Gel Polish Removal

With gel polish, it’s a little bit more difficult than a cotton ball with remover on it to get the colour off your nails. 

I made the mistake last week of not sealing the colour on the end of my nails, so this week I had already lost 3 nails of polish. When you don’t seal the ends of your nails, I find the polish just peels right off in a single sheet of colour. Most likely, it’s just from doing so many dishes at work all week, but I don’t like to look at chipped polish, and having three nails without any colour at all was starting to annoy me. So this morning I decided to take off the remaining polish, a week earlier than I was expecting.

The good news, though: 3 out of my 6 rhinestones survived the week!! Even with all the extra washing up at work!! 4/6 lasted until Thursday which was AUH-MAZING! I now have gloves at work so future nail designs will have a better chance of survival.

Without further ado: here is my procedure for taking off the gel polish!

First of all, assemble all your supplies:

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  1. A rough nail file
  2. Mini-squares of cotton (I just cut up some cotton pads that I bought in Korea. In Canada most places sell circles. Cotton balls will work as well)
  3. Nail caps (the purple things in the picture. These aren’t necessary, you can just stick your hands into a bowl of remover but I like this way better)
  4. Metal scraper (this is different from the cuticle pusher, but you can use the cuticle pusher as well. My Korean manicurist did. I just have a separate tool for it. It came in the starter package that I got on Amazon)
  5. Paper towel (to catch all the scrapings)
  6. Soak off Polish Remover (100% acetone! This is VERY important. I bought a bottle for less than $4 at Walmart and then transferred it into my little dispenser bottle shown here)

Secondly, turn on the TV or Netflix. This process has a lot of waiting involved.

Third, take your rough file and file off the top layer of polish on your nails. This is just the top coat. Only go down far enough so that it’s no longer shiny. Since I still had some rhinestones on my nails so I just ran the file over them as well.

Image may contain: one or more people

Image may contain: one or more people

Next, take one of your little squares of cotton, soak it in remover and lay it on the nail. Put the nail cap over the nail.

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If you don’t have the caps (or don’t want to buy them) using aluminium foil works just as well. Just wrap it around the nail.

Here comes the waiting bit: I like to let the remover sit on my nail for 5-10 minutes. The longer you wait, the better for scraping the polish off your nails. This time, when I removed the caps, the polish was already lifting off. It was perfect. I didn’t have to scrape very hard which is better for your nail beds.

Ok, so after you are finished waiting, use your scraper to scrape off all the polish from your nail.

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When you are all finished, you’ll have a pile of polish on your paper towel. Just wrap it all up and throw it away!

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Now at this point, you will want to wash your hands! Get all the leftover acetone off your hands! It is very drying on your cuticles.

At this stage in the game, you have a few options. You can go ahead and do the cuticle care that I mentioned last week, and then repolish, OR you can just leave your nails dry. If you leave your nails free from polish, put on some cuticle oil just to help combat the drying aspects of the acetone.

I like to keep the polish on for two weeks, and then have a week of clean nails to let the nails breathe. Having a 3-week polishing routine has helped to keep my nails strong. In Korea, every two weeks I would switch up my nails which didn’t give the nails any time to breathe between changing colours. This was a mistake.

Check back in two weeks for a new colour! I think I will just do a plain colour application. And I will try to remember to seal the ends of the nails (and post about it as well) so that the colour lasts longer than a week haha.

If anyone is interested in having a say: I’m thinking of one of the following colours:

1439 (deep sky blue)/1024 (dark violet)/1417 (plum)

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9 thoughts on “Gel Polish Removal

  1. You are getting to be quite the professional. Have you looked into trying out hard gel? Because I’m so rough on my nails, I prefer to get a hard gel top coat. When I get that, my gel nails will last 3 weeks! Also, I wonder how much a drill is? That really cuts down the time to switch out colors.


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