Last week, the STIK team did some brainstorming - "what kind of content do people actually want to read about right now?" We thought about this a lot, and one thing that kept coming up was, "How the %$#&@ do you take your gel manicure off at home" It's an important question. One that zero percent of our team felt qualified to answer. So we decided to bring in an outside expert to give us the tea on how to do a really good manicure from home.
This is a guest blog written by the one and only Kitty Haydock. Kitty is the queen of amazing manicures, most of which she does herself. If your nails are looking meh after 2 weeks at home, and you need some help taking off that old gel manicure, this blog is for you. Happy reading!
True story: my monthly gel removal and manicure was scheduled for last week in New York City. As one can imagine, things are not looking great for me to get my gel removed. So long story short, after not leaving my home for weeks, my nail beds are grown out, and my nails are long (aka begging for bacteria to hide under them.) So it looks like I’m going to take off my hard gel manicure from home, without help from my trusted nail tech. If you’re in the same situation, here are steps to help you safely remove your regular gel, hard gel, or acrylic manicure on your own.
What you need:
- Nail file (preferably 180 grit)
- Cotton balls
- Aluminum foil
- Cuticle pusher
- Cuticle clipper
Step 1: Use your file to remove the top coat of your manicure. Buff the polish off with your nail file. Beware! This will take a while and get very dusty. Buffing down hard gel will take longer than normal gel or acrylic. To be safe, stop buffing once you move past the shine of the top coat. Nail techs have a better understanding of where to safely stop so as to avoid damaging the nail bed, as beginners we should all be a bit more cautious.
Step 2: Tear up your aluminum foil into 10 small rectangular pieces. One by one, soak a cotton ball, place it on you nail, wrap the nail and cotton ball in the aluminum foil. Let the nails soak for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the foil (you'll likely need to reuse the foil for multiple rounds of soaking). Gently buff the polish off and wipe away any loose bits.
Step 3: If necessary (which it almost definitely will be), rewrap your nails and the cotton in your foils. If the cotton feels on the dry side, soak it again in more acetone. Let the nails soak again for 15-20 minutes.
Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 until all or most of the polish is off your nails.
Step 5: Carefully remove any stubborn bits with a cuticle pusher or cuticle clipper. Gently push the polish off your nail with the cuticle pusher. Be careful not to push too aggressively, if you feel too much resistance, return to steps 2 and 3. You can also use the cuticle clipper to carefully snip/pull off remaining bits of polish.
Step 6: Celebrate! You did it! And don't forget to give your nails some TLC by slathering them in oil or hand cream.
Step 7: Be grateful for the nail professionals who you typically rely on to preform these services for you. Consider reaching out to your salon or nail tech directly to see if there is anything you can do to help while they are not able to work.