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I don’t get my nails done too often, only for special events. I have VERY fragile nails and I find that the gel shellac damages them even more. I also think it’s expensive to do it on a regular basis and would rather spend my money elsewhere like on travel

I usually try to wear my gel shellac manicure for as long as I can, one time it lasted over 3 weeks long. Although it grew out quite a bit it didn’t chip.  

The worst part about the whole gel shellac manicure is removing it. It’s really bad to peel it off as it could pull layers of your nail off with it. So please don’t do that. I never have because my nails are already so fragile as is. They constantly peel and I’ve tried everything to make them stronger. 

How to Remove Gel Shellac Manicures at Home

Here is how I remove my gel shellac manicures

First off you need…

  • Pure Acetone (I usually pick it up at Sally Beauty Supply)
  • Cotton rounds
  • Tin foil
  • Cuticle pusher
  • Nail file

Take the nail file and file the bed of your nails to try and break the top layer of the shellac. This first step really helps save time later so I recommend not skipping it. You don’t need to file to much, you should be able to judge it.

I usually cut my cotton rounds into 2-3 pieces, but do whatever works best for you. Take the cotton rounds and soak them with the acetone, place it over the nail and wrap it in tin foil.

Do this to all your fingers. I typically do one hand at a time cause I find it tricky to do both at the same time. 

Oh and look at these awesome clips I found on Amazon while writing this post. They are clips you can use in place of the tin foil. I’m so ordering these next time I place an Amazon order. Does anyone else build up a list until they reach the free shipping point? 

Anyways, back to the instructions…

Wait about 10 minutes, sometimes 15 and then remove the tin foil and cotton rounds. I usually remove one and see how it looks and judge it that way. 

You should see the shellac lifting off your nails, if it isn’t lifted then you probably didn’t file enough, leave it long enough or didn’t put enough acetone on. You might have to do it again.

I then take my cuticle pusher and gently push the polish off, don’t me rough as you will damage your nails.

How to Remove Gel Shellac Manicures at Home

After the polish is all off I wash my hands and apply lotion or oil to replenish my nails with moisture. My nails typically look like shit after as you can see in the photo above. It really shows all the damage done by the manicure. My nails are long in this picture, they never grow that long without the shellac overtop. They look long there but are extremely weak and most of them crumbled away by the next day. 🙁 

If you have weak nails like me then you may also want to apply OPI Nail Envy. I usually wait a few days or a week to do it so my nails have time to breathe. It’s a miracle worker! Highly recommend it!

How do you remove your gel shellac manicures? Do you go to the salon? Or do you have another trick for at-home removal? 

Also, if you have weak nails like me I’d love to know how you treat them. 🙂 




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