Nails not looking so hot? Here's how to remove shellac safely at home 2 years ago

Nails not looking so hot? Here's how to remove shellac safely at home

How are your nails holding up?

Good? Bad? Not as horrific as you thought but still not great?


It's been a good few weeks now since any of us have been able to frequent a nail salon, but if you've still somehow got old shellac on your fingers - or have been painting some on yourself at home during lockdown - you'd want to make sure you're removing it properly. And safely.

Manicurist and beauty therapist Emma Welsh knows all too well the trials and tribulations of getting a stunning shellac set, only to find that after a few too many weeks on your nails, they're not looking so hot anymore.

A few months back, that would have been because you didn't have time to go the salon. Now, it's because nail salons aren't open, leaving us all to fend for ourselves with our dodgy manis and grown out gels.


But just because we're suffering, doesn't mean that our nails have to too. And although it's generally preferable to go and get your shellac removed at an actual salon, there are only a few items you need to adequately do it yourself at home.

According to Emma and Rimmel London, you'll need the following:

  • File/buffer
  • Acetone
  • Nail oil (Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail & Cuticle Oil is a good shout, or olive/coconut oil)
  • Tinfoil
  • Cotton wool


 And here's how to remove the shellac itself, safely and effectively:

1. Start by filing the shine off the top of your nail polish using the flat side of your file. This is essential and speeds up the removal.

2. Soak acetone on a small piece of cotton wool. Place this on the nail you have filed, then wrap the whole nail in tinfoil. Leave for about 10-15 minutes. 

3. Pull the wrap off your fingers and the gel polish should have bubbled and fallen off underneath. In some cases the gel is more stubborn, so repeat the acetone part onwards for a further 10-15 minutes (you may need to help stubborn gel with an orangewood stick or cuticle pusher).


4. Once the gel is off, smooth nails with your buffer very lightly (if you have one) and oil your nails daily.

A whole new world, etc.