Chillin' at CRT on Xpu Ha Beach

Chillin' at CRT on Xpu Ha Beach
How I'd spend every day if I weren't redecorating, cooking, sewing and blogging!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Secret to Removing Gel Nail Polish at Home

Maybe you're planning a nice gel manicure for Christmas and New Year's events.  Maybe at home, maybe at a salon, but you're not sure how to remove the gel polish (two to three weeks later).

To my amazement, the most viewed post EVER on my blog is about my experience with a DIY Gel Manicure product.  It's been viewed over 800 times! 

So I thought I would share how I get the gel paint OFF my nails to paint them again.  I created my own little "device" to make it easier for me after some frustrating removal attempts that took forever a long time.  You've likely got the items you need to make this helpful device in the house right now. 

Aluminum foil, cotton pads and painter's tape.

I've seen instructions for removing the gel polish with PURE acetone - make no mistake - it definitely works and works fast.  But it's very harsh and with a little more time you can remove the gel manicure in a more gentle manner. Your cuticles will thank you.

You will need

Nail Polish Remover (one that contains acetone works faster)
Medium Grit Nail File
Cotton Pads
Wood "orange" stick
Aluminum Foil
Painter's Tape
Nail Buffing Blocks, Fine/Medium and Medium/Coarse
Scissors (not shown)
Nail Oil or Lotion (also not shown)
An old towel to cover your lap (this is messy)
A paper towel to cover your work surface (for easy cleanup)

Make the nail covers from the foil by wrapping a small piece of foil around the end of your finger and covering it with the painter's tape.  You should be able to remove the cover and put back on, so tight - but not TOO tight.

I made five of these (I'll explain below), but you could do ten.  I've only made these once and I've been using them twice a month for probably the last 9 months.  Prior to that I kept trying to get foil to stay on my fingers WITHOUT the tape and I didn't have any luck. You can also buy single use foil wraps - but why?  I'd rather spend my money on another color of polish! 

Once you have all the items listed above ready, the first step is to use the nail file to buff off the top clear coat of polish.  It will take ALL DAY LONG to remove the gel polish with that clear coat on there.

My apologies for the quality of the photos, I have trouble taking pics with one hand.

I cut the cotton pads into four pieces so that they cover my nails but not much of my finger.  I soak them with polish remover, place them on the nail and put the foil/tape cover over the cotton pad.  Then I squeeze the foil tight around the tip of my finger so that it stays on.  I wait 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes I remove ONE nail cover and place it on a finger on the other hand - this is why I only have 5 of the foil/tape covers instead of 10.  You have to start to work right away on the softened polish or it will "dry" and firm up again.  Using the orange stick gently rub the polish off the nails one at a time.  Each time you uncover a nail on the first hand, put the cover on your other hand until you are finished with all ten nails. 

After all or most of the polish is pushed off the with orange stick, buff the nail with the sanding blocks as necessary.  If you have a stubborn area that doesn't want to come off, place the cover back on for a minute or two and try again.  DON'T FILE YOUR ACTUAL NAIL!  JUST THE POLISH! Use the fine buffing block when you get down to the nail.

I don't need to put more remover on the cotton pads before placing them on the other hand, they stay wet until I am done.  I throw away the little pieces of cotton pad and keep the foil/tape covers for next time.

The more polish that has been removed the finer the sanding block or file you should be using to avoid damage to your nails and cuticles.  When the polish and structure coat has all been removed use the oil/lotion on your nails and hands.

Now you are ready for a new coat of polish or back to natural nails whichever you prefer!

Pop over to the first post if you want to read about applying the gel polish.

Have a lovely holiday season!


I'm not a beauty expert or nail technician this is my own experiences with DIY gel nail products.

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