How To Remove Gel Nail Polish and Gel-like Nail Polish at Home

  • Hot To Remove Gel Nail Polish and Gel-like Nail Polish at Home | essie gel articles


The world has fallen in love with gel nail color! It lasts for a couple of weeks and looks amazing. These days, there are even more choices for long lasting manicure lovers: LED and UV cured gel nail color and the new gel-like nail polishes. Gel-like formulas (like essie gel couture and essie gel•setter) are for use at home, so they air-dry and don’t require a nail lamp. Wondering about the best way to remove them both? Well, you’re in the right place. Gel polish experts and novices will enjoy brushing up their nail know-how with these quick nail tips.

There’s nothing like a trip to the salon. From the pampering treatments to the way you feel when you step out the door, it’s such a treat to leave the work to the pros. Especially when you splurge on a speedy LED or UV gel nail polish look–the gorgeous manicures that last for weeks. Eventually, you’ll notice it’s time to have your gel nail polish removed. You see little chips and know you’re not supposed to peel it off, but it’s so tempting!

Stop. Right. There. Don’t do it.

Why shouldn’t I peel-off gel nail polish?
Gel nail color is specially formulated to grab hold of the natural nail, so it lasts. Don’t risk peeling your nails by peeling off polish. If you pick away at old gel nail polish, you can inadvertently remove the topmost layer of your nail, creating an uneven surface and damaging your nails. Habitual picking can create serious nail concerns that may require repair. So resist temptation!

How should I properly remove gel nail polish?
Here are essie’s go-to solutions for properly removing gel nail color and gel-like nail polish.
Gel polishes are designed to create a powerful bond that resists chipping, so they require more time for removal. essie’s go-to solution for removal is a visit to the salon, where the experts can work their magic. Here’s how they do it:

LED or UV gel polish removal

1. Thoroughly saturate an absorbent pad with acetone nail polish remover and place on nail.
2. Wrap nail in aluminum foil snugly. A secure fit is essential for thorough removal. Let soak for 15 minutes.
3. Gently lift foil and check if polish has lifted away from the nail. If not, re-wrap and soak another 5 minutes.
4. Gently massage the foil at top of nail and pull foil wrap away from nail. When gel has lifted from nail, carefully remove any gel excess on nail with an orangewood stick (from cuticle to tip).
5. Rub nail with a lint-free nail pad soaked in polish remover to remove any residue.
6. Re-hydrate nails & cuticles with apricot cuticle oil.

Ta-da! That was easy. Now that your nails are all cleaned up, you might want to follow with your favorite moisturizer. If you have some time on your hands, treat nails to a luxe coat of fortifying nail primer like essie millionails.

How do I remove gel-like nail polish?
If you’re wearing one of the new gel-like nail polishes, then here’s our quick how-to for removal. Not only do these formulas air-dry quickly without a nail lamp, but they’re also long lasting and remove quickly. Case in point:

1. Soak cotton ball in nail polish remover and swipe off gel polish as you would traditional nail enamel.

NAIL TIP: For dark nail polish shades, let the cotton ball sit for 3-5 seconds, then pull down the nail. Never rub the cotton back and forth horizontally across the nail—nail polish pigments can transfer to your skin, making removal a messy process.

Congrats! You’re all done. Just finish with a little moisturizer or our perennial favorite essie apricot cuticle oil to keep nails in top condition.

What makes gel-like polishes so great?
You’ve already discovered one of our favorite traits of gel-like polishes: speedy removal.

Gel-like topcoats like essie gel•setter and systems for gel-like nails at home like essie gel couture are some of the hottest new products for good reason. Formulated for fast, easy application and fast drying, they deliver the look of gel polish at home.

I’d like to learn more about essie gel-like nail polishes.
Great! We think they’re pretty amazing. These formulas deliver long-lasting gel-like strength and shine for up to 14 days and are so easy to use.

essie gel couture is a gel-like nail polish, (sometimes called long-wear enamel) that air-dries without an LED or UV lamp. gel couture combines the strength of a nail gel with the simplicity of a traditional nail enamel so that you can apply your favorite essie shades at home. an easy 2-step system with just a nail color and top coat, there’s no need to apply a base coat. 42 streak-free shades compliment any look, and a cutting-edge, glossy top coat air-dries in record time for up to 14 days of fabulous essie color.

essie gel•setter is a clear gel top coat that has the added benefit of working beautifully over your favorite essie nail enamel. So whether you love a french manicure with mademoiselle, a brazilliant pop of color, or the deeply twinkling midnight blue of starry starry night, you can keep your favorite essie shade looking in top condition for even longer by polishing it off with essie gel•setter.

NAIL TIP: you can re-apply gel•setter or the gel couture top coat after a day or two to work your just-polished look even longer.

Looking for even more fab 411 and gel nail tips? Check out great essie articles like What is a gel topcoat? and Gel Nail Polish FAQs right here.

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