How to Remove Gel Polish at Home

The trick to removing gel polish is to have it done professionally. Seriously. Removing gel polish at home is do-able, but it takes a lot of time, effort and cleanup. And, chances are, even if you do all the steps correctly, you’ll probably end of with a less-than-perfect removal.

If you’ve read my warning, and you still want to remove your manicure at home, this is how you do it! Good luck, my friend.

How to Remove Gel Polish at Home

  1. Gather your supplies. You will need a nail buffer, 100% acetone, cotton balls, foil and cuticle sticks.
  2. Buff the top coat off of your manicure.
  3. Soak your cotton in the acetone and place on your nail. You can break up your cotton to use less.
  4. Wrap your finger with foil to hold the cotton in place. Excess acetone will leak out when you wrap your fingers, so make sure you have a towel ready!
  5. Wrap all of your nails and let them sit for 15 minutes. You can try to do both hands at once.. if you succeed you must practice dark magic.
  6. Lightly press the foil against your nail as you slip the wrap off your finger. Remove any loose polish with your cuticle stick. This will also make a bit of a mess. If you have any stubborn gel left over, you’ll need to repeat steps 3-6, but this time let them soak 5 minutes.
  7. Buff your nails gently to remove any remaining base coat. Wash your hands, and apply lotion! Acetone is extremely drying.

As annoying as it was to remove, I did love my gel manicure. My nails are normally thin and weak, but the gel manicure (which lasted 4 full weeks, say whaaaat) helped my nails maintain their shape, and not a single nail broke or chipped.

If this removal process doesn’t appeal to you (and why would it?), check out local salons to see what they charge for removal. But whatever you do, do not chip the polish off of your nails. It’s as damaging as it is tempting.

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  • Reply Carly

    Did you get the gel manicure done at a salon or home? I’ve always been curious but never tried it. The amount your nails grew makes me want to try it even more lol.

    Gimme details!!! 🙂

    May 24, 2015 at 5:57 pm
    • Reply Kelsey Reddick

      I got them done at a salon. I tried to catch the brand, but I can’t remember what it was. It was in a black bottle, no brand I had heard of before. Not OPI or Shellac or anything like that. They said the manicure would last two weeks, but it lasted a full month! They did a great job.

      May 24, 2015 at 7:36 pm

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