TRIED AND TESTED: The viral 'exploding' nail polish remover that looks too good to be true.



Mamamia’s Tried and Tested series drops every Monday and is your weekly review of the latest to hit our desks in beauty, health and wellness. You won’t find any #sponsored content here, just honest, relatable and independent advice. This week, Senior Lifestyle Writer Amy Clark road tested a viral ‘exploding’ nail polish remover gel.

I was lying in bed in my holey, stained pyjamas doing absolutely nothing at all when I found it on my Facebook feed.

A pokey, salesy video advertising a nail polish remover gel that’s meant to ‘explode’ your nail polish off.

As soon as I saw the freaky footage of a woman’s nail polish literally bursting and being eaten away by this ‘miracle product’, I knew I had to try it. $40-something Aussie dollars and around 34 days later, a little bottle of VanishPolish™ arrived at my desk, battered from its long journey.

Here’s a snippet of what the VanishPolish gel looks like in real life (hint: nothing like on social media). Post continues after video.

Video by MMC

But let’s backtrack a bit. A… nail polish remover gel that… explodes your nail polish off?


Sure, that’s what VanishPolish promises to do, but like many viral internet products, is it too good to be true? I put my nails on the line to find out.

What is VanishPolish and how do you use it?

VanishPolish™ is an acetone-free gel that reckons it can break down nail polish, gel and powder manicures in 30 seconds.

The brand’s website says the product contains ‘natural resin, cellulose and deionized water’ (???) and is formulated to melt nail polish and gel top coats without harming your real nails underneath.

Here are some of VanishPolish’s other claims:

  • Fast, safe, gentle salon quality gel nail removal solution.
  • Rapidly breaks down polish upon application in around 30 seconds.
  • Leaves nail surface smooth, squeaky clean and damage-free.

That’s all great, but what REALLY sucked me in was the video ad showing a person’s nail polish literally bursting and exploding before being peeled off, leaving nothing behind.

THIS is what I was promised. Image: Supplied.

As for how to use VanishPolish, the product's instructions say to use a file to polish your top coat, then apply the removal gel to the nail – without getting product on the surrounding skin. Doesn't sound hazardous at all, right?

Next, you're to wait one to two minutes until the nail polish has 'completely burst' before pushing the residual polish away to reveal completely spotless nails.

But when I tried using it myself, well, let's just say it didn't quite look like what the video promised. It looked nothing like the video. At all.

VanishPolish review.

First thing's first – my little bottle of miracle nail polish remover gel didn't arrive in the greatest condition.

When I unscrewed the lid, the nail polish brush was covered in solidified gel that made it hard to use. Not the best. The product has a pretty strong paint stripper smell, too. Also not the best.

But they say never to judge a book by its cover, so I persevered.

Applying the polish remover wasn't what I expected. It really is a gel consistency, which makes it tricky to paint on. Once on my nails, I did see my polish begin to bubble, but it wasn't like the crazy bursting effect in the video.

After about a minute, I used a popsicle stick and tissue to remove the polish. Again, nothing like the video. Check out my before and after photos below.


*Full disclosure, I forced my colleague Jess to try it too so I could take photos of her nails because they're far more photogenic than mine. Sorry, Jess.

Here's my little bottle of VanishPolish. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Why is the brush so.... gluggy? Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Here's the lovely Jess Wang's nails before attacking them with VanishPolish. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
We have bubbling, but not the exploding I was expecting. Hmmm. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Yep, she's still bubbling. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
BUBBLES. But where's my explosion? Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Even more disappointing than the lack of explosion was the removal process. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Why so... gooey? Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
The end result. So fun. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.

Where I'd expected my polish to come off in little, flaky bits, it instead slid off in a gooey mess I had to wipe off with a tissue. Then there's the part where my nails were still stained red, meaning I had to go in with a traditional acetone nail polish remover anyway.

Oh, and you should know your cuticles will tingle for a while afterwards. That might have something to do with the bit when they warned about the gel coming into contact with your skin. Yeah.

Overall, this is just one woman's story about what happened when she removed regular ole nail polish with VanishPolish. I can't speak to the results on shellac and SNS manicures.

What I can say is, though, is it was... an experience.

One I probably wouldn't suggest you try unless you've got a burning desire to blow $45 on a tiny bottle of disappointment.

Have you tried the VanishPolish nail polish remover gel? Tell us what you thought below!

Mamamia's Tried and Tested series drops every Monday. Want us to trial and review a product you've seen everywhere? Easy, just send an email to 

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