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How To Remove Acrylic Nails At Home In Lockdown

How To Remove Acrylic Nails At Home In Lockdown

Thanks to lockdown, nail salons have now been shut since before Christmas, meaning that, by now, a lot of us have made botched attempts to take our acrylics off.

Just last week, Molly-Mae Hague revealed she'd split her nail in half attempting to remove hers, and all you have to do is scroll through social media to see similar disasters happening to women up and down the country.

Attempting to remove your acrylics without the help of an expert can be a particularly tricky job, but - we get it - when your nails are growing off your hands like talons, eventually something has to be done.

That's why we reached out to celebrity manicurist Michelle Humphrey for her top tips on removing acrylics at home, to ensure you don't end up damaging your nails, or hurting yourself.

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"Removing acrylic nails can be a daunting task to try at home, but these tips should help to make the process a little easier," says Michelle, who is a manicurist for the likes of Dua Lipa, Lily Allen and Priyanka Chopra.

"Be aware that if your nails are of non-standard product (MMA acrylic) you may find this process takes much longer and the product is much harder to remove."

At home acrylic nail removal

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You will need:

Files (100 grit and 200 ideally)

Buffer

Acetone

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Cotton

Foil

Cuticle oil

Nail clippers

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An orange wood stick or cuticle pusher.

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You'll need some equipment to remove your acrylics from home (Credit: Instagram/ Michelle Humphrey)
You'll need some equipment to remove your acrylics from home (Credit: Instagram/ Michelle Humphrey)

Method

Before you begin, it's important to protect any surfaces, as acetone can ruin worktops and tables.

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Clip down any excess length, this will save you time and give you less surface area to file down.

Trim your nails down before you start (Credit: Instagram/ Michelle Humphrey)
Trim your nails down before you start (Credit: Instagram/ Michelle Humphrey)
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Next, remove any colour from your acrylics. If it's regular polish, remove as normal and if it's gel, you'll need to file it off. (NOTE: if you skip this stage you'll find the removal a nightmare or even impossible).

Once you've removed the colour you should try to get the acrylic as thin as possible to speed up the removal time by filing down the bulk of the thickness

After this, soak the acrylic off using cotton wool saturated in acetone and wrap in foils - leave for 10/15 minutes.

Gently push off any acrylic that's softened using your orange wood stick or cuticle pusher. Re-wrap if necessary, and make sure you keep the cotton saturated in acetone. (During this step, never force any product off the nail plate if it's not ready, re-wrap!)

Scrape any excess acrylic off after soaking (Credit: Instagram/ Michelle Humphrey)
Scrape any excess acrylic off after soaking (Credit: Instagram/ Michelle Humphrey)

This process will probably take 20-40 minutes to do yourself per hand depending on the thickness of the acrylic.

Once you've removed all the acrylic you can file the free edge. Then, gently buff your nails smooth using your buffer.

Apply plenty of cuticle oil to rehydrate the surrounding skin and nail.

You can use this method to remove Gel polish, Soak-off Builder gel, SNS and Acrylic.

You can use cuticle oil or nail strengthener after removal (Credit: Instagram/ Michelle Humphrey)
You can use cuticle oil or nail strengthener after removal (Credit: Instagram/ Michelle Humphrey)

Anyone else think their manicurist is a superstar after this?

Michelle - who has previously shared her tips for achieving Tiger King nails at home - advises that you can also remove acrylics by "soaking them in bowls of acetone".

If you choose this method, "ensure you only use ceramic or glass bowls as plastic ones may melt," she says. "Glass ramekin bowls work well as they're small, or you can get proper removal bowls with individual finger holes online."

Good luck ladies...you've got this!

Check out the rest of Michelle's nail art on her website.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

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Joanna Freedman

Joanna is a journalist at Tyla with a particular interest in highlighting women's issues and telling inspiring first person stories. She's also their resident foodie, and loves covering exciting new beauty launches, too. Contact her at [email protected]