Thursday, March 12, 2015

Review: Nail-Aid NO-RUB Power Gel Acetone Remover for Glitter Nail Polish, Nail Art and Stubborn Dark Polish

You all know I'm a sucker for gimmicks. So when some of you mentioned to me that there was a new "no-rub" remover designed to remove glitter polishes, well, you know I had to find it! I picked up the new Nail-Aid No-Rub Power Gels at Walmart about two weeks ago (as far as I know, they're only available at Walmart stores for $3.88, and via the No-Rub website for $7) and I've since tried both formulas several times, with a variety of different polish combinations.

So do they work? Let's see...

NEW Nail-Aid NO-RUB 1st Acetone Power Gel
Two formulas: Stubborn Dark Polish and Glitter & Nail Art
(retail: $3.88 each at Walmart stores; $7 each via the No-Rub site; 4.6 oz each)

Nail-Aid NO-RUB 1st Acetone Power Gel for Glitter & Nail Art


Made in USA


Nail-Aid NO-RUB 1st Acetone Power Gel for Stubborn Dark Polish


Made in USA


Comparison of ingredients:

PINK JAR: Acetone, Water, Carbomer, PEG-15 Cocamine, Linoleic Acid, Dimethicone, Red 33

YELLOW JAR: Acetone, Water, Carbomer, PEG-15 Cocamine, Linoleic Acid, Dimethicone

As you can see, the only difference in the listed ingredients is the addition of dye to the pink jar formula. I obviously don't know if the proportions are different from formula to formula, but I CAN tell you that both formulas seem to work exactly the same for me.

Here's a step-by-step tutorial for the yellow jar formula (for dark nail polish):


Polishes used for this example: 

Two coats Sinful Colors Mesmerize (dark purple creme)
One coat NYC Grand Central Station (clear top coat)



When you dip your finger into the pot, the texture of the gel is very much like aloe vera gel. It's thick, but also goopy and prone to drip, so you must be careful to keep your fingers away from furniture, etc. while using this product. 

Per the instructions, you must let this product sit on your nails for 45 seconds.


Then, you "press a paper towel over your nail and just wipe off." The photo above is what my nail looked like immediately after one wipe with my paper towel. As you can see, this removed 99% of my polish in just that one wipe, but it did not remove the last traces of polish from the harder-to-reach sides of my nail bed. I had to go back over those areas with my paper towel to remove those last little traces.

Also, you can see that this product does leave a little bit of dried gel behind (see the little white spot on my nail), but you will be washing your hands after use (with soap and water as directed), so that will come right off. 

Here's a step-by-step tutorial for the pink jar formula (for glitter and nail art):


Polishes used for this example: 

Two coats Sinful Colors Mesmerize (dark purple creme)
One coat Nyx Girls Buzz Worthy (micro-glitter in a clear base)
One coat Sinful Colors Twilight Twinkles (gold metallic shards and holographic bar glitter in a clear base)
Two coats NYC Grand Central Station (clear top coat)

NOTE: I wanted to illustrate to you how this works using the same amount of coats that I would use in a typical glitter mani. I often apply two coats of a base color, two different toppers, plus at least one coat of top coat (usually two), so I did that for this tutorial.




After dipping...


For the pink jar (glitter and nail art removal), you are instructed to leave the product on your nails for four minutes. Then you "press a paper towel over your nail and just wipe off." The photo above was taken just seconds after I pressed and wiped with my paper towel. As you can see, it did remove the majority of my manicure, but I did have some residual glitter and some traces of polish in the harder-to-reach areas on the sides of my nail bed. I had to go back over these areas with the paper towel, and that did help. But I did have to use my nail to scrape the remaining glitter off--it did not come off with the paper towel.

I have tried this product with several different types of glitter polishes, and I have encountered varying degrees of residue after removal. Bottom line, there is always a bit of glitter residue left behind for me. Sometimes there's a bit more than what you see above, while at other times, there's only one or two pieces of glitter remaining. It really seems to depend on the type of glitter polishes you use, and the other polishes you're wearing with them.

