How to: remove gel nails at home

Thursday, 3 July 2014

How to remove gel nails at home

Gel nails look great, but can be costly to maintain if you go from one colour to the next. To help you save a little bit of cash, we recommend removing them yourself at home before going for the next colour. You might be surprised to know that most salons charge around R50 or R60 to remove them, so if you remove them yourself three or four times, it makes up the price of a new set of gel overlays! Follow these simple steps to remove your gel nails.

You will need:
Nail polish remover (one that contains acetone)
Tin foil cut up into blocks (about 5cm x 5cm)
A cuticle stick
A nail file / buffer block
Cuticle oil

Steps:
1. Use your buffer block or nail file to gently file the surface of your gel – you will see small shavings come off, and your gel will have a matte appearance. By doing this you break the seal of the gel, allowing it to be removed.
2. Apply nail polish remover to a cotton pad and place it on top of your nail.
3. Carefully wrap one of the sheets of tin foil over your nail, shiny side facing up.
4. Once all your nails are wrapped in foil, relax for about 15 minutes while the acetone does its work.
5. Test to see if the gel is ready by gently removing the tin foil and cotton wool on one of your nails and by scraping the gel from your cuticle downwards.
6. If the gel lifts freely, you can proceed with the rest of your nails, if not, leave it on for another five minutes.
7. Once all your nails are clean, give them a bit of a file and a buff and finish off by applying cuticle oil on and around each nail.

Easier than you thought, right?

Other articles you may be interested in:
Nude nails for the office
How to: Apply false nails at home
Henry Holland nails
Winter 2014 nail colours
Salon nail treatments

Written by

Anien studied English and journalism before heading off into the world of beauty. An undercover "tree hugger" and fashion lover, she's usually found with her nose in a magazine. She has far too many bottles of nail polish and is completely lost without her lip balm. Anien on Google+

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  1. Njitie

    This is supper handy as I love my gel mannies as they don’t ruin my nail bed. I will definitely give it a go.

    11 months ago •

  1. Cherine Lowson

    I have recently started to apply my own gel polish as it is very costly to maintain if you enjoy having this on your nails, this is a great way to remove the polish, quick and easy unlike soaking them

    11 months ago •

  1. Cookie Nandlall

    Wow Interesting, I always battle to remove the gel of my nails. Saves me now from going to the nail bar

    11 months ago •

  1. Cookie Nandlall

    interesting will try this myself

    1 year ago •

  1. WAFIQA ABBAS

    That light shade of pink looks pretty.

    1 year ago •

  1. Cheron Lisher

    Thanks a lot. This is just what I was looking for!

    2 years ago •

  1. Busisiwe Ndzube

    Thanks, I will definitely try this!

    2 years ago •

  1. Tanya

    It’s such a mission, thanks for the great steps. I will definitely be doing this next time!

    2 years ago •

  1. LaurenScott

    This is fantastic, thanks! Now I have no excuse to simply bite and pull my gel nails off when I don’t have time to go to the salon. Now I just need to take a look at the reviews to find out which is the best cuticle oil to use.

    2 years ago •

  1. NaturalDiva

    This is a great way to not have to go back to the salon if you don’t have the time. I’m definitely going to try it out.

    2 years ago •

  1. Melinda H Hamiel

    I’m a Qualified Nail Technician and have used this method so it really does work! Good article and very informative for someone attempting it on their own.

    2 years ago •

  1. Liesl Nel

    I used this method recently with good results!

    2 years ago •

  1. Bianca Welgemoed

    I always use this method when removing Gel overlays. Why pay a salon when we can do it ourselves:)

    2 years ago •

  1. Mark Parr

    I battled the other day to remove my Gel paint so I had to go to the salon to soak them off, quiet a bother.

    2 years ago •

  1. Hess

    Very good article. I haven’t done it in a while but wish I had known last time!

    2 years ago •

  1. Lauren-leigh Jacobs

    I did this once after I saw it on Pinterest and it actually works. I told my friend who did the gel nails for me, and now she does it too.

    2 years ago •

  1. Sashnee Rambaly

    Thanks it was really helpful. I’m going to try this soon.

    2 years ago •

  1. foreverGLAM

    Thank you so much BSA. I told my friends about this and they are so grateful.

    2 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    That’s quite a bit of work but I’ll keep it in mind if I ever try gel nails.

    2 years ago •

  1. Livy

    Will definitely be doing this next time

    2 years ago •

  1. Rosegower

    Ahhh yay! Thank you! No longer have to wait until I can get an appointment! DIY!

    3 years ago •

  1. thokozilemohohole

    Nice, I love this. I really want to try it out once I have all the tools and material.

    3 years ago •

  1. Mark Parr

    Thanks, this is interesting. I could never find a solution to remove gel paint without the filing.

    3 years ago •

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