Thursday, December 2, 2010

Off with the Red! (minus the bloody looking fingers)

The perfectionist in me is not happy. I was frankening a little last night and slightly messed up the blood red perfection that was Revlon's Valentine. Nothing traumatic otherwise it would have come off straight away, but enough that I was itching all day at work to go to a near by lab and attack the acetone bottle. I decided to wait since then I would have to walk around with naked nails, which you wouldn't catch me dead with. Besides I wanted to show you how to remove dark polishes without leaving your fingers a mess, in my case a bloody mess.

What you will need:
1. Either a cotton pad, felt pad, or a cotton round that you have unrolled and flattened. 
Surface area is key to keeping your fingers and cuticle area polish free while removing it.
2. Nail Polish Remover - preferably acetone.
I prefer acetone because it is quick and safe (contrary to what many believe, think or whatever). Simple truth is, it is one of the safest solvents, second only to water, for nail care use. Due to its low boiling point, it evaporates quickly and therefore barely has the capacity to penetrate skin. Furthermore, even if you soaked your nails in acetone (lets say to remove acrylics, gels, etc.) the amount of acetone that does makes it into your blood stream is at very safe low levels with respect to health standards. Non-acetone removers can often times be even worse for you.  They are just as drying and not as effective at dissolving polish and thus force longer exposure times to your skin and nail. If you are bothered by how dry acetone makes your hands you have several options, buy a moisturizing acetone based polish remover, add glycerin to your acetone, or moisturize with oils or balms before and after use.  If you are interested in a making your own moisturizing remover, put on your goggle and read this post.  However, beware that you must clean the nail surface before applying fresh polish, otherwise the glycerin/oils/waxes/etc may interfere with polish adhesion.  Okay enough ranting....these are the steps I take to remove dark polish.

Steps to non-bloody looking cuticles and fingers
1. Place acetone on pad and soak well.  Not dripping, but don't be stingy either.
2. Place pad on finger covering way past the cuticle area. 
3. Let the pad sit for 5-10 seconds while you press down on the nail. I can't show you the pressing part since I have to take the darn picture, so use your imagination.

4. Pressing firmly swipe down and only down! You can shimmy side to side slightly, but you don't want to move up and down and get the polish on your finger.You may have removed all of it or just partially.
5. Obviously, I have a big ol' strip still left so I just flip over the cotton pad and repeat steps 2 - 4 on that same nail. You can continue to unfold and reveal the clean parts of the pad to further avoid polish on your fingers. 
6.  If you get any polish on your skin remove immediately with a clean part of the acetone soaked pad.
If you plan on polishing after this you can move on to that step now. Or you can moisturize first, do some cuticle work, and then clean the nail plate again before polishing.  Those steps will be covered in detail in another post.

Next post - Nail Hardeners: Are formaldehyde based hardeners right for me? 


  1. My nails split when I use acetone. OPI acetone free remover (orange colored) really does a great job for me :))

  2. I am sure they put some nice moisturizers in there that condition your nails.

  3. I just did a quick product search. Aloe seems to be doing the trick.

    Either way, ethyl acetate(popular non-acetone solvent) or acetone can both dry skin out. Moisturizers help prevent this. Maybe it takes you a bit longer to remove your polish, but at least your nails are happier. :)

  4. Yes, it's aloe in there :))
    I'm happy with particular this remover. A lot of non-acetone removers are not effective, but this one is perfect. Both my nails and cuticles are happy :))

  5. I will have to keep this in mind, in case anyone needs a recommendation. Thanks!

  6. Do not be self-deprecating when you have a dark brown or tan skin. Fortunately, the dark skin color can almost all nail polish. Just do not create too much contrast, these colors are all. Great "support" for your skin color.
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