How To : Remove Shellac at home

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hello lovelies!

So we all think once in a while it's a great idea to get shellac done on our nails. I mean color that won't chip for weeks? Who wouldn't want that? Except for the fact that it's terrible for your nails, and if you're like me, means you can't switch up the color as often as you'd like. 

There comes a point where I lose my mind and literally try to peel it off (DON'T DO THAT), but with some patience you can safely remove it yourself at home.

What you'll need :
-Cotton pads

-Foil paper

-Cuticle stick
-Nail buffer or nail file
-Cuticle oil
-Hand cream

a picture of cuticle oil, hand cream, acetone remover, cotton pads, foil paper, scissors, cuticle stick

1. Cut your cotton pads and foil paper into 10 little rectangles, so that you have one piece of each for each finger.
a picture of Quo nail polish remover, cotton pads, foil paper
2. Start off by applying cuticle oil generously on each finger. I like my trusty Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil. This will serve as a barrier between your skin and the acetone.

3. Soak each piece of cotton pad in some acetone remover (I just used this one from Quo), wrap it around each finger it tip and secure it with a piece of foil paper. Once you're done you should look like something right out of a sci-fi movie, ladies and gents : The Claw Of Shellac Destruction :
a picture of nails wrapped in foil
4. Let that soak for about 10 minutes. It will basically break down the polish so you can then scrape it off.

5. With your cuticle stick simply push up on the polish, this is the annoying part, be patient, PLUS you sorta get a work out from it! Ok not really, but it's hard work...
a picture of a how to remove shellac at home
6. With a buffer or nail file, go over each nails to make sure you get every last bit of this polish from hell. YOU WILL WIN! Then go back over with a cotton pad soaked with remover to clean everything off.

7. Wash your hands thoroughly and apply a generous amount of hand cream (I like the Vitamin E Hand & Nail Treatment from The Body Shop). Once it's soaked in, reapply cuticle oil.

8. Try to give your nails a break. Shellac and acetone probably did a number on them, let them breathe a little and moisturize often!

(PS: you could also soak your fingers in a bowl with acetone for 10 minutes and then scrape it off, but I felt it was harsher on the skin and the removal wasn't as easy...)

All I can say, is I'm gonna think twice before getting Shellac again. I'm not a huge fan! What are your guys' thoughts on it?

Hope this was helpful and will save some of you a trip to the salon or unnecessary damage to your nails!

Talk to you soon,



  1. I love shellac and since I have started using it over a year and a half ago, I have never used regular polish again. The shellac is shiny, perfect, insta-dry and doesn't chip... it's AMAZING. My nails are not weak nor destroyed. Last time I removed my manicure I went bare for a week and got tons of compliments on my natural nails. I did ruin my nails the first few times I did the shellac manicure. On top of that, it took me 2 HOURS to get the polish off. Ain't nobody got time for that! The biggest mistake I made was using regular acetone versus 100% acetone. Sure, the pure acetone is strong as shit, but you end up dipping your fingers for 5 minutes and scraping off the polish takes 10 minutes or less. I've actually found a tool over time that lets me scrape the nail polish off without using acetone and without breaking my nails... but I think this also depends on the original strength of your nails. I definitely do not recommend using the plain old polish remover though, because you have a life to live!

    1. Yeah pure acetone is ideal, but I could only find this strong acetone remover. Still worked well! 10 minutes with foil (worked better than the soak) and then just scratch it off :) But I do not like shellac. lol You're lucky your nails are so strong! But yeah that and gel is not good, actually probably anything we do to our nails is bad...BUT A GIRL'S GOTTA LIVE! You're right you're right! Thanks for the input :)