If it is difficult to remove. make 10 little pads from your cotton pads by ripping them up. Soak each one in polish remover and place one on each finger. After about 20 seconds use a fresh cotton wool pad, put a it more polish remover on it, place this over each pad and the polish will slide off easily.
I use Hands Down pads, they're plastic backed, put the enamel remover on a pad and start with the little finger, hold the pad in place for 10-15 seconds then wipe and move on to the next nail, I do pinky nail first, then ring and index fingers, then middle finger then thumb on each hand, as the nail gets bigger you're less likely to make a mess with the removed enamel that's already on the pad.
When you're done, go over the nails with a fresh pad or lint free wipe to remove any enamel that you didn't get the first time.
Acetone is the best thing I have ever used havent touched polish remover in years. Gets EVERYTHING easy, just rub from cuticle to f/e and not back and forth thats how you get it pushed back onto the skin. If you do just go back over with a clean pad.
Acetone definatly works the best but some very dark polishes do tend to spread when you are removing them. I just wipe the nails and tips of the fingers over again with some more acetone on a clean pad if that happens.
And as for it going over your hands to, try holding your hands out like a lady at a tea party, Fingers and thumbs!!