Special thanks go out to my cousin's lovely and fabulous wife for the idea for this blog because I honestly had no clue what I was going to write about today. :)
Nail polish remover is one of those necessities that you never really think about until you grab the wrong bottle by mistake and end up hating it. With all the formulas and special ingredients, which is the best one? Well, I think that depends mostly on your nails and what type of polishes you use.
The two generic types of polish removers are acetone and non-acetone. Acetone is a powerful solvent that is common in most polish removers as it quickly removes polish and helps to dissolve acrylic and gel nails. Unfortunately, it is extremely drying and can make natural nails brittle. The alternative formula to acetone is simply called "non-acetone remover" and contains the gentler solvent ethyl acetate instead.
To physically remove polish, you can use almost anything. Cotton balls or pads are the most common choices. However, you can also use anything from lambswool, paper towels or cotton swabs.
If you have natural nails or acrylic nails and use mostly creme, jelly or micro-shimmer polishes then I would suggest a non-acetone remover. Drugstore staples such as Cutex and Sally Hanson make great varieties, or you can go for the highly acclaimed Zoya Remove + which is pictured below.
I have not personally used Remove + but when I searched online for the best non-acetone polish remover this is the one kept consistently reappearing. I love the spill-proof pump top that this size has but if that's not your cup of tea, it does come in various sizes and bottles and the pricing isn't terrible on it, either.
However, if you have natural or acrylic nails and use mostly holographic, shimmer or glitter polishes then I strongly suggest using a pure acetone remover. Even though the acetone will slightly weaken your acrylic, it is so much easier to remove heavy glitter polishes with acetone than it is with non-acetone. The key to removing glitter polish is to soak a cotton ball in acetone and hold it on your nail for about 20-30 seconds and then slide it off your nail.
You can find Onyx brand pure acetone at WalMart for a reasonable price, but I'll be honest and tell you that you'll be able to find a bigger (less expensive) bottle at Sally's.
Now let's talk about "extras" for a minute. Do you really need all the conditioning oils and scents? Well, yes and no. If you can't stand the scent of unscented remover, then by all means get a scented one. Unfortunately, no matter what you do, it's still going to stink. As for conditioning oils, they are beneficial but I wouldn't pay extra for them. If it came down to using nail care products after removing my polish or using a remover with conditioning oils, I would pick using separate products after removing my polish every time.
Personally, even though I have acrylic nails I only use pure acetone to remove my polish. Partially because I use a LOT of glitter and rhinestones in my nail art and partially because I'm impatient and don't want to spend a lot of time scrubbing at my nails to get multiple layers of polish off. My acrylics generally don't suffer too much but they do turn chalky from time to time. Although I'll be honest and admit that I can definitely see how it could dry out natural nails.
If you're looking for the best non-acetone remover, I feel confident recommending Zoya Remover + based on the sheer number of positive reviews I've seen on it. I looked it up on about 6 different websites and the lowest overall score I've seen it get is a 4 out of 5 with the biggest drawback being the smell. If you're going to go for pure acetone, any brand will work. I buy Onyx or Beauty Secrets (from Sally's) depending solely on where I am when I need to pick up a new bottle.
Just remember what I said about using supplemental nail products to keep your nails moisturized, pampered and healthy!
What's your favorite brand of polish remover? Tell me in the comments!