Recently my VBBFFFL (my very bestest best friend for life) just tied the knot. In Hawaii. And it was AMAZINGLY beautiful and heartwarming.
And I of course, being a bridesmaid and all, sprung for a shellac gel french manicure. Hawaii humidity, the ocean salt water and regular old nail polish don’t do so well together you see, so I needed the good stuff. And my nails were beautiful! But now they are chipping and growing out, and the time has come to say goodbye. I could go to the salon and pay them to remove it for me, but why do that when I can remove them for much cheaper myself! Read my step by step tutorial on how to remove gel nail polish at home!
So here’s what you’ll need:
10 3 inch by 1 inch foil strips
10 cotton pads trimmed to nail shape and length
Start by buffing the finish off of the polish. Be careful not to buff your new nail growth, you only want to buff the actual gel polish.
Next place cuticle oil on your nail growth, cuticles and the surrounding skin. This creates a protective barrier between your skin and the acetone, which can be very drying.
Soak the trimmed cotton pads with acetone and carefully place on just your nails! Try not to touch it to your skin or cuticles as much as possible. Wrap the foil around the nail and the pad, making sure it is tight enough to hold the pad in place. Repeat with all nails.
Let sit for 8-10 minutes while the acetone does it’s job. Activities to pass this time include but are not limited to- dancing around the kitchen, daydreaming about which nail color/design you’ll be doing next, or continuing on with your Downton Abbey watching marathon… Your choice!
After the time is up, discard the foil and cotton and use the nail scraper to scrape off the gel onto a paper towel. You may need to repeat the soaking process if your polish is particularly persistent but try to keep this to a minimum. The acetone can be damaging to the skin and nail if used too often or for long lengths of time .
Once all of the gel is removed, wash your hands and scrub your nails with soap. Get all of that acetone smell off!
Apply a moisturizing hand lotion, I like Udderly Smooth lotion. Using a clean qtip, apply your oil all over your nails, cuticle and surrounding skin. You can let that sink in for up to a half hour or put on some moisture gloves and go on about your day!
Continue to moisturize your hands and nails with lotion and oil over the next few days. It’s a good idea to let you nails rest for a few days and heal up some before coating with more nail polish, but you can be the judge of that!