When I first started dabbling in nail art, one thing that eluded me was acetone. What kind do I buy, how does acetone differ from nail polish remover, and how do I clean my brushes? Well since then, I’ve learned a few things so I’d like to share with you what acetone-related products I like and some tips on how to use them.
MY MUST-HAVE PRODUCTS
A good nail polish remover for everyday use: I used to use store brand, no-name brand remover to take my nail polish off. But I’ve realized that 99% of the time, it sucks. In the last couple years I have fallen in love with Cutex brand and it’s all I use now. I’m sure there are other kinds that work great, I just seem to love cutex (my mom agrees with me too) and it’s easy for me to find in stores. My recommendation? Basically, just don’t use no-name brands. Spend the extra dollar and get a name brand. You’ll be happy you did.
Pure Acetone: I use acetone to clean up around my cuticles, and also to clean nail polish off my nail art brushes. It works better than regular old nail polish remover. Acetone doesn’t have other added ingredients like nail polish remover does so it’s perfect for clean up. Here’s the acetone I use (from walmart): http://www.pinterest.com/pin/218565388142019082/
Glitter Removal: There are various techniques for removing nail glitter. One popular one is the foil method - but I think that’s a hassle. What works for me is one of those ‘dip-your-finger-in-a-jar” things. You may be thinking NO, those are gross and don’t work well. Don’t get me wrong, I have had issues with those jars in the past. You know, the ones where you stick your finger in and twist it around and the sponge takes off your polish? They totally grossed me out because the sponge gets stained and it rubs old manicure colors all over your nails. Never use one of them on red nail polish or you’ll be wearing it again next time. Ew. Well, the one that I use now is totally different! The kind I get is called ONYX from Walmart but target sells a similar one too. There’s a few different kinds out there- but the plastic jar should say something like ‘to remove artificial nails’ or ‘to remove gel polish’ or ‘to remove glitter polish’. What makes this work so well? They have a high percentage of acetone content, but also- instead of a sponge, it has little plastic spikes. You dip your finger in and out repeatedly and the little spiky nubs remove your polish like a dream. And there’s minimal staining since there’s no sponge. I love this stuff for taking off glitter. I NEVER mess with the foil method now that I have this product. It’s also handy for when your nails are all painted and you mess ONE finger up. Just dip and twist and there’s no risk of getting acetone on the other fingers. LOVE THIS STUFF-
A good clean-up brush: A good brush will help you clean up your cuticles if you have a shaky hand or if you don’t ‘paint in between the lines’ from time to time. A clean-up brush is also essential for messy techniques like water marble. The clean up brush I use is called a Debra Lynn Professional French Manicure Clean-Up Brush found here. You can use it to make perfect smile lines for french manis, but it’s also perfect for cleaning up around your cuticles. I dip my brush in acetone and clean up any mistakes I made. Then I let it air dry. From time to time I rinse it with warm water to wash off the acetone in between uses. And sometimes I like to ‘condition’ the bristles by rubbing a little cuticle oil on them. I’ve been using this brush for at least a year now and it’s holding up well-
Avoid drying out your skin: Acetone has a nasty reputation for drying out your skin. Here’s how I combat this. Before I use nail polish remover or acetone I like to moisturize. I’ll use hand cream, or preferably something greasy like olive oil. It will soak into your skin and will decrease the amount of acetone that absorbs into your pores and cuticles. I thought of this because of something a lifeguard told me once. She said that the chlorine in the pool won’t soak into your hair follicles if you get your hair wet before you jump in the pool. Well, this is the same concept… except with oil and acetone. Give it a try!
Acetone dish: If you’re going to do nail art using nail polish you’ll need to clean your brushes often. Polish dries and gunks up on the bristles rather quickly, so you’ll want a nice little glass dish to keep some acetone in for a quick dunkaroo in between painting fingers. Some people pour pure acetone into little glass dishes, or even a shotglass would work. Since I try to preserve my acetone and make it last as long as possible, I found that a little glass jar with a lid works well for me. I pour a little bit of acetone into the jar (maybe a tablespoon’s worth). And after I’m done using it, I screw the lid on and save it for next time. Once it mostly evaporates or gets too dirty from dark polishes, I simply wipe it out with a paper towel or cotton ball and it cleans up perfectly. The glass jar I use was from my Garnier brand Gel Moisturizer. It’s the perfect little jar! Besides, it’s good to reduce, re-use, recycle! Here’s a shot of how easy it is to wipe clean-
I hope you found something helpful in here. Please leave a comment if you have any tips you want to share too. Stay crafty and see you next time!