We try it!

We Try It: Up & Up Nail Polish Remover Pads

A few weeks ago I found myself at Target with a coupon for any of their Up & Up store brand nail polish removers. Since I had a new bottle of acetone at home already, I decided to give their nail polish remover pads a try. Verdict: I think I’m in love!

Box of Up & Up Nail Polish Remover Pads from TargetThe boxes of ten individually wrapped pads sell for $2.99 and come in regular and acetone-free versions (I only tried the regular). The felt pads are small, maybe 2″x3″, and are presoaked in remover. Even though I was wearing 2-3 coats of polish plus base and topcoat, I only had to massage each nail for 3-4 seconds to remove all of the polish. I was initially skeptical of their claim that each pad could really clean all ten fingernails, but both times I’ve used one I was able to totally clean both hands with just one side of the pad. If you wanted to change your fingernail and toenail polish at the same time, there’s a good chance you could manage all 20 nails with one pad.

Of course, the true test of any nail polish remover is glitter, and that’s where these pads unfortunately failed miserably. The felt snagged on the glitter much more than my usual cotton balls do, and I gave up even trying to finish after only two nails. I wasn’t wearing topcoat over the glitter since I’d kinda hated it and knew I was going to take it off almost immediately, so it’s possible that might have prevented some of the snags. I also probably could have been a little more patient about letting the remover soak into the polish before rubbing, but since the regular polish came off with almost no effort, I expected the same on the glitter. Oh, well.

I don’t think these pads will totally replace regular removers for me, especially since I freaking love glitter, but I will absolutely keep them around the house. I’m a klutz, and these remove the possibility of my spilling acetone all over the place and are perfect for travel. At 30¢ per pad (less with a coupon, which are frequently available to print at home), they definitely cost more per use than regular acetone, but if you aren’t changing polish all that frequently, it’s absolutely worth it for ease of use. The only other problem is that they aren’t sold online, and it’s hard to walk out of their nail polish aisle without more than you planned on buying!

By [E] Hillary

Hillary is a giant nerd and former Mathlete. She once read large swaths of "Why Evolution is True" and a geology book aloud to her infant daughter, in the hopes of a) instilling a love of science in her from a very young age and b) boring her to sleep. After escaping the wilds of Waco, Texas and spending the next decade in NYC, she currently lives in upstate New York, where she misses being able to get decent pizza and Chinese takeout delivered to her house. She lost on Jeopardy.

4 replies on “We Try It: Up & Up Nail Polish Remover Pads”

On the glitter front- if you do two coats of Sally Hansen Hard as Nails in clear under the glitter, you can pick it off pretty easily. Yes, I know, picking nail polish is bad, but it is a horrible habit of mine. I love glitter polish, but getting it off sucks sweaty balls, so I go the pick off root and it works like a charm.

I haven’t tried this brand, but since I discovered remover pads in the UK a few years ago, I’ve always kept a stash around. If I’m doing a full on polish change, I just get out the regular remover (especially if, like you noted, glitter). But since I have a habit of chewing my polish off when it start to chip, I keep pads in my desk at work. If it chips and I want to chew, I just swipe it off with a minimum of smell (I use the E.L.F. ones that are lemon scented and cheap).

The ELF ones are by far the best – and the cheapest, at a dollar for 18 pads. I like them because they don’t REEK of nail polish remover, so I can whip them out in my office for a touch up without smelling up the place. Also, they seem drier than the other polish pads, yet get polish off better, somehow. ELF FTW.

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