I love a good nail. I also love the way gel polish stays for a few weeks. However, once gel nails grow out, they look awful. I have managed to salvage my mani for another week post grow out by using a thick glitter polish over them (my favorites below). I start from the base of my nails, and apply the polish thicker at the bottom brushing a thinner coat at the top. It gives them a nice refresh, but eventually the gel has to come off.

If you are anything like me, you have made the mistake of chipping away your gel nails at home. Peeling, scraping, and cutting away old gel manicures have ruined my nails. Well they used to at least.

Recently I came home from a trip to Puerto Rico with my family, and my gel nails looked damn rough. Instead of waiting until the weekend to run to the salon, I took them off using an easy 4 step method. All without any nail damage. While doing so, I thought to myself that wish I knew this hack years ago, which spawned the idea for this post.

This beauty hack takes 15 minutes, is crazy inexpensive, and so easy. I start out by playing a good podcast or starting a show before I do anything else. Once you start the process you will not be able to do anything with your hands for 15 minutes, so it is nice to have something to watch/ listen to.

Step 1: File Them Down

With a coarse file, fill the shiny coat of your gel polish down. It gets dusty so make sure it is in a place you can clean up easily. This is an important step. If you do not file the top coat off enough this hack will not work. I like to wash and dry my hands thoroughly after to make sure I did not miss a spot.

Step 2: Soak

Take 10 cotton rounds and soak them with acetone nail polish remover. It has to be acetone for this to work. Make sure to soak up a lot of the polish remover. This helps the process along and in my experience has better results.

Step 3: Wrap

Place a soaked cotton round on top of each nail, covering it entirely. Next wrap the entire nail with a piece of aluminum foil. I like to cover the whole nail and half of my finger down to my knuckle. I find it easier and less likely to fall off. The first few times you try this it can be frustrating. It is a learning curve, but it will come with practice. I also like to pre cut/tear the foil before I start.

There are actual cotton/foil products you can buy already pre-made to do this, but I have not found any that do not require a cosmetology license.

Step 4: Wait

Once each nail is covered and wrapped find a comfortable place and stay still. After 15 minutes have passed, remove the foil and cotton rounds. Your gel nail polish should slide right off. I then wash my hands and buff them out with a 4 sided buffer.

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