Monday, April 25th, 2011

Rant & Rave


Your Mission: Tell us what you love, hate, or are otherwise indifferent to about nail polish remover.  Do you use it all the time?  What are your favorites (or least favorites)?

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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70 thoughts on “Rant & Rave: Nail Polish Remover

  1. Annabelle

    love zoya, best remover hands down

    fast and doesn’t dry out my cuticles

  2. Ashley

    Zoya Remove + is the bomb!!! Used to use straight acetone, but change my polish so often that it was wrecking my cuticles and nails. Remove + has a moisturizing aspect that has helped keep my natural nails more healthy. Love it and will not ever use anything else.

  3. The only nail polish remover i use is 100% acetone (doesn’t matter the brand, its all the same). I’ve tried so many other polish removers and none of them work as well for me. Plus, I through so many bottles of it that it would be ridiculously expensive buying something like Zoya’s or OPI’s remover.

    • Carrie

      I agree with this totally – it’s so expensive when you do your nails every two-three days! I do like using it for cleaning up my manicure though – have a bit more leeway than with straight acetone – when I do get my hands on some.

  4. Emily

    Waaay back in the day, Walgreens used to have a fabulous scent-free, brush-on np remover that was really effective and seemed conditioning to boot. I knew, this was about 8 years ago, that there was no way a product this effective would stay on the market. I’m sorry to say I was right, but that doesn’t keep me from haunting the nail care area of every Walgreens I come across in my travels. I’ve yet to Gus a decent remover since, though I am ready to try Butter Londons option.

    • Shilpa

      i just got butter londons powder room remover. works decently to remove glitter and isnt drying. but still has a strong scent and is $$$

    • Chynna

      I remember that brush on remover – it was the best thing ever! I was really sad when I couldn’t find it in any drugstore anywhere.

    • Jenny

      Are you talking about Once Removed? It was pink in a glass bottle. I loved that stuff. I still have some left from the last bottle I bought a couple of years ago. It was removed from the market because it had a bad chemical in it, so they company reformulated it and re released it. I guess the bad publicity just killed it’s sales, so it was discontinued altogether a few years back. I’m very sad about this because it was such a good and unique product. I have yet to find anything similar to it. I’ve had to go back to using regular nail polish remover, which I HATE. It stinks and dries out my cuticles.

      • Emily

        YES! Loved that stuff! A little bit of research suggested that that was some sort of high to be had from ingesting it? Ridiculous as it sounds like all the bad

      • Emily

        YES! Loved that stuff! A little bit of research suggested that that was some sort of high to be had from ingesting it? Ridiculous as it sounds like all the bad press drove them out of business. This makes me angry as you can also stuff Sharpies up your nose or drink rubbing alcohol. I think personal responsibility plays a role here- oh how I adored that product..

        • Jenny

          Oh, I agree so much! You can do a lot of bad things with just about anything! And that are lots of chemicals in a lots of products that can be abused if you want to do it. I used Once Removed for years after reading about it Lucky magazine. I had completely gotten off of other polish removers. I think I am going to try Zoya’s because I have heard such good things about it.

  5. Courtney

    I hate that I can’t find a nail polish remover to remove nail stains. I recently used a yellow polish (had no problem getting the polish off) but 5 different removers, lemon juice, baking soda paste, and even hydrogen peroxide won’t get out the yellow tinge to my nails left from the polish. I guess next time I’ll be sure to use a base coat.

    • 100% acetone for me! It dries out my nails and the skin around them, but I just use a good hand cream afterward and it’s okay.

    • Chynna

      Courtney, when I get stains I use a whitening toothpaste and scrub my nails with that and a nail brush. If I do this about twice a week, it prevents staining from accumulating and getting worse over time. When I’m lazy (often!), I do get accumulated stains and then I soak my nails in a whitening mouthwash for about 5 minutes, then brush with the toothpaste. It’s made a big difference. I hope that helps!

  6. Meg

    They haven’t invented one that can get off glitter nail polishes. At least not one that works well enough/fast enough for my liking.

  7. Amanda

    I hate the smell of it! Can’t stand it, and I always wash my hands afterwards and I can still smell it!

