Make Your Monday Better with a Pedicure (and the best way to remove glitter polish!)

Looking at this zoomed-in makes me want to file my nails a little straighter.
Looking at this zoomed-in makes me want to file my nails a little straighter.

Mondays are rough. You know what you should do tonight? Crack a cold one (may I recommend Stone’s Cali-Belgique IPA), fire up Netflix, and give yourself a pedicure. Not a quick polish change, but a real honest to goodness pedicure. It’s easier than you think! And a great way to unwind and prepare yourself for the rest of the week ahead.

I’m obsessed with glitter polish; it’s pretty much all I wear these days. Luckily I’m not the only one who feels this way, and nail polish companies have been cranking out new glitter polishes. Nail polish is the one beauty item I won’t spend much money on. I haven’t found that big a difference between brand name polish (O.P.I., Essie, Deborah Lippman, Butter London) and the cheap-o polish I go for (Wet and Wild, Sally Hansen on sale, Sinful Colors).

My technique is to use a quality base coat and top coat to help transform cheaper polish into Dior Vernis. The one downside of glitter polish is that it’s really hard to take off. Or so I thought, until I discovered this foolproof technique. Side note – isn’t foolproof a strange word? “Safe against the incompetence of a fool” seems a bit harsh, doesn’t it? I’m not assuming you’re incompetent with nail polish. But if you are…

Let's keep this simple, shall we?
Let’s keep this simple, shall we?

Step 1: Buy some real cotton balls. Not cotton makeup pads or paper towels or wadded up toilet paper. You’re gonna need the real, $1.29 deal for this. Budget accordingly.

Step 2: Buy acetone nail polish. None of this non-acetone business. Ideally get the 100% acetone professional stuff. Glitter polish is no match

Step 3: Pour the nail polish into the cap and shred a cotton ball into 10 smaller pieces.

Step 4: Dip the very end of the cotton ball into the remover. You don’t need to dip the whole thing in, because it’ll creep up the cotton ball on its own.

Step 5: Stick those cotton ball shreds onto each nail.

Step 6: Wait ~5 minutes, then take off the cotton shreds by wiping them upward. All the nail polish should be removed. If not, repeat or just use  your usual nail polish remover technique to clean up the edges.

My technique in action
My technique in action

There’s been a lot of blog posts and Pinterest pins about using tin foil wraps to remove glitter polish, but that’s way too much work. For one thing, you’d have to use 10 cotton balls, while this technique only uses one or two. Also, that soaks your entire fingertip in acetone, while this just focuses the remover on your nail.

After you take off the polish (or if you started without polish in the first place, you can move on to the fun parts of the pedicure.

I'm finally using all my pots!
I’m finally using all my pots!

Step 1: Buy some epsom salts and a new polish (you deserve it!)

Step 2: Heat up water in a kettle, fill up a large tub or pot, and mix in some epsom salts. Epsom baths are amazing for sore feet, trust me.

Step 3: Use a foot file to smooth any roughness. I used this”European foot file” I bought on Amazon for under $5. No clue what is European about it, but unlike a lot of files, it doesn’t work like a cheese grater. Yikes! This is a lot more gentle and less dangerous.

Step 4: Rub your feet with coconut oil. Yep, coconut oil again. I’m serious about the amazing-ness of this stuff.

Step 5: Use just a little bit of polish remover to wipe the oil off your nail beds. Oil will interfere with the polish.

Step 6: Apply a thin coat of base coat. I’m still looking for the perfect base coat. Right now I’m using Essie’s All in One Base, but I’m not particularly impressed. Its 2.8/5 rating on Makeup Alley backs me up. Next time I’ll try Essie’s First Base, which has a 4.7/5 rating.

Step 6: Apply two coats of your main coat. I used the dark purple I got in Sephora’s Indian Summer nail set. It’s a little darker than I usually go, but nice for winter.

Step 7: Apply either your top coat, or a coat of glitter polish. I used Sinful Colors’ polish in Faceted, which is a mix of smaller purple glitter and bar glitter. Bar glitter shows up best on darker polish, so keep that in mind. Here it is swatched on bare nails – not nearly as fun.

Look how it changes in sunlight
Look how it changes in sunlight

By now you’re wrapping up your movie and beer, with glittery polish to make you smile. Don’t you feel better already?


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