DIY for the Desperate: This is How to Remove Your Gel Nails at Home
It’s going to be a rough few weeks aesthetically as we tuck away at home and slowly become more and more troll-ish, our nails growing, roots showing and eyelash extensions shedding (except for that one wonky lash). If you’ve already had a nail catastrophe — *shudder* a broken nail — or if it’s just time to say goodbye to your set because who’s going to see them anyways, we’ve got you covered with this step-by-step guide on how to remove your gel nails at home.
Prepare your toolsFirst gather your supplies.
This is what you’ll need:-a coarse file
-cotton balls or pads
-cuticle pusher (don’t have one? Grab a spoon instead) -aluminum foil cut into small squares or reusable soak-off cap clips
-your favourite cuticle oil or cream
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Buff your nailsWith your coarse nail file, file down the top layer of your gel manicure. File down until the shine is gone and the nail looks matte. The goal is to remove the top layer so that the acetone can penetrate. It may take some time, but it’s not like you’re pressed for it. Pop on your favourite Slice shows or check out this work from hair tutorial while you file your pandemic-induced anxieties away.
Soak with acetoneCut the cotton balls into pieces big enough to cover your nails and soak in acetone. Pure acetone is preferred over standard nail polish remover (which is more diluted). In a pinch or pandemic, nail polish remover can work, but it will take a longer time to dissolve the gel and requires a heavier hand in scraping, which could result in more damage to your nails. Be prepared to do some serious moisturizing on those already dry AF hands.
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Cover with aluminum foil or nail capsWrap your nails in squares of aluminum (approximately 3-inches). This will keep your cotton ball of acetone moist and in place. If you have the more environmentally-friendly nails caps (go you!), pop those on and take a much-needed phone break during this time. No swiping on dating apps or checking out cute dogs on Insta.
Scrape off remaining polishBe gentle as you don’t want to damage your natural nail (or you’ll be hearing it from your nail artist when you next see them). The gel polish should almost slide off. If you need to use too much pressure, repeat the soak step.
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You’re free!…now moisturize those cuticles, stat! It’s a good idea to give your nails a break after performing an at-home removal. Moisturize several times a day with jojoba oil or coconut oil – even olive oil from your kitchen will do! Then when you’re ready, check out these nail trends to inspire your next mani.