Hey There Polished People!
Recently I got the chance to try out Nail Mates, a product that promises “Quick and easy removal of nail treatments and polishes.” Since I use a lot of glitter polishes, and recently picked up a few REALLY gorgeous large dot (circle glitter) indie glitter polishes, I thought this could potentially be a really great product. We all know about the foil method to remove polish, right? You put your saturated cotton balls on your nails, then wrap them up with foil, let them sit, sometimes dripping acetone and wait for a while looking like Edward Scissor-Hands after he got his hands stuck in the garbage disposal. When you remove the foil and cotton balls, the glitter comes off easy peazy. I love that method, however there are a few problems- 1. Dripping acetone is not only bad for your skin, but also bad for your table’s finish. Just ask my family. I’m known as the table killer. 2. I tend to wrap too much of my finger to get it to stay on well and the acetone makes my skin burn after a little while. And 3. Foil doesn’t stay all that snug on my fingers no matter what I do, so I still have to be careful.
Nail Mates promises no dripping because of their special pad, promises to stay on so you can actually go about a little business while you’re soaking your polish off, and claims to work better than foil because it allows less evaporation with the rubber caps. The caps and pads were specially designed for removing gel polish, which I would like to try in the future, but for now I just tried it with a big chunky indie glitter (Candy Lacquer Unicorn Bubbles) and a semi chunky China Glaze glitter (Your Present Required).
How Did They Work?
I was really pleased with these! Upon my first use with the indie glitter, after I removed the pad and cap the polish was gone but the glitter stayed. I tried rubbing it off with the pad, but the pad was too soft and the glitter just tore it up.
The next time I tried soaking my nails a bit longer (5 minutes? I’m not really sure, you’ll have to play around with it depending on your polish) and then instead of fighting with the soft pad, I just grabbed a cotton ball and used that to slide the glitter off of my nail and it worked like a charm. With the China Glaze glitter, the pad mostly held up, only getting damaged a little. The pad is definitely the perfect material to hold a good amount of acetone without letting it drip. Honestly I never had one single drip of acetone. Also, using the little caps instead of foil was SO MUCH EASIER. No awkwardly wrapping my fingers up with my foil-wrapped opposite hand. You just put the acetone on the rounded end of the pad, slide it into the cap and then slide the cap onto your finger. It’s a cinch! And the best part- no more burning of acetone on my skin as the pad really does just keep the acetone on your nail. Overall I was just really impressed with these. My husband was laughing at me with my little pink caps on, but c’mon… Like foil looks so stylish! 😉 Also, just as important as how well I liked the product, when I contacted the company about the pads not standing up to the extra large glitter, the company rep was super polite, helpful and respectful. She explained some r&d they did to find the just-right foam for the caps and said that originally the caps/pads were for gel and shellac but then they tested them on some glitter and they worked well without damaging the pads. Finer glitter would definitely not be a problem, but the bigger glitter just doesn’t come off without a little tugging and the pads are just too soft for that. Good thing it’s easily remedied by using one cotton ball on all 10 nails. 🙂
Yes, Please! Or No, Thank You
I wasn’t totally convinced that I would like these when I first saw them, but after using them I say “Yes, Please!” and can hardly wait to try my first gel polish and use these for removal. The pad works exactly as it claims- holds plenty of acetone to “soak” the nail, and never drips. The caps are much easier to deal with than strips of foil, and they’re smaller and more sleek than foil so you can more easily use your hands while soaking off your polish.
You can find Nail Mates on their website here for $15 for a total of 40 pads and 10 caps with free shipping. They also sell replacement pads, but the pads are reusable so you won’t need new pads for a long time. $15 is a little expensive when the alternative (foil) is dirt cheap, but they are REALLY nice to have. And actually considering that you get 40 reusable pads (which I think a conservative estimate would be that they last 3-4 manicures each) and the caps are reusable forever (they’re a nice, thick material) that’s a LOT of manicures! I gathered a little info and other glitter/gel removal pad/pocket type products that I’ve heard described as “finger condoms” by several people (gotta stay safe when getting some a[ss]cetone! Did I really just say that?), sell for between 7-11 bucks depending on where you look (Sally, Amazon, etc) and those products are in packs of 20, so the price being $15 is probably quite a bargain compared to those other products that I guarantee don’t last as long as these. Anyway, I like em. I have already stuck them in my little nail implement makeup bag, and tossed my 100-year-old wrinkly as “tan mom” in 30 years (remember her- lookin like a sun-dried turd on Dateline? Ew.) foil pieces in favor of these. I’m not going back!! 🙂
Do you have the same problems as I do with foil? Are you looking for an easier alternative? Let me know what you think of this new nail product in the comments below. And a big thanks to Chris from Nail Savers and Nail Mates for sending me the product to try, and also for fielding my multiple emails and handful of questions, suggestions, etc. Thank you all for reading and commenting and till next time- Happy Polishing!!
This post was edited on 4-16-14 to include more pricing info and to change the pronouns to reflect that Chris from NailMates is a lady Chris, not a man Chris, cuz clearly I’m a sexist 😉