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How to remove gel polish at home

How often have you needed to have your gel polish removed, but can’t get an appointment? (We know, us too!) And why is it that it’s always before an important function or event?


That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how you can remove your gels at home (which is what we often resort to). So if you’re not planning on having them reapplied, why no save yourself a few bucks? It is a mission (we know), but it is totally do-able in just follow these 8 steps!


Prep is key – so have all you need in front of you before you start. You’ll need a piece of paper, or the back of a magazine to work on, a bottle of pure acetone (you’ll find this at pharmacies like Dis-Chem), 5 cotton pads, tin foil cut into ten 5cmX5cm squares, a metal or wood hoof stick, a rough nail file and a nail buffing block.


Step 1: Use the rough nail file to scratch away the top clear coat. This coat is meant to protect the colour underneath, so it’s designed to stay put. You need to damage this layer so that the acetone can penetrate. But don’t go overboard, you only need to scratch the surface.


Step 2: Cut the cotton pads in half, so that you have 10 pieces. Soak each piece in acetone and press onto each nail. Then, tightly wrap the top of your fingers and each nail in tin foil, making sure the cotton pad is sitting on the nail. We found working on one hand at a time easiest.


Step 4: Let each nail sit for 10 minutes. Then pressing down on the nail, pull the tin foil off the end of your finger. Keep the foil in this shape in case you need to put it back on again.

Step 5: The polish should have come-away quite a bit, so you can now get on with scraping the rest off with a hoof stick. If there is still stubborn colour on the nail, put the foil and cotton pad back on again for another 2 minutes. Repeat this process until both hands are done.


Step 6: Once all the colour is off, you may be left with some clear base coat on some of your nails. You can just gently buff this away using a nail buffer.


Step 7: When the nails are completely clean, give them a light buff and then a final wipe with acetone. Wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.


Step 8: You can now shape and paint your nails as usual, or you can apply nail oil and hand cream to give them a break.

How to do oval-shaped nails!

Need more beauty tips? Here’s how to go from boardroom to bar in a flash

Emmy is the daughter of a sailor, animal loving, coffee addicted, beauty product junkie editor of


Glamour International