There are different types of gel nails, so you might need to determine exactly what kind of gel nails your manicurist applied before trying to remove them. Regular gel nails are more durable, applied in thick liquid coats, and protected by a hard topcoat. Soak-off gel nails are easier to remove, because they are applied in thin, liquid coats and can only be applied to real nails or perhaps very short extensions. If your manicurist applied a liquid-powder combination, you have acrylic nails.

How to Remove Soak-Off Gel Nails

Step 1: Remove Nail Polish

Remove all existing nail polish, including clear coat, with Gel Haute Polish Remover. Apply the nail polish remover with a cotton ball or tissue, rubbing the nail surface until all traces of polish have been wiped out clean.

Step 2: Soak Nails in Polish Remover

Soak your nails in a small bowl of Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover from Ulta for 5 to 10 minutes. The gel nail components react with, and are broken down by the nail polish remover. Also, the gel nail will become malleable and sticky over time indicating that it is ready for removal, guiding you to the next step in the how to take off gel nails guide.

Step 3: Start Removing Gel Nails

Pull the gel nails smoothly. Work from the outer edge toward the center. Do not force the removal of rigid nails as you may injure your own nail or nail bed. In this case, you may have to re-soak the rigid gel nail until it becomes more pliable and ready to be taken off. Rub nail polish remover onto your natural nails to remove any excess stickiness.

How to Take Off Gel Nails

How to Take Off Regular Gel Nails

Step 1: File down the Surface

Use a nail file to gently scratch the surface. File smoothly and in crosshatches to keep the work even, moving the file to different areas all the time so that you don’t feel burn. Wipe dust away frequently. This will allow you to clearly see how much more gel there is to go before you hit natural nail.

Step 2: Use a Finer-Grit File

Switch to a soft file and buff away the thin layer of the remaining gel. Though it can be hard to avoid damage when working with regular gel nails, doing it gently will minimize it.

Step 3: Sooth with a Buffer

Sooth nails using a classic nail buffer. This serves as a spackle: once buffed, your nails will be smooth with no scratches. Finally, shape your natural nails, rinse the dust off and paint them as usual.

How to Take Off Gel Nails

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