No doubt, glitter polish is a trend to love. It shimmers, shines and gives your mood a boost. But getting it off isn’t pretty. Even the manicurist at my local salon was struggling to remove my do-it-myself, glitter pedicure.  Still, you don’t have to skip the sparkle; you just need a few insider tips which we got from Deborah Lippmann, celebrity manicurist and founder of luxury nail, hand and foot care products that include an array of gorgeous glitter polishes.

Perfect application:

  • Apply a thin layer of ridge filler base coat. “This has substance and gives the glitter something to attach to,” says Lippmann. (It also makes polish removal easier later on.) Let this dry for at least one full minute.
  • Next, apply a thin coat of your glitter polish (like Essie Nail Polish in A Cut Above). Thin is key because applying too much polish at once will cause it to chip easily. Let this dry completely before swiping on a second layer. “If you apply the second coat while the bottom layer is wet, the solvents will become trapped and it will never dry completely,” explains Lippmann. “This will cause the polish to peel off in one layer.”
  • Note that the first coat may not look the way it does in the bottle. “In the bottle, it looks like full glitter, but it may be a formula that goes on sparse and is meant to be layered,” says Lippmann. “For fuller coverage, dab the glitter ‘sequin’ onto the nail rather than brushing it on.”
  • Finish with a quick dry top coat for a speedy and shiny finish.

Rapid removal:

  • “Nail polish dissolves in remover, but since the glitter itself isn’t nail polish, it doesn’t dissolve,” explains Lippmann.
  • Saturate a cotton ball with an acetone polish remover. (Lippmann suggests one with nourishing ingredients like lavender and aloe to help hydrate the nail plate.) Place the cotton ball over your nail and wrap tin foil around it for five minutes.  “This will lock in heat and allow for easy breezy sparkle removal,” says Lippmann.
  • Though glitter can be tricky to remove, don’t scrape it off nails or you can scratch your nail.