Gel Manicure was the answer to every one of your prayers (and swears) when you saw that nail paint chip right before your date night. The perfectly glazed, chip free nails may get you singing Hallelujah, but once the edges start to lift, it takes more than your willpower to not peel the damn thing off. Hold on, girlies! There is a proper way to do it without raging terror on your nail bed. We have for you, fool-proof steps on how to remove gel manicure at home without damaging and weakening your nails. All you need is acetone, cotton balls, kitchen foil, vaseline, wooden nail stick and a moisturizer.
1. Take out time
It is nothing like removing the regular nail paint and rushing the process could end up doing more damage than good to your nails. So, take out at least half an hour, find a well ventilated spot (you don’t want to be breathing in all the acetone), put on your favourite music and you are all set.
2. Remove the top layer
The first thing you got to do is break the top layer of your gel mani. Take a coarse nail file and slowly (and gently) file away the top layer. You essentially want to just remove the top shiny seal of the manicure, without filing too much into the base colour. This step will also allow the acetone to seep in better.
3. Protect your cuticles
Not creating a barrier between your cuticles and the acetone you are going to douse your nails in, will be a cardinal sin. Apply Vaseline (the ultimate dryness defying gospel, we feel) on your cuticles and the skin around your fingertips to prevent any dryness. You could also use cuticle cream or oil if you have them handy.
4. Let the acetone work magic
Getting to serious business now. Soak a cotton ball in acetone (maximum strength will work best, so keep an eye on that bottle) and place it directly on top of your nail. Cotton balls work better than cotton pads as they are able to hold the acetone better, thus making it easier to get that stubborn lacquer off your nails.
5. Wrap it up
You got to give the acetone some time to work its way through, to the base of your mani. Your kitchen aluminum foil to the rescue here! Cut the foil into small squares and wrap them around your nail to keep the cotton ball in place. Follow the steps for each finger. A small tip – start with your non-dominant hand and it will be much easier. Keep on the foil for about 15 minutes.
6. Remove the excess
Carefully remove the foil. The gel manicure should easily slide off as you remove the cotton ball. Remember not to put too much pressure as the nail plate will be a little more vulnerable to damage at this point. In case of some remnant, work it off gently with a wooden cuticle stick.
7. Moisturize and moisturize some more
With all the badgering and acetone attack, your nails might end up looking a bit dry. So, moisturize with generous amounts of nail cream or cuticle oil. In case, you don’t have any of these, you could use the good old almond oil instead.
While following these steps to the T will get your nails to breathe, there might be an occasion when the mani decides to act like the stubborn rebel and refuses to come off. In such a case, Do Not Peel, ladies. Get that lazy @#% off the couch and take the professional’s help at the salon.