First, unroll your cotton ball. If you kind of pull it apart, you'll find an end and you can pull it out into one long strip. Awesome, huh?
Tear off very small pieces from this strip, just big enough to cover each nail. This is what makes one cotton ball last forever. Pour your nail polish remover (mine has gelatin to strengthen nails) into the cap, and dip just the edge of a piece of cotton into it. The liquid will climb up the cotton, so don't dunk it! Plaster the cotton piece down on your nail, covering the whole thing.
Now, if you have gnarly cuticles like me, soak your hands in warm water to loosen them up, and gently push them back with a cuticle stick. I got mine with a nail buffer from +Walgreens for $3.
Now make sure your hands are dry and buff your nails if you like. I have some pretty crazy violin-bridge ridges in my nails, and I can't quite get rid of them in one go, but I like to shine them up with a buffer.
How do you take care of your nails? Will you try this method to save cotton balls?