You'll never hear us complain about the impenetrable, extended wear of a gel or dip powder manicure. But transitioning from an old polish job to a new one? Well, that's something we'll gripe about. The acetone-filled removal process is never a pretty one, and definitely not something we would dare to try ourselves — which is why our manis tend to run ragged after a month's time.
According to Mazz Hanna, a professional manicurist who works with A-list clients like Julia Roberts, our fears aren't unfounded. "There’s this misconception that gel ruins your nails and that's really not the case — it's gel removal that can ruin your nails," she says. But it's what she said next that really got to us: Not only can we easily remove our gel manis at home, it can often be safer than the practices you'll find in many salons. (Plus, with many establishments temporarily closing their doors in light of the coronavirus pandemic, it can't hurt to be in the know with DIY gel removals.)
"Ideally, gel nails will be removed by a responsible professional. If you're going to a cheap salon, they’re probably going to hack at your nails and cause some damage," she explains. "If you're on a budget and can't afford to go to a higher-end nail spa, you’re better off removing the gel on your own at home."
We asked Hanna to show us the way — which she promises can be completed "in the amount of time it takes to drink a glass of wine." Consider us sold.