After years of owning a salon that was all about getting people to go back to natural naturals, I’ve done my fair share of removing acrylics and gels.

So, here’s what you’ll need for your at-home gel removal:

  • Nail file – one that’s quite course, or you may need to buy a new one
  • 100% Acetone nail polish remover – you need the real deal. Regular acetone won’t work nor will non-acetone
  • Foil – cut into strips around 12cm x 6cm
  • Make-up pads – cotton rounds work well cut into four pieces
  • Cuticle stick (wooden ones work well)
  • Paper towel
  • Buffer
  • Towel, and
  • Cuticle oil

Step-by-step removal

  1. Set up all your tools on a large folded towel. It gets messy when you start scraping back the gel. You also do not want to get acetone on your bench or tabletops as it will quickly leave a mark or remove any varnish.
  2. Using your nail file, roughly buff each nail to take all the shine off the surface. This allows the acetone to soak in and start softening the gel
  3. Pour acetone into a small bowl (preferably metal).
  4. Fully soak a piece of the make-up pad (or cotton round) in the acetone and then place on your nail. Wrap the nail firmly with foil and then repeat on each nail.
  5. Wait for 5 - 10 mins. Depending on what type of gel you have on your nails will depend on how long you’ll need to wait for. Normal shellac is usually around 5 mins, but for SNS and Acrylic it’ll likely take at least 10 mins.
  6. Starting with your first wrapped nail, remove the foil and make-up wipe. Work quickly and use your cuticle stick to scrape off the gel. Some gels will fall off easily but for others you’ll need to file and buff the nail again, and even repeat the wrapping process.
  7. Once you have all the gel off, buff your nails gently to remove any leftover bits of gel until surface is smooth, then wash your hands to get rid of any grit.

Going back to natural is not a smooth sailing process but trust me, it’s totally worth it!

love. nails. naturally.

Kara x