Sunday, 12 August 2012

How to remove a Shellac manicure/pedicure at home

I have had two Shellac manicures and a pedicure so far. Whilst I absolutely love them, they are a bit of a bastard when you want the polish removed. The first time, when I was sick of the manicure and it was starting to chip anyway, I picked it off like I would with normal polish that had begun to chip, and in the process I completely destroyed my nails. Bad move. When it came to removing the pedicure I decided to get it done at a salon when I was getting another pedicure done, and they charged $5.00. Highway robbery of you ask me! Especially as they pretty much just peeled it off themselves. After these two experiences I decided that I had to learn how to do it myself. This is my method:
What you will need:
  • Cotton balls
  • Aluminium foil
  • Acetone based nail polish remover (I used Sally Hansen Strengthening for Weak, Thin Nails)
  • Tweezers (optional)


Step 1

Rip the foil into 10 pieces (or however many nails you are doing) into squares that are about 5cm x 5cm.

Step 2

Soak a cotton ball in the nail polish remover. Place the nail polish soaked cotton ball on your nail then wrap the foil around the whole finger.


Step 3

Repeat until all nails on one hand are done. It is best doing one hand at a time as you need your fingers free on the opposite hand to remove the polish. Leave for at least 10 minutes. 


Step 4

After 10 minutes check one nail. The Shellac should be lifting up by now. Using a pair of tweezers or a nail from your other hand (I used nails from my opposite hand), gently scratch the Shellac polish off. It should come off easily. If it doesn't, put the soaked cotton wool and foil back on for another 5 minutes. 


Step 5

Repeat on second hand. 


Step 6

Using a new nail polish remover soaked cotton ball, give all of your nails a final scrub to remove the last stubborn flakes of Shellac. 


If the Shellac isn't coming off easily then it needs more time with the nail polish remover. If you try to peel it off rather than scratch it off you will ruin your nails. I got impatient with my second hand and have damaged these nails (see below). 

I was also impatient (as I was busting to take my new Gelicious kit for a test drive) and did both hands at once. It was very difficult to wrap the second hand and I think that might have compromised the results on that hand as I couldn't wrap the foil tightly. Unless you have an assistant to help you, you are better off being patient and doing them one at a time. 
What method do you use to remove your Shellac manicure or pedicure?