How To Take Off Your Gel Manicure At Home Without Losing Your Sanity

There are many forms of slow torture out there in the world that I willingly inflict on myself. For example, editing my Bumble profile or listening to Hannah Bakers extra AF voice for 13 episodes in a row. Also, gel manicures because they are secret sabotage. Dont get me wrong, gels are necessary for surviving vacation, Starbucks selfies or showing off your engagement ring. They look good AF and their lifespan lasts longer than the Thai food currently rotting away in my fridge rn so its not hard to figure out why basics like myself love them. That being said, gel manicures are a trap and you SHOULD NOT FALL FOR IT. Sure, your nails might be living their best life now, but in 2-3 weeks theyll start to go through this weird phase where they peel and chip and just generally look like shit but you cant do anything about it because removing gels is more complicated than fucking rocket science. And over my hot, dead body will I spend the $10 removal fee at a rando nail salon. Like, you already get me for my monthly mani/pedi, eyebrow maintenance and bikini wax torture session. You dont get my dignity this too.

If youre like me and youve triedand failedat home gel removal its probs because you didnt actually know wtf you were doing and/or you were too busy trying to decide if the crimes were especially heinous during a marathon. So heres a guide for how to get rid of your gel manicure without having to earn a degree at MIT or visit one of the one million nail salons in NYC, you cheap asshole:


Wine. As much as you can carry. This process could take longer than tonights episode of and youll probably need just as much patience for this as you will to listen to all of the fuckboys try and explain their careers as former athletes to Rachel.

RACHEL: So, what do you do for a living?

FUCKBOY: Well, I’m a former athlete so

RACHEL: …………..



Trust me, youll want the wine. But, like, in a more practical sense youll also need a nail file, acetone, StarPro remover (aka the good shit you always ask your nail technician about and she feigns a language barrier so she wont have to give up her nail secrets), cotton balls, and aluminum foil. Jesus. Seriously hoping FreshDirect has this shit in their pantry section because I for sure dont think they carry all of this at the bodega down the street. Dont you wish youd just spent the extra 10 dollars to have the professional remove them? No? Well just you fucking wait.


Buff away whatever is left of the top coat of your manicure. Consider this your arm workout for today because this shit is harder to get off than that guy you dated for 3 months who swears this never happens to him.

STEP 1.5

Drink more wine. Its important to stay hydrated buzzed throughout this process lest you give up halfway and your nails look even more jacked then when you started.


This is where it gets weird. Youll need to soak cotton balls with acetone and put them on the top of your nail. Then use aluminum foil to wrap your finger. Youll know you’re doing it right when you lose all mobility in your fingers. Fun. Soak for 10-15 minutes or when you feel like your skin might peel off your body. Whichever comes first. God, I feel so refreshed and nourished already.


Use a cuticle stick to push the remaining gel off your nail. Theoretically, this should come off pretty easily, especially if you soaked your nails for the right amount of time. If its not coming off easily then you fucked up and should probably just commit to drinking the rest of that wine. Once youve gotten the rest of the gel off, file your nails to your favorite shape (lol like any of us know how to do shapes and shit) and then buffer to round out any snaggly edges.


Cleanse your nails with rubbing alcohol. Tbh if you replace rubbing alcohol with Champagne then this is legit my strategy every Sunday morning when I wake up and realize all the ways I ruined my life the night before. It’s v therapeutic. Lastly, because your nail beds suck, apply cuticle oil to hydrate.

Congratulations, youve now removed your gel manicure. That or youre just drunk and your nails still look like shit. Tbh its probably 50/50. But at least you can feel better knowing that you just spent 30 minutes of your life and $30 of your hard earned money (I’m including the wine and supplies here) doing something that would literally have cost you $10 at a nail salon with a complimentary neck massage thrown in. *chugs wine*