If you’re like the rest of us, you’ve been doing your own at-home manicures & pedicures for the past few months. And if you’ve got a fabulous gel nail look that you’ve been rocking, sooner or later you’re going to need to remove it!
There are many types of gel polish remover you can try, but if you’re new to the DIY gel removal process, here are our top 3 tips & tricks to get your easiest and most convenient removal! Give yourself about 20-25 minutes in total to get it right, especially the first time. Practice makes perfect!
TIP #1 – FILE THE SURFACE OF YOUR GEL MANICURE REALLY WELL
The first step in preparing your nails for gel polish removal is to file your old manicure really, really well. Your gel manicure (which has been on your nails for 2-4 weeks) was made to LAST. Gel is designed to stay on your nails with no-chipping – this is one of the things we love! (Le Mini Macaron polish lasts for about a week, and salon gel lasts for 3-4 weeks.) But gel that’s meant to stick on your nails also means that it’s not THAT easy to remove.
So the first step is to file roughly at the surface of the manicure because there is a Gel Topcoat and you need to break down that layer. Doing this allows the acetone to soak-in easily to the rest of the polish layers when you wrap your nails later. Also, when you file the manicure, be sure to cover the entire surface so all parts of the polish have been filed. Remember: the more you file, the less you need to soak later. One more thing, we highly recommend a nail file with a 180 grit as this is rough enough to do the job quickly.
TIP #2 – WRAP YOUR NAILS AIR TIGHT!
Once you’ve filed your nails, the next step is to wrap them with acetone-soaked remover wraps. This is called a “soak-off” gel removal which is just like how they do it at the salon. LMM’s self-contained gel polish remover wraps are really convenient to use.
Each packet contains a thin cotton pad that already has acetone inside. You just need to tear it open and place your finger inside with the nail touching the cotton. (Be sure to not take out the pad, as this is a common mistake for first-time users.) Then you can remove the little sticker and wrap the left, right and top sides down and squeeze it tight. You want to make it as tight as possible around the finger! This is so the acetone is touching the polish for the entire time (about 15 minutes). For the best, most air-tight removal, we love using gel clips over the polish remover wraps! This is a must if you’re doing regular manicures and removals as it speeds up the soak-off waiting time.
TIP #3 – USE A GEL REMOVAL TOOL TO EASILY LIFT OFF THE REMAINING POLISH
After about 15 minutes, you can carefully take off one of the wraps and check if the gel has lifted off the nail. You want to go for a ‘shattered’ polish effect. The acetone should break apart the polish so that it’s easy to then scrape off the remaining bits. If the polish does not look shattered yet, you can keep the remover wraps on for another 3-5 minutes. Once it’s ready, use a removal tool to scrape off the remaining polish that is on the nail.
You can either use the sharp end of a cuticle pusher…or, we love this rose-gold tool which is MADE for quick and easy gel removals. For those of you removing gels at home on a regular basis, you’ll want to include this in your tool kit! Our LMM Co-Founder Christina swears by this item and ONLY uses it when she removes her manis!
And there you have it! These are our top 3 tips to get an easy, at-home gel manicure removal. Try it out and let us know what you think! Tag us on your manis + your removals @leminimacaron and the hashtag #leminimacaron.