Beauty How To: Remove A Gel Manicure

Posted on Aug 29 2018 - 9:00am by Samantha Clark

What’s not to love about a gel mani? You can get a beautiful gloss from them, you dry and go so no fear about smudges, and they last so much longer than normal polish.

But if you don’t properly remove them, they can damage the nail and especially so if you prematurely peel them off. To get the best of both worlds then, it’s essential that you always take the time to remove them properly.

I know what you’re thinking, that might be time and money you simply don’t have. Thankfully, it doesn’t take a trip to the salon as you can effectively manage it yourself, at home.

You’ll need:

  • Nail polish remover
  • Cotton pads
  • Foil
  • Cuticle pushers
  • A nail buffer
  • Cuticle cream
  • Protein based clear polish
  • Hand cream

When you start to notice a flaw in your manicure, or you’ve simply have had enough, soak a cotton pad in nail polish remover – ideally one that is hydrating- and press firmly onto the nail. Fold the foil over the fingertip and cover all of the cotton pad. Do this for all of your nails.

When the nails are covered, you can sit and wait for 15-20 minutes to allow the nail polish remover to get under the gel paint and lift it away from the nail. But it’s also effective to apply a bit of heat to each finger to help speed things along and get the best results- you can do this with your hair dryer on a medium setting for around 30 seconds each nail, total.

After 20 minutes (if waiting), remove the foil and pad and you should see either the gel paint has removed entirely, or it’s certainly lifted significantly. If, when doing the next step, it doesn’t move much, apply a fresh pad and foil tip to your nail and leave to soak for a little longer.


Next, apply a little cuticle cream and use the cuticle pushers to remove any excess polish. The cuticle cream will also help to hydrate the nail and nail bed.

Use the nail buffer to smooth the surface of the nail bed and apply a clear, protein base to help strengthen the nail. Finish the treatment by working some hand lotion into your hands and nails.

Ideal treatment for any type of gel manicure.

Top tip:

It’ll help to prepare cotton pad squares, large enough to cover the entire nail with some excess, and foil to cover the fingertip and pad in advance.

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