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The past 80 odd years have given rise to a whole new world of fingernail odyssey, including, among others, the acrylic nail, the nail decal, and the French manicure. There are now 13 types of nail polish finishes from shimmer to micro-shimmer, iridescent, matte dual chrome, opalescent, to glitter and micro-glitter. And now, the latest to join the evolutionary chain: gel nail polish. Gel nail polish is the latest proposed solution to the age old problem of keeping the nail polish on. Although it has seemed to have solved that dilemma, it has presented a new one, that is; removing gel nail polish.
Use a Nail File
First, make sure you have a sufficient amount of time to dedicate to removing. Patience is key. Find a well ventilated area so you don’t breathe in acetone. Take a coarse nail file and sand down the top layer of the gel gently. Manicurist Jenna Hipp advises, “Avoid filing too far into the color. Basically, you just want to remove the shine.”
Prep the Skin
Apply a thick cream or cuticle oil to the skin around your nails. “This will provide protection from the acetone, which is very drying to your skin,” according to manicurist Tracylee.
Soak Cotton Balls
Tracylee recommends cotton balls over pads because they are closer to the size and shape of your nails and they hold the acetone better, whereas, “cotton pads can absorb the acetone and dry out too quickly.” Soak the balls with more acetone than you think will be sufficient for the job. Avoid using removers with moisturizers, which slow down the removal process.
Wrap Them In Tin Foil
Start with the hand that you favor less and put a cotton ball soaked in acetone on your pinkie and wrap a piece of tin foil around it to keep the ball in place. Repeat this on all ten of your nails and leave on for ten minutes.
After you take the foil off your finger, remove remaining gel with an orange stick. Hipp suggests, “working under the gel to lift it off the nail plate.” She adds, “Wooden tools can be a breeding ground for bacteria, so dispose of them after each use and don’t share with friends.”
After exposing your nails to heavy doses of acetate, they are likely to be quite dry. Manicurist Jin Soon Choi advises, “Soak your nails in coconut oil for five to seven minutes, then apply a cuticle oil on your nail beds to rejuvenate and rehydrate them. However, if your planning on immediately reapplying gel polish, skip the creams and oils until after you apply the polish.”
Tell us your gel removal experiences. Is this what you do or do you have a better way? Let us know!