I could probably write a short novel about my experiences with these two products, but since this post is already so long, I'll condense into some bullet points:

  • This product is COLD. I mean, it feels very, very cold on my fingers, to the point of being painful. I thought I was the only one who felt this coldness, but I have since heard from some of you on Instagram who also experienced this extremely cold feeling while waiting the four minutes before removal. I have thin nails, so that MAY have something to do with it. But I honestly can barely get through the four minute waiting period for glitter removal because it just feels so cold on my fingers, to the point of being painful. Your results may vary, of course, and I have seen some reviewers who haven't mentioned this at all, so it could just be something that only certain people experience. I can get through the 45 seconds required for dark polish removal just fine, but anything longer than that and I start to feel painful coldness.

  • Do NOT--I repeat--do NOT put this jar up to your nose to sniff it. I made the mistake of doing this so that I could describe the scent to you, and the fumes were so strong that I could feel a burning sensation on the back of my throat after I inhaled (and I'm guessing I killed some brain cells as well!). This stuff contains a lot of acetone, so please learn from me and do not attempt to smell it. I assure you, you'll be able to smell it once you start using it. And it smells exactly like pure acetone.

  • As I mentioned above, this product can be messy. When you quickly dip your fingers in and out of the tub, a lot of gel adheres to your fingers, so you can easily drip blobs of gel onto anything in the immediate area while you're waiting for removal. You really have to be careful and position your hands over a paper towel, paper plate or anything that can protect your furniture, carpet, etc. while you're waiting for this product to do its magic.

  • I've tried these removers in various combinations of polish, and I honestly cannot distinguish any difference between the two formulas (see ingredient comparison above). They seem very, very similar to me in terms of performance. The key here is the amount of time you wait before removal. For NON-glitter polishes, I find that 45 seconds to 1 minute does the trick just fine. But just FYI, I always have little traces of remaining polish on the sides of my nail beds that I have to go back in and remove with my paper towel. For glitter polishes, you absolutely have to wait the recommended four minutes before removal, or it's just not going to happen. Even after four minutes, I have consistently found lingering bits of glitter on my nails, so this product does not remove everything (for me at least) when it comes to glitter manicures.

  • Speaking of paper towels, do NOT vary from the instructions here. Use a paper towel for removal. Do NOT use a cotton ball or cotton pad. Why, you ask? The cotton will shred and meld onto your finger and create a giant, sticky mess. Trust me on that one. Use a paper towel for removal or don't use this product at all. You've been warned.

  • Does the Nail-Aid No Rub Power Gel work for removing gel polishes and nail glue? I have not personally tried this on either product, BUT, I have heard from several of you that it is quite effective at removing both gel polishes and nail glue. So that's definitely something to consider if you use either one of those products. 

  • Do I like this better than traditional polish removal, the Target Up & Up or the Foil Method? I do not like the cold, painful feeling of keeping this product on my fingers for over a minute (you need at least four minutes for glitter polishes), so for glitter removal, I still prefer the Foil Method or the Target Up & Up (plus, I find the Foil Method to be more effective in terms of removing every last trace of glitter polish with very minimal effort). But I do like the Nail-Aid No Rub Power Gel for removing dark, non-glitter polishes, because it's quicker than all of the other methods, and dark colors don't transfer to my skin during removal. 

FINAL VERDICT: Will this become a new staple in my polish removal arsenal? I'm not sure. I do like how quickly and easily it removes my non-glitter polishes, so I can see myself repurchasing specifically for that purpose. But this product feels so cold on my fingers that leaving it on for over one minute (to remove glitter polishes) is too uncomfortable for me personally. So even though I like how this product removes MOST of my glitter manicures (not all), it's just not worth it for me in that capacity. But again, your results may vary, and if you do not like the Target Up & Up, the Foil Method or peel-off base coats for removing glitter manicures, this could possibly be a nice alternative to at least remove the bulk of your glitter manicure, if you don't mind going back in afterward to remove any lingering traces of polish. I can definitely confirm that it's a great way to at least expedite the process of removing glitter manicures (if the coldness doesn't affect you like it does me), but I don't think it's a miracle product that removes absolutely everything, all in one shot.

