DIY: How to Remove Gel Polish

4:08 PM

A break from all the Bangkok reports. :) Gel polish is great for busy individuals. It's truly long-wearing, chip-resistant, and practically scratch-proof. It starts peeling weeks after application. But it is such a bitch to take off. Regular polish remover will NOT cut it. And having it done at a nail salon will cost you as much as a regular mani!

Here's how to remove gel polish at home, for a fraction of the price. This is based on internet research and careful observation and questioning of a nail technician who personally did this on myself.

  1. Materials needed: 100% pure acetone, nail file, orange stick (I didn't have one so I used half a tongue depressor :p), aluminum foil (one piece for each finger), and cotton.
  2. Briefly file the nail so the acetone can penetrate through the top coat.
  3. Place an acetone-soaked cotton ball on the nail. Before doing this, you may opt to protect your skin by placing a small amount of cuticle oil or moisturizer on the nail fold. I used Human Heart Nature Sunflower Beauty Oil.
  4. Wrap the nail in foil to secure the cotton in place. Do this for all manicured fingers and toes.
  5. Let soak for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Remove the foil and cotton. You will see the polish starting to peel off the nail. It looks kinda gross.
  7. Push the polish off the nail with the orange stick.
  8. Remove polish remnants with the acetone-soaked cotton ball, then moisturize with cuticle oil. I used Jericho Cuticle Oil.
  9. Ta-da! Messy desk, clean nails.

A note: I recommend applying a coat of polish afterwards -- regular or gel, your choice. Bare nails after the trauma of gel polish removal look icky, even when done at a nail salon.

Hope this helps!

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