Going Natural (How to Break Up with Gels)

So one day you find yourself walking past Topsy Klassy Manicure Bar in your local shopping centre, which causes you to look down at your shabby nails and realise you need a manicure.

An hour later you walk out (cuticles only slightly tender) – your polish looks amazing and it dried really hard. This is the best, you think. A few weeks later it is still looking ok. Maybe one or two are starting to get a bit dodgy, so you decide to take the colour off.

It is then you realise nail polish remover ain’t gonna cut it. You actually need to head back to Topsy and have the technician remove the gel. She gets out what looks like a Ryobi drill and starts buffing it away. Your hand recoils from the burning fire that shoots into your nail bed about 10 times then, after a soak in pure acetone, your gel is off and you wish you had back your shabby nails from two weeks earlier. What were you thinking?

I am not saying it is all smooth sailing going back to natural, but if you persevere it is totally worth it. The first step is to have your shellac safely removed by a proper nail technician who’ll wrap and soak each nail then gently buff away the gel. SNS (signature nail systems, which uses a gel base and setting powder) and acrylic are much harder to remove, so it will take a little longer. Do not peel the gel off yourself. As tempting as it may be, you’ll end up also taking off the top layer of the actual nail, leaving it thin and flimsy.

The first step after removal is to have a good manicure to tidy them up. Cut the nails short – leaving them long means they’ll more than likely split and break within a few days. File them neatly, avoiding rounded shapes, as they make nails more likely to split at the corners. Try to keep the sides square then gently round off the edges so they don’t catch. 

The next step is to replenish your nails and cuticles. Use Miss Frankie’s Nourish Me cuticle oil to revive cuticles and return some much needed moisture to your dehydrated nails. For the best results, gently buff some in a few times a day.

After a week of oiling your nails, it’s time to apply a nail strengthener. Start with two coats then apply another coat each day. At the end of the week remove it all and start again. After two weeks your nails should be healthy and strong again, and ready for an application of your favourite Miss Frankie colour. Remember to always use a base coat to help polish adhere to your nails and prevent staining, as well as a top coat to seal and protect.

Love MF xx

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