A woman sitting at a table, removing shellac nail polish from her finger nails

How to Remove Shellac Nail Polish at Home

Skip a Trip to the Salon and Do-It-Yourself!

Shellac nails are not as popular as acrylic or gel nail polishes, but they are beautiful and sturdy in their own way. Shellac is a four-step manicure that you can achieve by using UV lights and mixing polymers and monomers to get a high-shine finish. Shellac is a quick and easy solution that  can last for up to three weeks. Since it is so easy to achieve, you can remove it yourself. If you are wondering how to remove shellac nail polish, then keep on reading.

What Is Shellac?

Shellac is actually a brand name for a product by CND (Creative Nail Design). This substance is actually half gel and half nail polish, so you could say it’s a hybrid. Not many salons carry this exact type of product. If your nail tech says that she is doing shellac, make sure you know the difference, and that you don’t mistake it for a gel. The CND should be clearly written out on top of the polish.

Applying Shellac Nail Polish

The process for applying shellac is similar to a traditional manicure. It has a base and top coat, as well as two coats of your chosen color. However, the main difference is that you’ll be drying your nails under a UV light, and your nail tech will use CND products.

Why Choose Shellac?

This type of manicure is a popular choice for older women, or as well as people who want to enhance their natural nails. It is applied on top of your clean, healthy nails in a relatively short time frame since it’s a lot like a regular manicure; therefore it is not time-consuming. You can switch up the color every few weeks at your salon, but not by yourself, since you probably don’t own a CND polish. However, once you get bored of this manicure you can remove it yourself, but make sure you have the right tools and know-how.

What You Need To Remove The Polish

Make sure you have the following things:

  • Acetone (a pure one)
  • Cotton pads
  • A cuticle stick
  • Aluminum foil
  • Cuticle oil
  • Scotch tape
  • Scissors
  • Hand cream

Once you’ve gathered all of your tools, you’re ready to remove your shellac nail polish.

Step 1

Use your aluminium foil and cut off a small strip with your scissors. Make sure that your foil is twice as long as your fingertips. Cut 10 pieces of foil, one for each finger.

Step 2

Take your cotton pads (preferably five of them) and cut them in half (so you end up with 10 of them). You won’t need more than this. Fold each and every one in half and apply some acetone on the pad. Make sure you apply and press down the pad directly onto the nail. Then, wrap the aluminium foil around your fingers. Make sure you properly wrap it around so it doesn’t move. Let your nails soak for 10 minutes.

Step 3

Remove your foil and rub the nails with the cotton. If the polish does not come off on its own, take a cuticle stick and push the polish off the nail. Don’t be too harsh; you don’t want to end up hurting yourself.

Step 4

Moisturize your nails and your cuticles. After all of this is done your fingertips will appear dry. Take some cuticle oil or even a hand cream and rub it all over. Give your nails some time to breathe before proceeding with further treatments.

What You Shouldn’t Do

Pick Your Polish

Since shellac is a type of a gel manicure, you should never pick it up with your nails or any other tools. You might hurt yourself, cause unwanted bleeding, or even end up with a nasty infection. Rather, have a steady hand and take your time with the removal process and use acetone.

Tips & Tricks

Sensitive Skin

If you have very sensitive skin that is prone to irritations or allergies, you should use oil or petroleum jelly around your fingernails to protect them. Apply a smaller amount around your skin and use it as a protection layer.

Apply Shellac On Healthy Nails

Any type of gel polish is the most efficient on healthy nails. If you have dry, brittle, or simply unhealthy nails, then you might regret putting shellac on them. Use a good nail oil before proceeding further with this type of treatment. Purchase some nail boosting serums and only do shellac when your nails are at their best.

Correction Is a Must

If you want to prevent damage from happening, make sure you redo your nails every few weeks. Also, make sure you chose the best nail tech there is. The proper application process should never hurt your nails, and shouldn’t take too long to do.