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How to Apply Acquarella Water Based Nail Polish

Acquarella Water Color Nail Polish is a water-based non-toxic nail polish. It is a non-peel-off formula meant for extended wear by grown-ups.

In order to achieve great results, it is important to carefully follow the instructions.

Water-based nail polishes work differently than solvent-based nail polishes and may take more prep and curing time than traditional nail polish. Water-based nail polishes contain water as the primary ingredient, in place of harsher chemical solvents. Acrylic polymer emulsion is suspended in the water. As the water evaporates and soaks into your nails, the particles touch each other and form a hard film which is no longer soluble in water.

The best time to apply the polish or conditioner is right before bed in the evening, as this will allow enough time for the polish to cure while you sleep (6+ hours).

Conditioning Your Nails

If you have recently worn traditional solvent-based nail polish or oil-based hand moisturizers, you will need to proceed painting your nails with a conditioning period.

Solvent-based nail polishes and removers dry out your nails and leave behind residue. In order for water-based nail polish to properly bond to your nails it requires a healthy nail surface free of oils and emollients that could interfere with the polish adhering. You can restore moisture to your nails using Acquarella Conditioner. The conditioning period lasts for four to five days. This may seem like extra work, but it is well worth the effort, since it will greatly lengthen the time that polish stays on your nails.

What you will need:

  • Acquarella Conditioner (looks like clear nail polish once applied)
  • A three way nail buffer and two way ultra buffer for additional shine
  • Acquarella Remover
  • Cotton rounds


Day 1

  1. Take off any solvent-based nail polish with conventional nail polish remover.
  2. Wash hands and nails with soap and warm water.
  3. Buff nails to create a smooth clean nail surface. First use the three way buffer and then the Acquarella two way ultra buffer for intense gloss.  If you need clarification on how to buff nails, please read about buffing nails.
  4. Apply Acquarella Remover to a cotton round and swab it across your nails to remove any debris and prepare nails.
  5. Rinse nails with clean water and dry thoroughly.
  6. Apply two thin coats of Acquarella Conditioner and allow it to dry.

Days 2-5

  1. Remove Acquarella Conditioner using Acquarella Remover and cotton rounds. It helps to moisten your nails with the remover and let it soak in for about a minute before scrubbing off the conditioner. (If you are having difficulty removing the conditioner, see the tips about removing nail polish below.)
  2. Rinse nails with clean water and dry thoroughly.
  3. Apply two thin coats of Acquarella Conditioner and allow it to dry.
  4. Repeat each day.

Applying Acquarella Water Color Nail Polish

After completing the conditioning process your nails are now hydrated and ready to apply the nail polish!

What you will need:

  • Nail clippers
  • Nail file
  • Cuticle pusher
  • Acquarella Water Color Nail Polish in your selected color
  • A three way nail buffer and two way ultra buffer for additional shine
  • Acquarella Remover
  • Cotton rounds
  • Toothpicks or Q-tips
  • Acquarella Moisturizer or aloe vera gel


  1. Remove existing Acquarella conditioner or nail polish with Acquarella Remover. Soak a cotton round in remover and moisten your nails with it, letting it soak in for about a minute. Moisten another cotton round with remover and hold it against your nail for a few seconds, then swipe it across the nail to remove conditioner or polish.
  2. Cut nails to desired length and file nails into desired shape.
  3. Push cuticles gently back using a cuticle pusher.
  4. (If you already buffed your nails during the conditioning period, you can skip buffing.) Buff nails with a three way nail buffer to create a clean smooth surface. Buff nails with Acquarella two way ultra buffer for intense shine and better adhesion of the polish.
  5. Swab nails with Acquarella Remover to remove debris and prepare nails.
  6. Rinse nails with clean water and dry thoroughly.
  7. Apply two thin coats of Acquarella Nail Polish. Tip: As you remove the brush from the bottle, wipe excess polish off the brush. Water-based polish is much thinner consistency than traditional polish, and a little goes a long way.
  8. Remove excess polish from your skin with a toothpick or Q-tip dipped in water. Acquarella polish can be removed with just water up to one minute after application.
  9. Allow polish to dry for about 10-15 minutes.
  10. Apply Acquarella Moisturizer or aloe vera gel to the skin around your nails and gently rub it in. (Avoid oil-based moisturizers.)
  11. Avoid getting your nails wet for 6+ hours after application to allow the polish time to fully cure.

If you are already wearing water-based nail polish and want to change the color or do a fresh manicure, you only need to thoroughly buff your nails once per month. Buffing your nails too often can leave them thin and more likely to break. See buffing nails. If you want to touch up the shine on your nails or dried polish, you can use the two way ultra buffer.

Removing Acquarella Nail Polish

The first time you wear the polish only leave it on your nails for a week, to make it easier to remove. Water-based nail polish does take longer to remove than traditional nail polish, but at least you do not have to breath the strong fumes of traditional nail polish remover.

What you will need:

  • Acquarella Remover
  • Cotton rounds


The best time to remove Acquarella nail polish or conditioner is right after a shower or bath.

  1. Moisten a cotton round with Acquarella Remover.
  2. Swipe the remover onto nails and let it soak in for about a minute.
  3. Hold the cotton round in place on the first nail for a few seconds before wiping off some of the nail polish. Wipe one nail for a bit, then the next, and the next. Keep alternating nails until all the polish is removed. Use enough remover that it works into a bubbly froth.
  4. Thoroughly rinse nails in clean water.

Tips for Success with Acquarella Nail Polish

  • Although the conditioner is not technically a base or top coat, it can be used as such. Apply one thin coat of conditioner and allow it to dry. Then apply two thin coats of nail polish and allow them to dry. Finish with one thin coat of conditioner.
  • In case you need to re-paint a nail, you can wash off the polish within one minute from application with regular tap water.
  • The polish may temporarily loose its shine when your nails get wet from swimming or bathing, but the shine will return once the polish dries. You can also touch up the shine on dry polish with the smoothest side of a nail buffer.
  • Do not use lotions or oils before applying nail polish. It is okay to use Acquarella Moisturizer both before and after a manicure or pedicure. It is also okay to moisturize your cuticles and nails with jojoba oil before a manicure, since it is technically a wax and not an oil.
  • If your nail polish starts to thicken in the bottle over time, add a single drop of distilled water and shake the bottle.
  • Water-based nail polish may separate more than solvent-based polish. Just remember to shake your bottles of nail polish every few weeks. I also like to vigorously shake the bottle the day before I plan to use the polish, to allow the bubbles to disappear before use. The polish has a shelf life of at least 18 months.
  • If you get a chip on one nail, you can touch up the chipped area and then buff it once dry.
  • When applying polish, wipe excess polish off both sides of the brush back into the bottle. Water-based polishes have a much thinner consistency than solvent-based polishes and if you apply too much it will run right off your nail.

Ingredients in Acquarella Nail Care Products

Conditioner: water, styrene acrylates & acrylate copolymers

Nail Polish: water, styrene acrylates, acrylate copolymers, non toxic colorants, may contain: mica

Nail Polish Remover: water, tall oil fatty acids & alcohols (plant based), nonionic surfactant, organic buffer

Moisturizer: water, aloe vera, sodium PCA, green tea, vitamin C

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