How to Apply and Remove Glitter Nail Polish Like a Pro

According to the Centers for Disease Control, a whopping 97 percent of nail salon foot baths tested in one study contained the bacteria M. fortuitum, an icky bug that can cause scarring boils on the skin. Fungal infections are another potential problem. – Lisa Mulcahy, Fox News

Glitter nail polish is no longer the domain of little girls playing dress up. Celebrities such as Blake Lively, Madonna and Katy Perry have all been snapped wearing blinged-up nails.

Glitter nail polish is notoriously difficult to get off, but with the right products and techniques it doesn’t have to be a time-consuming chore.

Keep reading for some tips on how to first properly apply and then remove glitter nail polish without ruining your nails.

It’s All in the Application

Have you ever applied glitter nail polish the same way as you do regular colored polish and realized that it looks patchy? If you want the glitter nail polish to look as good on your nails as it does in the bottle, then check out beauty vlogger Kelli Marissa. In her video she demonstrated how easy it is to apply glitter nail polish.

Normally, you would have to layer multiple coats of polish over each other and wait for each coat to dry. Not only is it time consuming, the thick layer of polish makes it even more difficult to take off.

Kelli’s tips to create a beautifully dense sparkly finish with just one coat of glitter polish involves a little preparation.

Start with a clean nail and apply a base coat. Then put a little liquid latex around your nail so that any polish that gets on your fingers can be peeled off afterwards.

The final step is her secret weapon. She uses a regular cheap cosmetic sponge to apply the polish!

Simply paint some glitter polish onto the edge of the sponge and then dab the sponge directly onto your nail.  The sponge soaks up the clear nail polish, leaving just the flecks of glitter which stick to your nails!

remove glitter nail polish


5 Ways to Remove Glitter Nail Polish

It’s now time to remove all of that glitter nail polish that you meticulously applied.  These are the most common ways to take it all off.

1. Nail Polish Remover and Cotton Balls

This is an easy method and you probably will have nail polish remover and cotton balls in your bathroom cupboard.  

  • Soak a small cotton ball in nail polish remover. Either acetone or non-acetone based remover will work, though acetone will probably remove glitter nail polish more effectively than non.

  • Place the cotton ball directly on the nail polish and push down so that the polish is completely covered.

  • Leave the cotton balls on your nails for at least five minutes. You can use a tiny elastic band to keep it in place, wrap foil around each finger nail, or just stay still.

  • Remove the cotton ball, using some pressure to wipe off the softened polish.

  • If there is still a bit of polish left on your nails, then go over them again with a soaked cotton ball.

Pros: It works really well to efficiently remove glitter nail polish.

Cons: Acetone is an extremely powerful solvent so it can be very harsh on your nails. It’s best to limit your use of it. This method uses a lot of nail polish remover and cotton balls and is not a quick fix.

2. Soak Your Fingertips in Nail Polish Remover

You definitely have to make sure you use non-acetone remover for this method. Only do it if you couldn’t budge the glitter nail polish using remover-soaked cotton balls.

  • Fill a small bowl with about two inches of nail polish remover. You want to use a bowl that is big enough to fit in all of your five fingers at once.

  • Leave your fingertips in the remover for a couple of minutes.

  • Remove your fingers and use a cotton ball or textured makeup cotton square to rub off the remaining polish.

  • If you still can’t get all the polish off, repeat the process leaving your fingers in the remover for only 30 seconds.

  • Repeat this process with your other hand.

Pros: This will get rid of the final traces of glitter nail polish.

Cons: It’s time consuming and you need to use a lot of nail polish remover.

3. Apply New Nail Polish on Top of Your Old

You can remove glitter nail polish by applying a layer of new nail polish on top of your current polish and then wiping them both off with a nail-polish-soaked cotton ball.

  • Use any nail polish you want. In fact it’s a great way of using up colors you don’t like.

  • Do one nail at a time because you don’t want the polish to dry.

  • Once you’ve painted your nail, take a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover and swipe it over your nail. Both the new wet coat and the existing coat of glitter nail polish should wipe right off.

Pros: This is a really quick way of getting your glitter nail polish off.

Cons: You still need to use nail polish remover and cotton balls. You are wasting nail polish so only do this method if you have some you don’t use or like anymore.

4. Use a Liquid Latex Base Coat

This method makes it super simple to remove your glitter nail polish. However, you need to do this before you apply your nail polish colour.

  • Paint a coat of liquid latex onto your nail.

  • Let  it dry completely.

  • Paint your nail as normal.

  • To remove the nail polish, lift up the liquid latex and the polish should peel off in one piece without leaving any residue on your nails. 

Pros: Quick and effective, you don’t need nail polish remover or cotton balls.

Cons: It is an extra step in the process of painting your nails. In addition, the liquid latex is quite easy to peel so the polish may not last very long. There is a chance you could accidentally remove the polish.

5. Individually Packed Nail Polish Remover Wipes

This is far and away the easiest, cleanest and quickest way to remove glitter nail polish.  

You will only need one nail polish remover wipe to take the most stubborn nail polish off all ten fingers.  The best  wipes are those enriched with vitamins and oils that will care for your nails, strengthen them and help them to grow.

Pros: Wipes don’t make any mess. The removal process is quick and effective. Best of all, they are super convenient and inexpensive.

Cons: It’s hard to think of any! You may need to use more than one wipe to get the last traces of glitter nail polish off if you’ve applied multiple layers of it.


Do you wear glitter nail polish? Have you had trouble removing it or do you have a sure-fire way of getting every little speck of glitter off?Lift Offz Call to Action

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