Shellac and gel manicures have made nail technology a revolution. nail polish market – finally, we have a varnish that stays on our nails no matter what, making glossy manicures last for weeks rather than days (or, at worst, hours). It is not easy to remove gel and shellac at home.
Firstly, to be clear, the way to soak off both shellac and gel at home is the same – the (small) difference between the two is that shellac is a hybrid polish-gel formula, while gel is simply, well, gel. They are both semi-permanent, so you should not pick them off. You will have weaker nails and be more susceptible to breaking.
To learn more about how to remove shellac and gel polish safely at home, we spoke to Lucy Mackenzie (a nail technician at blow LTD.)
How to take off gel polish or shellac at-home
Step 1: How do you remove shellac?
You will first need to have your kit. “Get five cotton pads and split them in half, 10 large tinfoil squares, acetone polish remover and a nail file,”Lucy
Make sure to cover all surfaces prior to you begin. “Be sure to lay down a towel to prevent any acetone damaging your furniture,”Christine recommends.
Step 2: How to get rid of shellac
Christine suggests that you begin with the dominant hand. You will be able to show more patience at the start.
“Next, using your nail file, gently buff over the tops of your gel polish, then soak a piece of cotton wool in acetone and place it onto the nail,”Lucy
Wrap foil around your nail tip to secure it.
Step 3: How do you remove shellac?
“Leave the acetone to soak for 15 minutes. By then your gel polish will have lifted from the nail bed,”Lucy:
Elle adds: “My top tip is to keep your nails warm during the soaking process by wrapping your hands in a towel – this will speed things up.”
Step 4: How do you remove shellac?
When removing what’s left of the polish from your nails, you can very gently lift it off with manicure sticks – but make sure you are not scraping the nail. If it doesn’t lift off easily, you need to soak for longer.
“If the shellac or gel is being stubborn, just reapply the cotton with more acetone added, cover with the foil again, and leave it for another 5-10 minutes – don’t be tempted to pick the polish off!” says Christine.
Step 5: How do you remove shellac?
Lucy says it after being removed: “You should buff the nail and apply cuticle oil for hydration.”
It’s a good idea also to put on a coat your favorite nail growth product or polish repairing polish to keep your nails healthy. You’ll be a big help to them (and the technician at your next salon appointment).
To find out the top nail products for strengthening nails, growth and polish removal, our GHI specialists tested a wide range of nail products. The top products passed our tests.