Kiss goodbye to overgrown nails, unkempt cuticles and chipped colour.
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Unfortunately, like a lot of changes in life, isolation came out of nowhere. For many of us, that meant that one day we were admiring our fresh manicure and the next we were grappling with the idea that said manicure would be on our digits for the next six to eight weeks. Cue: panic.
Whether you like a simple polish on your nails or are a card-carrying acrylics convert, the thought of having grown out, chipped nails is never appealing. We’re sure many of you would rather go au naturel than have to face an untidy manicure – but this is easier said than done. So, to help you navigate removing your manicures we called upon Natalie Papadopoulos from The Parlour Room. Here, she shares all her manicure removal tips (that won’t ruin your nails in the process).
If you’re a simple base coat–colour–top coat kind of girl, then you likely know how to remove your polish already. All you’ll need is a bottle of nail polish remover and a few cotton pads. However, getting all of it off can still be a struggle.
Papadopoulos advises that for colours that are darker (think reds, burgundies and blacks), you may need to work a little harder. “Sometimes colours will need one or two more nail polish remover cotton pads than you originally thought, but take the time to properly remove these colours as the staining can cause a yellowing of the natural nail,” she says.
Gel manicures can be a little harder to remove. After all, they are designed to have a much greater staying power than your average polish.
“First step is to buff the top layer of shine off the nail,” recommends Papadopoulos. “This is really important as it will allow the acetone to penetrate the polish and make the removal process a lot faster.”
She then recommends adding a little cuticle oil to help protect the skin around the nail from becoming dry or flakey. This tip should be followed no matter which type of manicure you’re removing as it will ensure the health of your nails post-removal.
“Then apply a soaked cotton pad with acetone to the nail and wrap them in foil. You need to make sure the cotton is at least the size of your nail.” Leave the foil on your fingers for 10 to 15 minutes and remove. Behold: beautiful, bare nail beds.
Aka the motherload. Acrylic nails are some of the most difficult to remove, in general, let alone in the comfort of your own home. So, we’d hate to be the bearers of bad news but it looks like your best option may be to stick it out.
“Personally, I would never advise anyone to remove acrylic nails at home as it can be quite tricky if you are not trained properly,” says Papadopoulos. Same goes if you have dip powder, as the removal process (and strength of the bonds) is pretty similar.
For reference, it is the same process as removing gel nails, however, the process will need to be repeated a few times – putting a greater amount of stress on the nails. “Over-buffing or scraping the nail plate when trying to remove the polish can cause a lot of damage which results in the nail becoming thinner and weaker.” Our advice? Listen to the experts and tough it out.
Now that the polish is safely off your nails, it’s time to give them a little TLC. “Definitely use cuticle oil every day, even twice a day, and massage it into the skin around the nails,” recommends Papadopoulos. This will ensure your skin and nails remain moisturised and healthy.
There’s now also such things as nail masks (how fun!) which help nourish and repair the nail and prevent it from thinning out. “Kester Black has a range of really beautiful products to treat the nail,” says Papadopoulos. “My favourites are the Self Love Cuticle Oil, the Rest & Repair Wonder Mask and the Miracle Treatment Base Coat.”
It’s important to take this time to build up the strength of your nails, as we’re almost certain that when salons are open again, they won’t be getting much downtime.
Have you tried to remove your manicure at home? What was your experience? Tell us in the comments below!
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