Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Removing a Gel Manicure at Home

2 weeks ago I got a gel manicure before my bachelorette trip. My biggest pet peeve is nails chipping after 24 hours in the pool, so this time around I was determined to be on vacation and not worry about the appearance of my nails. Getting gel is a process in itself, the only major difference are the two base layers underneath your polish that must be dried using UV lamps. My nails looked great for the duration of the trip and I was extremely pleased. Unfortunately I forgot to take a close-up of the finished product :( Since gel on toes is not an option at this nail salon, I got "Strawberry Shortcake" by Essie for a very close match.

Yesterday was the 2 week mark and by now the thumbs started peeling at the edge, so I sort of peeled off a few bits. The index and middle fingers were cracked with dark lines, making it look like I had dirt under my finger nails so needless to say it was time to come off. I did ask my manicurist about the removal process beforehand and she told me "just soak it off at home". So here I was thinking that removal will be a breeze. I got a cotton ball soaked it with nail polish remover and held it over my fingertip for the usual 5 seconds or so before attempting to wipe off the polish. To my surprise, nothing happened. I held it for 30 seconds the second time around and still nothing happened. Then I poured some remover into the bottle cap and stuck my entire nail in there for 30 seconds and again nothing happened. What is going on? This isn't normal.

Frantically searching Google, I came across this tutorial about removing a gel manicure at home. It requires a few more steps then "soaking it off".

I needed: 

  • a few cotton balls
  • a nail file
  • nail polish remover with acetone
  • aluminum foil ripped into a few wide pieces (approximately 2" x 4")

Step 1. Soak the cotton ball in nail polish remover and place on top of your nail
Step 2. Wrap a piece of aluminum foil tightly around your nail and secure snugly
Step 3. Wait at least 10 to 15 minutes
Step 4. Remove the foil and scrape, scrape, scrape...
Step 5. Take the softer side of the nail file and remove any leftovers of the base coat until your nails are smooth.
Step 6. Repeat on the other hand.

Phew, it all came off at the end and now I'm giving my nails a much needed break. I did notice they are a bit softer than I'm used, which I guess is normal after gel.


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