How to remove Shellac nail polish

I had Shellac nail polish on my nails for 15 or 16 days, and I went in to get them taken off and put back on again. They were now starting to chip and the growth showed through. Rather than pay $5.00 + $25 to have shellac put on once again, I decided to save myself the five bucks and remove the polish the exact same way I saw the lady do it!

You will need:

Cotton rounds, nail polish remover and tinfoil.

Cut your cotton rounds in half to fit your finger.

Cut the tinfoil long enough to wrap around your nail.

Drench your cotton round in nail polish remover.

Cover your nail with it.

Secure the cotton round with tinfoil. This will heat up the chemicals in the nail polish remover so the shellac will be easier to remove.

Keep going! Your fingers will end up looking like this.

Leave the tinfoil finger tips on for no more than 20 minutes – in fact, 15 minutes is probably your best bet. I left the tinfoil on my fingertips for 15 minutes and it was somewhat easy to get off. My right hand being my dominant hand, I left the tinfoil on those fingertips for longer (30 minutes)since i thought it’d help my gimpy left hand remove the polish easier and I got a bit of a chemical burn. It stung a bit when I rinsed my hands with soap and water. So be cautious.

ET phone home!

To remove the polish you can either use one of these stick things, or your finger nails. I found them both to be successful in removing the shellac.

Shellac removed off all the nails! These will look pretty gnarly right now. But simply wash your hands, dry them and put some nail polish remover on a cotton round and remove the excess polish. It should come off in a breeze.

After/Before photo!

All done, your shellac should be all removed. Hope this helped some of you out there!

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  1. I use tin foil wrapped around the Cotten pads to remove normal polish as well. I only leave them wrapped for a few mins. Glitter polish is the worst to remove tho.

  2. Yes! This is now my salon does it! I’ve done it a few times when I wanted a break from Shellac. Much better than sitting with your finger tips totally submerged.

  3. Hi, I just got my first Shellac fill (2nd Shellac set at a salon) and was wondering why my total was more expensive this time around. Then I realized, they charge you for removal. So I’m going to do what you explained here at 2 weeks because I have an apointment set up for 3 weeks after my last app. This is how they do it at the salon as well, but I believe they use Acentone polish remover and wrap it in a hot moist towel, it only needs about 5 minutes to soak. I wonder though if me removing before hand will irk my nail tech at all? Is it rude or seem frugal? :)


  4. No, don’t do this. The companies that created the original gel polishes even state it’s an ineffective, damaging way to remove it.

    Get a polar block or soft buffer and file off the first 3 layers, don’t file into the natural nail. This will save you a lot of time. Also, always file in the same direction so that you don’t get ‘rings of fire’, this takes practice. If your nails feel hot, take a break.

    Soak in a bowl of acetone, one hand at a time, and have your orange wood stick ready. Now, here is the fact, the family of plastics these products come from like to harden up again as soon as they hit oxygen once they’ve been cured. Same with acrylic nails as well. These products are much more closely related to acrylic then gel, acetone won’t dissolve real gel nails.

    You have to scrape the polish off while the nails are submerged. It’s easier. Also, don’t force it off. If you gently push the polish submerged in acetone, it will eventually come off. I wouldn’t leave your hands submerged for more then ten minutes.

    Also, do this with the windows open, all salons are suppose to have an HVAC I think, to constantly replenish fresh air every so many minutes… Vapors are poisonous.

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  6. My concern is when I get my shellac removed usually every 2 weeks, the girl I go to soaks my nails in acetone then using what looks like a small little machine on the nails to remove the rest of the polish , I am afraid too much of the nail gets removed with unison little sander. Should I give my nails a break from the shellac by using regular polish and maybe a hardener in between??

  7. Don’t do this! My daughter did this to her nails and is heading to the doctor’s office for chemical burns to the tips of her fingers. Best to get it removed professionally if you are going to do this stuff to your nails.

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