  8. Nora

    I love Sally Hansen’s Extra Strength remover (white bottle, red lid) with cotton pads for my polish removal. It’s cheap and works great.

  9. Amanda

    Zoya Remove+ is better than any of the stuff I used to buy at Target or drugstores. The smell doesn’t even bother me that much! It quickly removes polish, and also preps nails for the next application. I like the bottle too (with the push-top) but sometimes the liquid spills over so I have to keep it in a Ziplock baggie.

  10. I abhor nail polish remover in general. When I was younger, I’d put polish on and then just let it chip ’til it was gone so I wouldn’t have to deal with it. UGH!

  11. erikashley

    I think Zoya has the best nail polish remover! I see tons of people agree! :)

  12. Nina

    Superdrug has a tiny “pot” with a sponge inside + nail polish remover – I always buy lots of these when I go to London (or UK) on holiday.

    They to the job and then some :)

    If this not work (or for cleaning up spills utside the nail) I use pure Aceton. I trie hard not to use much of this beaouse it tends to dry out the skin.

  13. kate

    ok, you know what i hate? how over-ripe cantaloupe tastes like nail polish remover smells!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Lily

    I use 100% acetone. I know it’s not good to do that, but it removes all of the nail polish and it works best for removing glitter nail polishes (and just all nail polishes in general).

  15. chica

    since i started using the sephora nail polish remover ( the one that contains the sponge inside & u just put ur finger in there ) i cant use any other kind ! the only bad thing i could think of about this product is that i cannot use it on my toes 😛 LOVE LOVE LOVE !

    it nakes it possible to put a new color everyday without wasting much time on removing it !

    this is the one im talking about :

  16. Melissa

    I gotta say–Zoya’s Remove+ is the best I’ve ever used. I can’t use drugstore stuff after that! I went through 2 of the 8oz bottles and just had to get the big refiller bottle, I go through it so fast!

  17. kelley

    use any type of remover, put some on a cotton ball, put the cotton ball on your nail, wrap foil around it, and wait 2 minutes, ALL POLISH WILL BE GONE. best way ever!! credit to Chloe’s it doesnt matter what polish remover, all glitter polish or any type of polish will be removed. I PROMISE!

  18. snm

    acetone,I am very cheap when it comes to removing cosmetics lol:) I have naturally healthy nails,but if i was having any problems with them,I definetely would check out for more options.

  19. Lauryn

    Can someone please tell me, what gets ALL the glitter polish off? I’ve rubbed, soaked, scrubbed and i still have a layer of adhesive? polish? what IS that? on my nails. I’ve tried 6 coats of clear and then glitter to no avail. I almost want to give up wearing it.

    • Janine

      Use OPI nail wipes with your acetone-based remover. They work for me! I can actually get it all off with those. (It does help to buff your nails before applying polish.)

  20. Helen

    I used to use non-acetone removers, because my husband wanted me to. He thinks acetone is dangerous, I’m not going to explain why here. But, the non acetone ones simply take too long to do the job! So, I went back to acetone-based.

  21. I get the Target brand with the purple label. Doesn’t dry my nails out or kill my cuticles. Removes everything with minimal effort and doesn’t make the house stink of remover.

  22. Michelle

    I use CVS Nourishing Nail Polish Remover; it works just fine and doesn’t smell absolutely awful.

  23. Definitely love the Zoya! :)

  24. Elysia

    as long as it has acetone, I’ll take it! Non-acetone remover is so ugh…it just hardly works. I don’t buy any name-brand remover though. If it’s over $5.00 i think it’s a bit of a rip off.

  25. Marie

    The only reason I don’t wear nail polish much is because I hate the smell of nail polish remover. Plus it seems like it’s damaging my nails pretty fast.

  26. Heidi S.

    The best thing I’ve found is Beauty Secret’s remover that I buy from Sally Beauty Supply. It stinks to high-heaven, but it works :)

  27. Kas

    I just got one from Sally’s that I feel in love with. It works really well, and it doesn’t have a strong smell at all. It smells like a cheap fruity cocktail. And that’s only if you smell it in the bottle, or on your nails. It doesn’t go floating around.

