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How to Take Off a Gel-Manicure at Home

Don't traumatize yourself.


A few weeks ago, most of us didn’t think we’d be quarantined in our homes without the luxury of being able to go and get our nails done. But we’re here now, and nail salons everywhere are closed in an effort to help us practice safe social-distancing. That being said, if you got a gel manicure before all the chaos and now you need to remove them yourself, we’ve got you covered.

Whatever you do, don’t attempt to just pull those nails off. Doing so can dangerously tear your natural nails, cause damage, and a lot of pain. We spoke to Brittney Boyce, a gel extension specialist and consulting nail artist for ORLY Beauty, about how you can take your gel manicure off at home without discomfort or difficulty. With just a few supplies you’ve already got in your bathroom cabinet, you’ll have fresh, clean nails in no time.

Products You’ll Need


  1. File off the top coat and 50 percent of gel color. Be gentle and careful not to over-file your nails. If it starts to hurt or burn, stop.
  2. Wrap nails with acetone and foil/cotton. This helps the acetone loosen the gel without evaporating.
  3. Soak for 10+ minutes to let the acetone loosen the gel completely.
  4. Remove foil one nail at a time and use your pusher to gently push off the gel. You don’t want to push too hard and dig into your nail bed. Repeat as needed.
  5. Apply cuticle oil on natural nails and gently buff nail to remove any excess base coat and or dehydration

And of course, if all this sounds like too much, you can always remove the nails using a gel-nail remover kit like the ORLY At-Home Gel Remover Kit ($14.99, Amazon). If you need inspiration for decorating your newly naked nails, check out our tips for your best DIY manicure.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.

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