26 February 2011

Gel Polish - How To DIY Remove (Shellac - Gelish - Gelac - Geleration) etc.

I hope I don't make any nail tech's cross by posting this, that isn't my intention but I know for a fact (I have had so many people getting to my blog by google searching it for a start) that a lot of people would rather have shellac or gelish etc. as a one off (to review for their blog or just out of interest)  and they don't want to spend money on removal.  That's just the way it is.  You will get a better result if you do it professionally but as I say, a lot of people clearly don't care and would rather make their nails a bit dodge than pay £10 or however much it is.

Now that's fine but the as these people aren't told how to remove it, they aren't removing it properly, therefore they are peeling it off with their fingers and are then moaning that the product has ruined their nails, when in fact their nails would have been perfectly fine had they removed the polish in the correct way.

This isn't exactly the same way as a professional would likely do it, as they have products such as pre-made removal wraps but I am presuming if the whole point is to save money then you won't be wanting to buy them anyway as they come in large volumes to save money for the nail tech, but you won't need 100 sets just for yourself.

Yes this is a lot of foil - it's a demonstration of how it will work even without a lot of skill x

For the removal process you will need: Some tin foil / silver foil / aluminium foil (whatever you call it, potatoe/potato)
Cotton pads, mini nail sponges or wipes
A wooden hoof stick (orange wood stick)
Some acetone or gel remover, polish remover will work if it contains acetone but will take longer
Cuticle oil
Hand cream
A nail buffer (one of those 4 sided things).

Step One 
Cut or tear your tinfoil into 10 squares
Cut your cotton pads so you have ten small sections, enough to cover each nail, or if they are pre-cut just separate 10
Take your acetone and saturate the cotton, apply it over your nail and wrap that finger in tinfoil, do the same for all ten nails
You now resemble a cut-price Edward Scissorhands 

Step Two
Sit for 10 minutes for Shellac, 10-15 for Gelish and other Gel based products (this also works for glittery nail varnish like OPI's burlesque collection)
Squeeze and pull off each foil wrap
Use the orange stick to push off any remaining product, re-wrap if it hasn't all been removed.

Step Three
Buff your nail to a shine
Apply cuticle oil and some handcream
You are done!

As I say you're going to get a better result if your nail tech does this so if you can afford to get it done professionally please do so however if you can't afford it or can't get an appointment I would rather you do it properly. Don't pick or peel it off your nail, promise?!

Learn how to apply your Shellac or Gel Polish here How to do a Shellac Manicure at home


  1. Whenever I have gel nails on I prefer to take them off myself as I can get annoyed when they start falling off....This is a good method I will try it ;) xoxo

  2. Thanks for posting this. I think I will use this method for removing nail art bits I stick on
    Stacie xoxox

  3. What is the red colour in the photos at the top? I'm looking for a good red gel polish at the moment! xx

  4. When I have had acrylic extensions removed professionally I was charged £8.50 to sit with my fingers in a bowl of acetone. You can do this yourself at home for less than £2.00

  5. @Tamara, no probs glad to be of help

    @Stacie, yes that's a good plan

    @ Lydia - red is Gelez candy apple x

    @Andrea - this method is what I recommend for gel polish hun, I don't do acrylics and am not saying this method works for acrylics either as I have no idea.

  6. Well aren't you clever, just tried it and after 20min ive shellac free nails :-) thanks for posting this and saving me money x

  7. Thank you. I got nails done over 4 weeks ago and one fell off today, so needed to take the rest off pronto. It worked just as you said. Very happy!!

  8. Wow thanks so much I went to a salon to get mine redone and this stupid guy pulled the old gelac off with the cuticle cutters and ripped two of my toe nails I wanted to punch the guy in the face


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