  28. Carrie Ann

    I just hate the smell. There’s no particular brand I like. I usually get cheap nail polish remover from the drugstore. It’s not something I want to spend a lot of money on. I don’t use nail polish remover that often.

  29. Marla

    The Dior is the best one I have ever used.

  30. Ali

    Zoya’s Remove Plus is the best polish remover ever – it does the job quickly and painlessly without any of the scrubbing or scraping I have to go through when using other removers, all without completely drying out my nails and cuticles! It even works well on hard to remove glitter polishes. It may cost a lot more than drugstore removers, but the extra is definitely worth it.

  31. Kia

    Sephora by OPI nail polish remover is awesome! Bought it a while ago, havn’t touched any others since…unless I’m at the salon.

  32. Yumi

    I just don’t like the way it smells. But it’s a necessary evil when nail polish starts chipping, so I suck it up!

  33. Janine

    For natural nails, acetone-based polish remover is less damaging than the acetone free version. Just be sure to moisturize very well inbetween manicures. And I LOVE the nail wipes OPI makes. They get glitter off!!! Soaked in np remover, press over glitter polish; hold for a few seconds. These wipes don’t fray and pick the glitter right up. SO worth it!

  34. Nancy

    I used to use Drug store but Now I tried Zoya and Deborah Lippmann remover. Zoya is Fantastic but Lippmann Hands down is the best the only problem is the Price is Insane.

  35. Frances

    Just use 100% acetone. Cutex and those cheapo brands don’t work.

  36. Amanda

    Zoya Remove+ is definitely my fave! It doesn’t dry your cuticles out or smell horrible. Another huge plus is the packaging! Try it, you’ll be hooked!

  37. Laura

    I love Zoya’s Remove+. it’s gentle, doesn’t smell bad, and works!

  38. Daintynymph

    It seems like if something works, it dries the skin out like crazy. If it’s not as harsh, it takes forever to get anything off. I work in a lab, so half the time I use acetone and my cuticles hate me for a while. I’ve got some random drug store polish remover that I use when I’m at home. I’m gonna have to check out Zoya remover!

  39. I hate nail polish remover. I usally wait till all the color chips off before I paint it again.

  40. Tracey

    OPI all the way for me. Haven’t tried Zoya though. OPI just removes everything quick.

  41. SB

    I use Zoya’s as well. I tried it when I got a free 2 oz. bottle with an online order and then got more with the color lock system. I love it. I recently got some Deborah Lippman stripper as a gift. Excited to try that too!

  42. Marissa B

    I love Zoya Remove Plus, I don’t end up with gunky cotton balls and nail beds from polish residue. Oh yeah, and I don’t feel the immediate need to wash my hands after using Zoya’s like I do with others. Plus the lock and pump top is so easy to use!

  43. I use pure acetone. Probably not the best for my cuticles etc. but it’s the fastest way to take nail polish off. And it’s fairly inexpensive.

  44. Kelly

    I really like Zoya Remove + except for the smell. It smells awful to me, but I put up with it because it’s such a good remover. I paint my nails every day/every other day and it really helps keep them healthy.

  45. Sarah

    Zoya Remove+ is the best polish remover I’ve ever used. I buy the huge bulk sized bottle, lasts me about 6-8 months and I give myself a fresh manicure every 4-5 days. Remove+ is non-drying so my cuticles and nails are both healthier so my nails grow faster and don’t break as often since they don’t peel. I used to use 100% acetone, I stopped, it’s horrible for your nails and cuticles, the only time I use it is when I’m removing glitter polish or silk fiber wraps, right after though I use cuticle butters to help prevent further damage. Whenever someone tells me about nail problems I always ask what kind of remover they’re using, it can make all the difference.

  46. Sherrie Baldwin

    I like Nailtiques first and OPI acetone free second. Nailtiques leaves your nails somewhat moisturized insead of dehydrated.

  47. Maile

    Zoya+ hands down…Yes, you might think its pricey..but right now you can get a whole gallon of it for 50.00 free s/h and NO tax! TOTALLY WORTH IT! The scent is pleasant…actually zoya’s polish and remover don’t SMELL like nail polish…boy I wish I had these products when I was in high school….haha…how many times did I get in trouble for doing my nails in class..and get caught because of the tell-tale smell of acetone and nail polish!