In today's post I will tell you everything you need to know about removing a gel manicure at home!
One downside to gel manicures is the removal. You can’t just use a regular nail polish remover. It’s also very tempting to pick and peel off the polish once the nail starts to grow out or the gel begins to lift. DON'T DO IT! This will essentially damage and weaken your natural nails. Salons do offer to remove the polish for you but, this would cost you time and money.
Fortunately you can remove the gel at home yourself, the same way your nail technician would!
You will need:
For the soak-off method -
- nail file/emery board
- nail buffer
- pure acetone
- 10 cotton balls
- 10 small pieces of foil
- an orange stick
For the file-off method -
- 2 nail file/emery board (a course one and a finer one)
- nail buffer
The soak-off method:
NOTE: Choose a well lit and ventilated area!
- Soak 5 cotton balls in acetone and lay them on your nails. Wrap your foil squares around each finger and let it sit for at least 10-15 minutes. Acetone is a chemical that reacts with the gel nail to loosen its adhesive and free it from your natural nail.
- When you pull the foil off, don’t unwrap it, just pull it straight off the tip of your finger. That way it stays the same shape in case you need to slide your finger back in it for a few more minutes.
- Start scraping the gel nail off with your orange stick. It should fall right off. If there’s some that seems hard to remove, put it back in to soak a little longer.
- Once you remove all the colour, shape your nail with an emery board and use a 4-way buffer to buff and polish.
- Repeat the same procedure on your other hand.
If you cringe at the idea of soaking your fingers in acetone, there is an alternative. If you do not want to use any chemicals to remove your gel manicure, you should try the file-off method.
The file-off method:
- File down the surface of the nails - Use a coarse nail file/emery board. File gently and in crosshatches to keep the work even. You don't want to keep filing once you get down to the natural nail, since you could damage it.
- File the remaining gel with a finer-grit emery board. Work slowly and gently to make sure you don't file the surface of your natural nail. Though damage is hard to avoid when using this method, working gently will minimize it. Continue until the gels have been completely filed away.
- Use a buffer to smooth the surfaces of your nails, which may have become scratched from the filing process.
I used the file-off method to remove my gel manicure. I have to admit that I did scratch my natural nails. They do look a little crazy without nail polish, but I did not damage my nail bed. By the time I finished my regular manicure (shaping, buffing, base coat, polish, top coat), the scratches were hardly noticeable!
So which method is the best? It depends on you and which one is more convenient for you. If your skin reacts to acetone, it is advisable that you go for the file-off method to avoid any irritation. However if you don't like filing your nails then you should go for the soak-off method. The file-off method is more time consuming.
I hope this helps some of you the next time you’ll need to remove a gel manicure. How do you remove your gel manicures?