Credit: paintboxnails/Instagram

Paintbox is New York City’s premiere provider of cool-girl nail art—they pump out chic graphic manis faster than you can say “negative space.” So, whenever I visit, I proudly pick a design from their seasonal nail art “menu” and mentally prepare myself for compliments for weeks to come. (Since the designs are so intricate, Paintbox goers—myself included—primarily opt for long-lasting gel.)

All that in mind, imagine my horror when my mani companion—a friend who works in finance—opted for a plain gel mani. “I have a big meeting next week!” she said. I shook my head in disappointment—who goes to Paintbox and doesn’t get nail art?!

VIDEO: How To Master The Middle Ground Manicure

But then, her manicurist piped up with what might just be the most palm-to-forehead, duh-inducing trick I’ve ever heard. Sure, she said, you can get a plain gel mani—and once it’s set, use regular nail polish to add a design on top. That way, you can enjoy the perks of nail art, but remove it at a moment’s notice: A swipe of regular (non-acetone) nail polish remover will take it right off without disturbing the solid gel underneath.

Mind. Blown. Take that, conservative dress codes.