish removal can sometimes be a nightmare. Alright, it’s always a nightmare. I remember one of the first times I ever used a heavy duty glitter polish. It looked great and it stuck to my nails for a week. When it came time to take it off, I spent a good hour rubbing away at my nails with a cotton ball and having very little to show for it aside from a lot of shredded cotton balls. I vowed never to wear glitter polish again.

Some years later, I have finally figured out how to remove glitter nail polish fast. Or at least faster. Here are some techniques that you can try out for yourself.

How to Remove Glitter Polish

The Foil Technique

This technique is pretty much the same one that you would use to remove gel nail polish. Lucky for us, it works on glitter too.

  • To start, gather all the supplied you’ll need: tin foil, cotton balls, and nail polish remover. The foil will be used to hold a polish remover soaked cotton ball onto your finger.
  • Before you begin, prep your foil strips. Rip 10 strips. You want them to be large enough to wrap around your fingers and hold the cotton balls in place.
  • Get your cotton ball nice and soaked. Press the wet side of the cotton ball against your finger.
  • Wrap the foil firmly around the cotton ball and your finger, ensuring that the cotton ball is pressed into the nail. This will allow the nail polish remover to soak into the glitter and loosen the glitter’s grip on your nails.
  • Now just chill out for about 5 minutes and then remove the foil. Press the cotton ball to the nail and gently wipe away the glitter. Most of it should come off if you’ve let it sit long enough
  • You might need a fresh cotton ball to remove any remnants and get your fingers perfectly cleaned up.
  • No foil? No problem. The foil is only there to hold the cotton in place, so if you have anything else, like a rubber band for instance, that’ll do the trick as well.

The Cotton Pad Technique

If you’re too lazy to do all that stuff with the foil, then grab on to some cotton pads, but be ready to have a bit more work ahead of you. This technique works, but you lose the benefit of soaking your nails all at one time.

  • Soak up a cotton pad, and I mean soak.
  • Press the cotton pad against your nail and hold it there for a full minute. Possibly longer if you have you have a lot of layers of glitter on.
  • After that, rub the cotton pad hard against your nail and then flip it over and scrub more with the fresh side.
  • Repeat this with all of your other nails.

You can probably see why this isn’t my favorite method. Not only do you have to do each nail one at a time, but you can end up going through a lot of cotton pads. What I like to do is cut the cotton pad in half, that way you don’t have to use a full one for each nail.

The Finger in the Jar Technique

I’m sure you’ve seen those little jars of nail polish remover where you stick your finger in and it comes out totally clean. If you haven’t, well friends, have I got a surprise for you. These jars can be used to remove glitter polish pretty well.

All you have to do is stick your finger in for a bit, let it get coated with the remover, and then wiggle it around against the sponge until you’re free of the glitter polish. The downside of removing glitter nail polish like this is that you’re leaving a bunch of glitter floating around at the bottom of the jar. Additionally, if you do this frequently, the glitter is going to eventually shred the foam. But for the occasional use for those “oh my god, just come off” moments, this will get the job done.

Peel off Base Coat

If you really can’t be bothered to do any of this, you can even make your own peel off base coat, that way, the polish just slides right off without all the work.

  • To do this, grab an empty nail polish bottle, water, and some elmer’s glue. Yep, elmer’s glue.
  • If you’re using a bottle from an old nail polish, make sure that you clean it thoroughly. Swish some polish remover inside to get any remaining nail polish out.
  • Fill a third of your fresh and clean bottle with the glue.
  • Add water. Experiment with adding different amounts of water until you get a texture that you want. For a thick base, add less water, and for a thinner base add more.
  • Put the top back on and shake it up so that everything gets mixed up together.
  • Apply your brand new solution as you would any other base coat and then top it off with your glitter polish
  • When you’re ready to take off the glitter nail polish, all you’ll have to do is peel.

Now this is obviously not ideal for a long lasting manicure, however this is an excellent way to have a night out with dazzling nails without the fuss of removing it later on. Remember to still be gentle when you are peeling the polish off. Don’t furiously scrape away at it and accidentally damage your nails.

Cool Stuff

To make your life even more simple, here are some excellent products that will act as a glitter nail polish remover.


OPI Glitter Off Peel-able Base Coat

If you don’t want to make your own peel-able base coat, you can buy this one instead. This will work great for both glitter and dark polishes, or anything that you want to peel off.

Apply it as a base coat and then wait for it to dry completely before adding a polish on top. After a few days, the polish will begin to lift and you can go ahead and remove it by peeling. It works really well and it’s strangely fun and addicting.

You may need to use a cotton ball with remover to get off any leftovers, but other than that, it works perfectly. The polish will come right off, and it won’t damage your nails. [Buy it here]


Julep Party’s Over Glitter Nail Polish Removal Kit

Julep’s New glitter nail polish removal kit may be the priciest way to get your polish off, but it works. In the kit you get everything you need to get even the most sticky glitter off of your nails. It includes 10 reusable finger caps and 5 packs of 10 remover pads.

To use it, you place each pad on to your nail and then cover it with the cap. Once all your nails are covered up, you let it sit for 5 minutes. When the 5 minutes is up, squeeze each cap and remove them. Use the pads to remove extra glitter.

This is basically a fancy way of doing the foil method, without the foil. It’s great if you regularly use glitter polish because you’ll get the caps that you’ll be able to use over and over again. The downside, of course, is the not so inexpensive price tag. Other than that, you can probably find other uses for the caps like removing gel nail polish. [Buy it here]


Cutex Twist and Scrub Sponge

As mentioned before, the dippy jars are a good way to get rid of glitter and this is one of the best available. There’s not a lot of mess, and your fingers come out relatively dry, rather than being ultra soaked in remover.

There’s not a whole lot to say about this product. It’s a basic and inexpensive way to do a task that is not always the most fun. This stuff also comes in handy for speedy removal of regular polish. [Buy it here]

Additional Tips

  • Acetone based nail polish is usually more effective at removing glitter.
  • MOISTURIZE. Seriously, removing glitter polish takes time and patience and a whole lot of exposure to chemicals. Make sure you’re not letting your nails and cuticles get all dried out. Use some hand lotion and cuticle cream and give them a little pampering when you’re all done.
  • Use less glitter. If all of this removal nonsense sounds like an absolute nightmare, then less glitter means less to remove.