I hope this review helps give you a better idea of what these new products have to offer, and I hope this helps you to determine if this might be a good fit for you and your polish removal needs. If you already own either one of these formulas, I would absolutely LOVE to hear about your experiences.

The products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.
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39 comments

  1. Well this certainly is interesting. I've never seen or heard about this product. I might try it for dark polish removal but probably not for glitter. I agree that four minutes seems too long for this to work. I don't have that kind of patience. I do alright with the jar that you dip your finger in with the plastic teeth. Also thanks for the warning about the cotton. I know I would go against the directions and use cotton anyway so I'm glad you mentioned the importance of using a paper towel. Thanks for the great review!

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    Replies
    1. You're so welcome, Carol. And yeah, the Target Up & Up still rocks my world! :)

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  2. Thanks for the review, G. I don't think I will add this to my arsenal. Sounds like it is not better than the foil method for me. I also do not like the one finger at a time part. More time consuming for me.

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    Replies
    1. You're so welcome, Niki. And yeah, I still love the foil method for difficult glitters--it's so effective! :)

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  3. Hmmm. I usually use this: http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/kiss-all-or-one-artificial-nail-remover/ID=prod1509159-product which has the benefit of doing all the nails on one hand at the same time. Takes off glitter just as fast, or faster. No cold sensation, if anything your fingers feel very slightly warm. I do find I need to use the thumb hole on the fingers to get the last bits off.. and I'm guilty of occasionally cheating and getting 99% of the glitter off and taking a file (extremely lightly) to knock the rest off. Does a really good job at getting in the nail grooves, etc. and hasn't bothered my nails or skin at all. Lasts for several polish changes depending on how much dark color you use, glitter just sinks to the bottom.

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    Replies
    1. Interesting! Thanks for the good feedback! :)

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  4. I might try this for dark nails! About the target up and up...is it a good remover? I've never tried it before but am curious.

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    Replies
    1. I linked to my review of the Up & Up in this post, if you'd like to see my thoughts about it (with a tutorial). Hope that helps!

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    2. I'm sold. Totally looking for that tomorrow!

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  5. I've experienced the cold feeling with just regular plain acetone. It is so uncomfortable!

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    1. Right? But something about this gel seems to intensify it and make it even colder for me. Such a bummer! :(

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    2. Thank you, Tanya! So glad I'm not alone!

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  6. Hey G did you know hard candy had a new setting spray? It's call fast and fabulous. I paid $6 for 2.2 oz they also have pallets in a tin similar to the too faced natural and smokey eye pallets

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    Replies
    1. Yes, thank you! I'm working on a post about the new HC stuff right now, actually! :)

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  7. I thought I was the only person to have the frozen finger feeling when removing my polish. Glad to know that others have experienced the same thing.

    For now, I think I'll pass on this product. The NYC Color Strip Me Off base coat is my current obsession. I absolutely love it.

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  8. What if you just put the gel on the nail? Like with a cotton swab?

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  9. I had the same results, except I had to leave it on maybe 7 minutes (Maybe because it's cold here in MI?). I didn't enjoy the weird slimy feeling when I washed to product off of my hands.

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  10. I've never tried the up&up target acetone, but have uses (& like!) The foil method. But is so messy! The cut & the twist & all that, but I really liked this gel thing. I didn't feel the cold or that strong a smell, though.

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  11. Also, I've been experimenting with the NYC peel off base coat & I like it.

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  12. I loveeee this stuff! if you don't like to dip your finger in and get it on your skin you can dip a q-tip into the gel and just pat it on your nails and it works great. Its funny I have not experienced any of the coldness that you speak of but I do highly recommend this product . just my opinion.

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  13. Great review, G! I had no idea a product like this was even on the market. I might give the Dark Polish gel a try, but forego the glitter removal gel. I like the Target up & up (w/ the scrubbies inside the jar) a lot, and don't have problems using it.

