I love a good gel manicure (check out a few photos of my latest manicures here, here, and here), but I’m notoriously bad when it comes to returning to the salon to get it removed.  I’m fine until I get my first chip or peel - then it’s game over.  The next thing I know, I’m peeling and picking the polish off and damaging my nails as I do it.

I know it’s horrible for my poor nails, but I somehow just can’t help myself.  Between making time to book a gel removal appointment and the strange sense of satisfaction I get when I peel it off myself, I decided it was time to take measures into my own hands - literally.  The answer?  I learned how to remove it myself.  Contrary to popular belief, removing gel polish at home is actually very easy. 

Today I’m removing my manicure from my wedding.  I originally was going to get OPI’s Bubble Bath on all my nails (classic wedding manicure), but decided to add a silver accent nail at the last minute.  It just felt more “me”.   

simple wedding manicure ideas
minimalist wedding manicure
wedding manicure ideas accent nail
Wedding manicure ideas


What You’ll Need:

1.   Nail file
2.  Nail polish remover or pure acetone  
3.  Cuticle pusher
4.  Tinfoil or foil remover wraps
5.  Cotton balls or cotton rounds

Step 1.  File off the top coat.  This is the clear coat that the salon applies at the end of your manicure.  Do not skip this step; the top coat is what seals your gel polish and it will not come off properly if you don’t remove it.

Step 2.  Cut 10 squares of tinfoil that are wide and long enough to wrap around your fingernail fully.  Cut 5 cotton balls or cotton rounds in half and then soak them with nail polish remover or acetone.  Note that this can be done with regular nail polish remover, but it will work much better and quicker with acetone.

Step 3.  Place the soaked cotton directly on your nails and then wrap each finger in tinfoil.

Step 4.  Wait 10-15 minutes.  Remove the tinfoil and cotton.

Step 5.  You'll notice the nail polish has lifted from the nail.  Using a cuticle pusher, pry off the polish.  Clean up cuticles and any residue with a nail file or nail polish remover and a cotton ball.  


Step 6.  Optional: apply a cuticle oil of your choice to re-hydrate your nails.

Manicure c/o the Ten Spot in Yaletown, Vancouver.  Wedding photos by Norma Ibarra

Disclosure: The above links are affiliate links.  This means that if you purchase something that I feature, I’ll get a small commission.  Not enough to buy a pony, but this is one of the ways that I can continue to #findit for you!