Removal of Shellac and Gel Nail Polish: A Home Guide
Dear reader, I sought solace in Instagram. The era we find ourselves in is unfamiliar to most of us, and certainly a first within my lifetime. I found myself apprehensive about recommending delightful beauty products during this time, fearing it may appear tasteless, inappropriate, or even callous. However, when I posed this question to my followers on Instagram, the response was resoundingly clear: "Don't be foolish - we need an escape, for goodness' sake!"
The requests I received took two general routes. Firstly, many sought solutions and products to help with the predicament of not being able to visit salons for nail, hair, or other treatments. Secondly, there was a general yearning for pleasant distractions, as we already have enough unpleasantness to deal with.
Let us begin with the practical aspects. If you find yourself with two-week-old gel polish adorning your hands, and the regrowth starting to irk you, fear not. You can remove it yourself.
For this task, you'll require acetone nail polish remover - no other alternative will suffice. Additionally, gather a high-quality nail file with a coarse side, some kitchen foil, and cotton pads. If you're feeling a bit fancy, Glossier Cotton Rounds (available for €4 for a pack of 60 on glossier.com) are beautifully embossed and can be considered an elevated beauty essential. I personally appreciate them for nail work, as they leave no fibers on your nails or tips. You'll also need a wooden cuticle pusher. You may already possess these items at home, but you can find affordable acetone nail polish remover online.
To avoid waste, I recommend cutting each cotton round into four small triangular pieces, perfectly sized for your fingernails. You'll need one piece for each nail. Next, tear a long, thin strip of foil and divide it into small rectangles. Ensure they are large enough to wrap around the cotton pad and cover your entire fingernail. This way, the foil can fold over and securely stay in place without having to hold it.
Begin the process by using the rough side of the file to buff away the top, glossy layer of your shellac or two-week gel nail polish. Then, generously soak one of the cotton triangles in acetone polish remover and place it on your nail. Wrap the entire nail with the cotton pad in foil. After approximately five to ten minutes, the polish will have softened enough to gently remove it from the nail. You may need to lightly buff the nail with a nail buffer afterward, if you have one.
If the sight of root regrowth bothers you and you'd rather not dye your hair at home, consider using an at-home toner or gloss to prolong the time between salon visits. Josh Wood Shade Shot Gloss (available for €19.99 on boots.ie) is a remarkable product that restores the desired tone to hair that has become faded, neutralizes unwanted brassiness in blonde hair, and revives warm brown shades. It is truly the most professional-quality "home" product I have ever come across. While we'll discuss how to handle root regrowth in a future article, it's easier to tolerate when the rest of your hair looks purposeful rather than confined.
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