Thanks to Kylie Jenner, I have an unhealthy obsession with acrylic nails. They’re the cure all for anything; feeling sad? Get acrylics. Need to make your outfit look even better? Get acrylics. Need the motivation to reply to all of those emails that have been sitting in your inbox for a month? Get acrylics, if only for the satisfying tap, tap, tap sound.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 meant the close of nail shops and now nail beds are breathing a sigh of relief for those lucky enough to have them removed before the nation wide shut-down. I luckily missed out on the nail rush, I removed mine myself.
I’m not going to lie, it was a spur of the moment decision driven by a sudden desire for short nails combined with sore nail beds and an incurable frustration of constantly, accidentally snapping my beautiful nails off.
It was painful and part of me regrets not paying the $20 to get it done professionally. I am not a nail technician and am not trained in removing nails safely but if you’re in a bind financially or, like so many people, unable to visit your favourite nail technicians you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. Here’s how I removed my fake nails in four (long) steps.
I started by taking a nail clipper and cutting all of my nails as close to their natural length as possible. I then immersed then in acetone for 10 minutes to weaken them. Taking a cuticle pusher I began to slowly scratch off the gel paint. I repeated this process until the polish was completely removed from the nail.
To soften the powder I soaked my nails twice more and repeated the process. Taking the cuticle pusher I inserted it underneath the fake nail and popped them off one by one. For some nails, this was incredibly painful and I did damage my natural nails underneath, leaving them weak.
I left my nails to rest for 10 minutes and then tried to remove the remaining parts of the fake nail, where they didn’t come off completely. Using a nail grinder, I ground down the remaining parts of the fake nail until they were gone, leaving the natural nail as smooth as possible.
After this my natural nails felt like paper and tore incredibly easily. The nail beds were bruised and some looked like they’d been through a war. To fix it, I filed down the rough edges with a nail file and made them as even as possible. I pushed back my cuticles and applied a nail strengthening nail polish to begin to bring them back to life. I recommend the China Glaze Nail Strengther and Growth Formula.
Using these four steps it took about 3 hours to completely remove my nails.
Did it work? Yes, but not without a price. Over a month later my natural nails are still incredibly soft and breakable. With a little TLC they are getting stronger but, if you can, I would recommend visiting your nail technician to have your acrylic nails removed. Didn’t Kylie say short nails might be making a comeback?
Love, Erin xx