Nail designer Naomi Yasuda has created works of art on the hands of Madonna, Becky G, Nicki Minaj at the 2018 Met Gala, and many more celebrities. But like most of us, she's quarantined at home, left to her own devices—which means painting fanciful motifs on her own nails. (She showcases them via her Instagram account @NaomiNailsNYC). But to apply a fresh nail look, she must remove the previous one. And you're probably at (or past) a similar stage in your manicure's life span. If you're wondering how to safely remove your hard, soft, or powder gel nails, Yasuda has provided a simple step-by-step guide.

Tools you'll need:
Nail file
Nail buffer
Metal cuticle pusher, or a wooden orange stick
Cuticle oil
Cotton balls
Tin foil
100% acetone or gel remover

First, file down your gels. We’re jut removing the top coat to help the acetone soak into the gel faster. If you have acrylic extensions, you should cut the extensions before you do this. Be careful near the cuticle and skin, because you don't want to damage them.

Next, apply some cuticle oil around the cuticle. Acetone and remover can dry your skin, so you want to protect your skin from that.

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Then, soak cotton balls with acetone, place them on your nails, and wrap the nail with tin foil. Wait 5-10 minutes.

After 5-10 minutes, take the metal pusher or wood stick, and gently scrape the gel off. Repeat the process until you have removed the gel.

Buff your nails and shape them with a nail file. Wipe them down with alcohol, or you can just wash your hands.

Removing gels can leave your nails a little sensitive, so they need some protection. You can use a nail strengthener for an added shield.

Finally, make sure to moisturize your hands.

Tips:
It’s hard to do both hands at the same time, so I suggest doing one hand at a time.

Many people ask me if they can use regular nail polish remover to remove gels. Nail polish remover is basically watered down acetone, so it's not strong enough to remove gels. Make sure that you use one hundred percent pure acetone or gel remover.

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