If I get my nails done on a Friday, they start chopping by the time its Monday. Then I am running to and  fro from my daughter's pre-school, with chipped nails. And I start a crib fest in my mind, wishing if only it had lasted me the week. Am sure its the same story with so many of you. Our nail polish just don't seem to stay.

But then I faced the opposite side of the spectrum of this problem. As I always have an issue with chipped nails, I went ahead and got a gel manicure. Chose the perfect coral red for summer. My nails were perfect. I expected chips to appear but they didn't for a long time. It was almost close to 20 days, when the chips started to appear. Given the perfectionist that I am, I wanted to take it off immediately, and get them repainted. The idea of gel manicures is that your nails will grow out, and you will be left with half moon, unpolished nails, hugging your pretty gel nails. But honestly, I was getting tired of the half moons and the chips which had started to appear.

But with Gel Nails, if the salon charges you a fee to have them removed, you realize your normal nail polish removal tactics will come to a standstill, in getting this tough paint off . 

I must confess that its a long process and tackle one hand at time. I had tried to do both hands at the same time, but realized that you need a free hand to go through the routine. So as tempting as it may sound, do one hand, take a break, have a coffee and then start off with the second hand. Patience is your best friend when it comes to this procedure. Line up that favorite Rom Com on TV and have some fresh coffee and get started. Timings may vary, depending on the quality Acetone you use. So you might need to tweak in the timings, according to your case in point.


Jumbo Cotton Wool : 10 
Aluminum Foil: Cut into 3x4 inch squares: 10 (It should be large enough to cover the nails) 
Nail Polish Remover( I used non acetone, but Pure Acetone is more effective, and will take less time)
Nail File and Nail Buffer 
Orange Stick
Hand Cream 


Cut the Aluminum strips according to the size which would wrap around your nail

With a nail file/nail buffer, start filing the top coats of the gel paint, to loosen the bonds. Dont feel tempted file it away completely. Thats the job of the Nail Polish remover 

Soak each cotton pad in Nail Polish remover  and wrap it around each nail. 

Then wrap the aluminum foil around the cotton wool to secure it and lock in the Nail Polish remover

Let it hang out for a minimum of 15 minutes. Start to check the progress by opening one nail cover. If you feel that the gel is peeling off, then remove all the foils. Or else give it some more time. 

For me, it took around 30  minutes per hand as I had used a non acetone nail polish remover. If you use Pure Acetone, it will take you less time, per hand.

Most of the gel polish should have come off in the cotton wool. Use an orange stick to push away any residual gel paint. 

Wash your hands with some warm soapy water. 

Massage in some hand cream into hands and especially in the cuticles. 

Skip Nail polish for a couple of days, as the nails need some rest too. 

Keep massaging the nails and cuticles with some hand cream for the two days, that you skip any nail polish. This will help in restoring some of the hydration. 

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