Who was it that said, “a man is only as good as his tools”? Whoever it was, they were very wise. You’ll need the following items: nail varnish remover containing acetone, round cotton pads, a cuticle pusher, tin foil, a nail file and some cuticle oil (coconut oil also works).
Gel polish is notoriously tough (that’s why we love it so). You need to break the “seal” so that the remover can properly penetrate the gel and do its thing. Use a file – on the flat of the nail, not around the tip – to buff off the shiny top layer.
Cut the cotton pads into 4 and the tin foil into squares – you’ll need 10 of each. Soak the cotton pad segment with the nail varnish remover, place it against the nail and wrap the tin fol around the tip of your finger to secure it. Leave them for 10-15 minutes (blasting a hairdryer on them helps too).
Once they’ve soaked, remove each foil. The leftover gel should now be gooey in texture and can be carefully scraped away using your cuticle pusher. If there’s still some gel on the nail, soak them for an extra five minutes.
Might as well finish off the job, right? Soak your hands in warm water to soften the skin. Gently push back your cuticles with the pusher (leave the cutting to the pros), apply some oil and then finish with hand cream. Not as relaxing as the salon, but it'll do for now.
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How to remove your gel mani at home (like a pro)
Staying at home has its pros and cons. A pro: you can get your cost-per-wear down on *that* cashmere tracksuit you bought ages ago. A con: you can’t make your gel removal appointment. That’s not an excuse to pick them off, though. Here’s how to remove them at home, just like a nail technician.
By Beth Ludolf
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