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  14. Like several of you I like to use a peel-off base coat for glitter (school glue or it's fancier bottled-with-built-in-brush cousin NYC Strip Me Off). This way I can use a non-acetone remover as often as possible. Zoya Remove + is still my favorite remover but since it can be so pricey I reserve it for prepping my nail bed with a cotton swab after I have used a gentler remover.

    I have tried foam pockets on sale at Sally Beauty (like toaster oven cozies for your finger tips), that you fill with remover then let sit on your nails but they are just as tedious and a little messier than the foil method so I don't recommend them.

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  15. Thanks. After this I will just say no to using it. Stick with peel off or acetone.

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  16. Since the price is fairly reasonable, I just may try it. I'm not going to run out and buy it though. It will be more like if I see it I will pick it up! Thank you G for the thorough review!

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  17. Interesting... The cold and the stink, though, make it less appealing. I'm intrigued, but the foil method is solid, albeit clunky, and I'm getting better with the glue base for glitters -- I found that a mix of mostly Elmer's glue (maybe 75 percent to 25 percent) and water works well as a base. Then, wash a couple dishes or take a shower, and the water seems to soften up the base enough to make peeling glitters relatively easy.

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  18. Sorry I may be behind a little. But what's the foil method?? I def do not want that gel stuff. I would have the cold feeling I'm sure. I sensitive to a lot things. And four min for a nail forget it. Way too long for me.

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    1. I link to a foil method tutorial in this post (the link is in my Final Verdict). :)

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  19. I use those silicone finger covers you can get in the office supply section instead of foil. I bought mine at walmart for 3 something, there was 10 in the pack. I can't find them online to leave a link though

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    Replies
    1. I have been using them for years, my favorite way to remove glitter and gels!

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  20. I was going to try it, but I couldn't find it at Walmart, and I do love my Target Up & Up. So I don't feel the "need" to get it right away. :)
    Thanks for the review.

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  21. I hate this product. The cold is so painful and I only used the 45 second one. It didn't remove my polish well and was so sticky my fingers kept sticking together. Then when I went to wash it off I had to scrub forever to get it off even with the soap. I am throwing this away. It isn't worth it. Thank you for this review so I didn't feel alone with the cold part.

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  22. I am so glad that I waited for your review. I remember when you first posted on In stag ram and wanted to get one right away. But I think I'll pass. The idea of it feeling cold makes me cautious that it might be too harmful for me as well for my nails. I am afraid I'll continue avoiding glitter polishes altogether until someone comes out with a better product.

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  23. I have yet to find anything that would replace my tried and true method of cut-up pantiliners and acetone for hardcore glitter. Even just using pantiliners and regular nail polish remover is fine if I'm not in a hurry, it just takes longer. But I could see the dark nail polish one being useful in a pinch....four minutes for the glitter one seems too long especially if you consider using the foil method takes less and takes about the same amount off

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  24. What about using this on acrylic nails anyone know? Or will all the acetone just eat them?

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  25. Lately I've been using Zoya's Get Even base coat to allow me to remove glitter polish easily. I apply 2 coats of Grt Even as my base coat and the polish my nails the usual way. When I'm ready to remove the polish I wash my hands really well or remove the polish after my shower, and then I use an orange stick to lift the edge of the polish. It the peels right off without leaving very little behind. I have found that my polish will start popping off after 6 or 7 days, even if I'm not ready for it to. I've heard that what I'm describing with Zoya's Get Even is what happens with the glue base coat method except the polish stays on much longer. If you decide to try Zoya'sGet Even for easy removal you need at least 2 thin coats. Using just one coat of Get Even will smooth out your nails but you'll need 2 coats for the pop off removal. FYI: Zoya.com has a promo right now. 5 mini bottles of their newest spring line, plus free shipping for $20 with the promo code MINI5. If you'd like to try the new satin polishes you can get 3 mini bottles plus a free lip polish and free shipping for $20 with promo code MINI3.

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  26. I will be trying it in the next couple days. It seems worth it to me. I hate the foil method.

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  27. Do you perhaps know where I can buy it? I'm from the Netherlands. On the website it can only be shipped to Canada and The United States. I found it on amazon but it's pricy there

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