FINALLY! Two Base Coats That Make Removing Glitter Polish A Breeze

No more need for a chisel.

CALLING ALL LOVERS OF GLITTER NAIL POLISH: Your prayers have been answered!

Beauty and SCIENCE (or whatever) have joined forces to do away with one of the biggest problems that once stood in the way of great sparkly manicures. Have you heard the angels singing? The people rejoicing in the streets? We can all wear glitter polish again!

The first full coverage glitter polish I ever wore was Rainbow Connection from the OPI 2011 Muppets Holiday collection. To this day, it’s my favorite sparkly shade, but I never wear it because chunky glitter is notoriously hard to get off. The first time I did wear the polish, all of my friends were like “That looks great but wow, that’s going to be hard to remove.” I was all “Sure, maybe for you mere mortals, but not for me.” Cut to me a week later, already ten minutes late to a dinner party, having a panic attack realizing that they were right, this shit was going nowhere.

I know that this doesn't stop all of you brave people from rocking glitter, and for that, I salute you. For me, it was a deal breaker. And I know that nail junkies swears by that cottonball and tin foil trick, but I don’t care what any of you say -- that DOES NOT make it any easier.

But all that has changed! The future is now! There are two new products specifically created to ease the removal of glitter polish and kill the ugly stigma that surrounds our sparkly friends.


OPI just released Glitter Off Natural Nail Base Coat ($9, check the website for store locations) and it’s amazing. I was skeptical at first, because glittery polishes are so stubborn, but I tried it anyway. That is what a fearless nail polish pioneer does.

I applied one coat of Glitter Off and let it dry. It takes longer to dry than a regular base coat would, but it definitely saves you time in the long run. When you brush on the base, it looks very thick, wet and shiny. Don't touch it until it has dried down to a thinner, milky, matte finish then go crazy with the glitters.

Once my base set, I applied a shade called Stronger ($20), a collaboration between Deborah Lippmann and Queen Kelly Clarkson.

It’s violet, with a jelly-like texture packed with multicolor, multi-size, reflective holographic flecks of glitter. You’d be set with two coats, but I did three because I didn’t want any of my natural nail to be visible though the sheer jelly. Once I had that glitter STACKED, I was ready for a layer of my BFF topcoat, Seche Vite. (What’s your favorite topcoat? Spill it in the comments. I'm sure I've asked you that before but my short term memory, like my writing, is questionable.)

I was filled with a vague sense of dread because no matter how good this Glitter Off Base Coat was, I was worried that I had layered so much glitter onto my nails that there was no way it was going to budge. But I was wrong.

BOOM, the polish lifts right up, I swear to god. I seriously gasped at how easy it was. You just take an orangewood stick and have a go at the edges of your nails. This changes everything!

I got the polish off of my hands so fast that I could have documented the process in real time in an Instagram video, but I don’t know how to work Instagram video so you’ve all missed out on what would have surely been a riveting short film.

Sidenote: Yes, I realize that this is basically a fancier, ready-made version of the genius DIY trick that Marianne wrote about, but why would I do something myself when I can just pay someone to solve all my problems for me?


Another polish that promises to ease glitter removal is Revolution by Picture Polish ($10). It is surprisingly thin and you have to put on two layers before you apply glitter lacquer on top.

It isn’t made to peel off like the OPI base coat, but it helps to lift the glitter off of your nails. Have you ever gotten almost all the glitter off, but found that the little flecks that are actually touching your nail are the hardest to remove? Picture Polish changes all that!

After I applied it, I layered on three coats of Blogger, a gorgeous, multi-colored glitterbomb, also from Picture Polish.

When it came time to remove it, the glitter polish and the base coat slid off easily. It's not as effortless as the peel-off base, but it does accelerate the removal process exponentially. In short, it does exactly what it promises.

I'm so excited! I spent so long swearing off glitter polishes that it almost seems strange to go back now. But I have a good feeling that the gorgeous glitter polishes sitting on my nail polish racks will lure me back pretty quickly.

How do you feel about glitter polish? Are you as afraid of it as I was? Will these polishes change your mind? What's your favorite glitter polish? Top coat? Do you have another removal method that actually works? Tell me everything in the comments!

Tynan is glittery on Twitter @TynanBuck.