Is This The Ultimate Solution To The Problem Of Glitter Nail Polish Removal?

By Lynnie | November 29 2012 | 24 Comments

I’ve probably mentioned a time or three that I’m a bit of a magpie, so I am close to hyperventilating with delight that the season where wearing glitter is practically compulsory is right around the corner of the calendar. There’s no easier way to get your festive bling on than to whack some sparkly polish on your fingertips, but while party-ready nails are simple to achieve, all that glitter can make them a total frickin’ nightmare to remove.


As luck would have it, a couple of intrepid beauty bloggers Down Under have come up with what just might be the ultimate solution to the pain in the hoop problem that is glitter polish removal. When Lauren of the Aussie Nail Bloggers Facebook group voiced her suspicions that Essence Peel-Off Base Coat looked an awful lot like PVA glue in a bottle, fellow group member and organic scientist Lab Muffin Michelle was prompted to take a gander at the ingredients list.

In other words (Michelle’s): PVA glue, water, and preservatives.

Michelle and Alanna of Pretty Purple Polish decided to try DIYing their own peel-off base coat using bog standard PVA or craft glues. Both ladies wore glitter polishes atop the experimental base coats and reported that when it came to removal, the glitter polishes simply peeled away without causing damage to their natural nails.

Well. I was straight over to my Helmer to dig out a selection of heavy-duty glitters and some Mod Podge (a white non-toxic polyvinyl acetate based craft glue) faster than you could say “your nails look like an explosion in a disco ball factory” in hopes of recreating their success. Mod Podge has a pretty thin consistency, so I dipped an old clean nail polish brush right in the glue and painted a layer directly onto my bare nails. It went on white but once it had dried clear, which took a few minutes, I got busy putting on the glitz. (You could also add a regular base coat over the PVA at this point to prevent staining.)

I tried to pick a good cross-section of glitters to test at maximum opacity, so I used:
Barry M Red Glitter, 2 coats (red single shade fine glitter)
OPI Bring On The Bling, 2 coats (predominantly gold, small glitter with multi-coloured inclusions)
Angelica Brit Pop, 3 coats (mix of multi-coloured hexagonal paillettes and small glitter pieces)
H&M Jo Is In The House, 4 coats (holographic micro sequin glitter)
Ciaté Jewel, 3 coats (lavender holographic tinsel/string glitter)

I finished with a top coat of Seche Vite, let it dry for the day, and then got down to the business of removal. I hadn’t been so excited about taking off nail polish since my first go of Bourjous One Second Remover… which was, er, all of two months ago.

I may need to get out more.

Using a rubber-tipped hoof stick, I eased the glue/polish/Seche sandwich off the base of my nails, gently working towards the tip, and was filled with absolute glee when each one popped right off with zero effort or force. I was done taking off my various glittery polishes in about 2 minutes flat. And I’m happy (and more than a little relieved) to report that my nail plate looked to be in perfect nick afterwards, even though my nails are prone to flaking and peeling at the best of times.

Uh-mazing stuff.

Will you give the PVA “base coat” method a try if you’re glitterizing your nails over The Christmas?

Ingredients listing image via Lab Muffin

Beauty , , , , ,

24 Replies to "Is This The Ultimate Solution To The Problem Of Glitter Nail Polish Removal?"

  • roxette says:

    OMG THIS IS BLEEDING BRILLIANT! Lynnie ye ledgebag! xx

  • Lisa says:

    Eh – AMAZING!!!!

    Absolute life saver – my nails are gonna be veritable disco balls now with this trick up my sleeve!

  • Orla says:

    How much? Where? When? HOW? I WANT IT!

  • venous hajatpour says:

    OMG bloody Brilliant – where can i get these and how much is it ?

  • ladymoogirl says:

    I find that whatever polish I wear once I pop some Seche Vite over the top and after a good few days wear I’m able to easy peel/pop all the nail varnish off with no problems or damage to my nail plate. Seche Vite is miracle goo!

  • EllieSausage says:

    WOW!!!!…PVA glue on the shopping list!!!..I usually avoid wearing glitter polishes because reomoval is so difficult!!!!!

  • LoCo says:

    Lynnie- I’ve said it before but I’m saying it again . You are an AMAZEBALLS NAIL GENIUS.
    I have Ciaté Jewel but don’t wear it that much coz it’s a pain in the hoop to take off.

    Where would one buy this magical Mod Podge PVA stuff??

  • Lavisa says:

    Amazing!!!! Love it, but i wonder would the nail polish chip or crack quicker??
    I love glitter but am always put off wearing it cos its so hard to get off!

  • Sandy Beach says:

    That’s my lunch break sorted – the art supply shop.

  • Oooooooooh that may be the very best news for this year!!!
    As other people have asked, my only question would be if the glue is in any way damaging to the nails?

  • Joanna says:

    OMG Cant wait to try this – I love glitter polish but rarely use it cos I hate the thought of taking it off! Its like every time I look at it glistening on my fingers I feel the frustration of trying to get the wretched stuff off of my nails!

  • daisydaisy says:

    This is amazing. Essence do a peel off base coat, its the same idea as above, just brilliant!!!

  • louise says:

    Great tip!!

    If they peel off that easily i’d be constantly worried they’d get caught on something and be left with a bare nail though

  • And now I’m worried about the same thing as Louise!! (but that might be because I’m clumsy and tend to catch my nails on everything)

  • AoifeEile says:

    Cannot wait to try this! Flippin’ brilliant.

  • Lynnie says:

    For everyone who asked how much/where to buy: budget a fiver, you’ll probably get change. It absolutely doesn’t have to be the Mod Podge brand – that’s just what I happened to have handy.

    What you want is simply bog standard NON-TOXIC PVA glue which is really widely available. You should be able to get it in art and craft shops, card shops/stationers, supermarkets, hardware stores etc – it’s the opaque white glue that tiny kids use in school for their art projects. (I personally remember painting it right onto my skin and peeling it off in strips.)

    As far as causing damage to nails goes, my nails were totally undamaged afterwards, but I’d suggest doing a test run on one nail to begin with to see how it goes.

    Lavisa / louise / celine – in terms of wear, I was doing some heavy duty house cleaning and had my hands in and out of water all day when I had them on and I’d no problems with them chipping or popping off. I know that’s not exactly an extended wear test but just FYI. I had to sort of break the seal with the hoof stick before they’d budge.

    Hope that helps :)

  • Cathy says:

    this is brilliant idea!!! thank you!!! shall be doing my nails tomorrow so.
    On an unrelated note, where can i buy mod podge in a spray can? Found some really cute ideas for christmas candle holders.
    Thanks again Lynnie

  • fifibella says:

    Delighted to hear this, I literally spent three quarters of an hour last night trying to remove glitter nail varnish! Will definitely be picking up some of that glue.

  • Aoibhinn says:

    For some mental reason my nail varnish always pops off like that, it’s great as I rarely need to use nail varnish remover but it can be bad as I could walk out the door with perfect nails and the next time I look down one of my fingers could be totally bare with not a hint of varnish left behind. I find remnants of my nail varnish everywhere – on floors, in bags and pockets and, on one occasion, in a customer’s drink… It can be handy to have popping nails but they can strike at any time, even just hours after they were painted. I’d advise you all to use with caution

  • Carrie says:

    Thank you sooo much. I still have sparkles on my toe nails from my summer hols. I know what to do next time.

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