Health & Beauty Lifestyle

How to Remove Your Acrylic and Shellac Nails At Home

Here at ele, we know the pain of needing to remove your acrylic and shellac nails at home. In my previous experience as a broke student, it’s usually been budgetary issues keeping me out of the salon. But now with COVID-19 closing your favourite nail tech, we recognise that there might be a few of you in need of a tutorial.

What You’ll Need

  • Acetone 
  • A nail file
  • A nail buffer
  • Nail clippers (acrylic only)
  • Either:
    • Aluminium foil squares, a cuticle pusher and cotton balls, or 
    • A medium bowl, a small bowl, hot water and some paper towel
  • Cuticle Oil
  • Hand Lotion
  • Nail Strengthening Polish

Method 1 (Aluminium Foil and Cotton Balls)

1. If you have acrylic nails, then you will want to clip your nails down to your natural nail. If you have shellac, you can skip straight to step two.

2. File the face of the polish as though you’re buffing your nails. You want to rough up the surface of the polish so that the acetone can sink more deeply into the polish.

3. Just like in a salon, you will soak half a cotton ball in acetone and then wrap the top of your finger in foil. Do this to all ten fingers and then leave to soak for 30 minutes.

4. Remove the acetone fingertips and put them to the side; you will reuse them.

5. Use the cuticle pusher to scrape the polish off your nail. You won’t get all of the polish off this round, so don’t damage your nail scraping too hard.

6. Place the acetone fingertips back on and leave them to soak for a further 30 mins (this may take up to 45, you can pull one off and test it at the 30-minute mark)

7. Repeat Step 5 until the polish is mostly gone

8. Buff and files your nails until the polish is completely gone

9. Apply the strengthening nail polish

10. When dry apply the cuticle oil and hand lotion as acetone is very drying

11. Here is a youtube tutorial that follows roughly the same process I’ve described:

Method 2 (Bowls and Paper Towel)

1. If you have acrylic nails, then you will want to clip your nails down to your natural nails. If you have shellac, you can skip straight to step two.

2. File the face of the polish as though you’re buffing your nails. You want to rough up the surface of the polish so that the acetone can sink more deeply into the polish.

3. Place a small amount of hot water into the medium-sized bowl.

4. Place a piece of paper towel at the bottom of the small bowl and fill with acetone an inch deep.

5. Place the small bowl into the medium bowl like you’re stacking them to put away in a cupboard. This will allow the hot water from the medium bowl to heat the acetone without mixing with it and diluting it.

6. Place your fingers into the small bowl with your hand curled into a fist. Rub your nails on the paper towel as they soak to remove the polish.

7. Soak until the acetone completely dissolved

8. Buff and files your nail to your desired shape

9. Apply the strengthening nail polish

10. When dry apply the cuticle oil and hand lotion as acetone is very drying

11. This video uses a really similar method, except she substitutes the small bowl and paper towel for a ziplock bag

Want more? Click here for Alex’s review of Lip Priducts She Can’t Live Without and here for The Best Hair Oils For Every Budget.

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