Hands with manicured nails holding a cup with knitted cover

Taking off a French manicure can be more difficult than you think. What is the purpose of taking off your nail polish if you leave a layer of residue behind or have traces of polish in the crevices of your fingernails? Even more annoying is when you have cotton strings embedded in your polish and stuck everywhere. French manicures are also a little more difficult to remove because of all the extra layers at the tip.

Buy all of the supplies to make the removal process easy and thorough, including a good quality acetone nail polish remover, small wooden cuticle pusher, a bottle of moisturizing lotion, and a manicure table or thin plastic surface. Buy cotton rounds instead of cotton balls.

Pick a location in your house that is most comfortable to remove a French manicure, such as a clean table. Once you have your location, set the manicure table or plastic plate down over the surface for protection. Set up all of your nail polish removal tools in a way that is most convenient for you, and put on your face mask.

Put a small trash can nearby for discarding cotton balls or rounds as you remove your French manicure and keep a small damp hand towel nearby to wipe up spills and clean your hands.

Soak each cotton round halfway with the nail polish remover. Rub the French manicure polish off in a circular motion as this helps get even the most stubborn polish off quickly. Apply extra pressure to the tip as there are usually two or three layers of polish there. After each nail is finished, take out the wooden cuticle pusher and cover it with a small piece of cotton dipped in the acetone nail polish remover. Use this cuticle pusher to remove hard-to-reach nail polish in the corners and cuticles of the nail.

Ensure that the nail polish is completely removed. Grab the damp hand towel and wipe down each fingernail thoroughly. Squeeze out some moisturizing lotion the size of a dime in your palm and use one fingertip to rub the lotion on the nail and cuticles.

Once you are finished removing a French manicure, clean up any leftover spills and traces of nail polish with the damp towel. Put everything back in its proper place.


  • Don't go cheap on supplies; get the best. Use cotton rounds instead of cotton balls when possible. Moisturize your nails and cuticles. Place a plastic surface over your lap or the area where you will be removing nail polish to protect from damage. Add lotion to your cuticle and nail after removing a French manicure; this will help make it easier for you to go forward with a new manicure.