Wednesday, August 10, 2011

DIY -- How to Remove Acrylic Nails

Hey everyone! Today I have a DIY acrylic removal guide that won't harm your natural nails. I've had acrylics for the better part of the last 5 years, give or take a month or so along the way. Generally speaking, I love them.. but I don't love the demarcation line as they grow out and the fact that it's such a hassle to change polish with them (which is something I like to do frequently). After my last fill, which turned into an epic disaster, I decided that I wanted to be rid of my acrylics for a little while and see how my nails make it on their own.

Every other time I've tried to remove my acrylics at home, I've been impatient and tried to rip them off and have completely destroyed my natural nails in the process, leaving them impossibly thin and weak.. which is why I only last 2 weeks before having the acrylic put back on. This time, however, I decided to try a new approach that I really liked.. and I thought I'd share it with you. :)

  • Pure Acetone
  • Glass bowl or small dish
  • Nail Clippers
  • Orange stick
  • Pedicure Block
  • Nail file with a very fine sanding side
  • Buffing Block
  • Cuticle Oil
  • Newspaper
  • Plastic bags or trash bags
  • 1-2 Paper Towel(s)
  1. Prepare your workspace: You'll want a large, flat surface (like a kitchen table). Lay your plastic bags/trash bag down and top it with newspaper. This will prevent damage in case of any acetone spills.
  2. Pour acetone into your glass bowl or dish. You want enough acetone to be able to fully submerge your nails in. Whether you choose to do one finger at a time or multiple fingers at once is up to you. Personally, I did 4 fingers at once and then my thumbs separately.
  3. This next step is up to you: You can either clip your nails short now or wait and do it later. I prefer to do it later when the acrylic is thinner because then your nail clippings won't fly everywhere.
  4. Submerge your fingers in acetone for 10-15 minutes. Remove your hand from the bowl and place it on the paper towel to soak up the excess acetone. At this point, the acrylic should be gooey and starting to separate from your natural nails.
  5. Working quickly before the acrylic re-hardens, take your orange stick and gently start to push the acrylic towards the tip of your nail. Once it is at the tip, you can push it off and discard it. 
  6. Repeat the process as necessary until the majority of acrylic is removed. If you haven't clipped your nails, now would be the time to do so.
  7. Using the pedicure block, gently sand the remaining acrylic from your nails. Be careful not to also sand your cuticles!
  8. Shape the free edge of your natural nails with the nail file and use the fine side to also remove the last traces of acrylic from your nails.
  9. Use the buffing block to finish smoothing the surface of your nails.
  10. Wash your hands to remove the acetone from them and follow up with cuticle oil to prevent over-drying from having submerged your fingers in acetone.
  11. Lastly, allow the acetone to evaporate from the bowl instead of pouring it down a drain or toilet.
- - - - - * - - - - -

And that's it! Your acrylics will be removed without damage to your natural nails! Remember, the key is to GENTLY push the softened acrylic off of your nails, not to rip it off or pry it up.

Hope this helps you the next time you get acrylics and need to remove them!

♥ M

1 comment:

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