Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Nail Fix - Shellac Removal

Shellac removal is as easy as the foil method ... actually it's exactly the same!

This is Part III of the Shellac Nail fix series. Links for the other parts are at the bottom of the post.
Would you like to see a video of this process?!  Click here.  


Get a cotton pad (or cotton ball or felt) only as big as your nail. This will decrease your exposure to acetone. Soak the pad really well with acetone. Place the pad on top of your nail, making sure it covers the entire nail bed. Place a piece of foil on top of that. It should look like the sandwich pictured to the left.

Step 2:

Start folding the foil around the acetone laced cotton pad that is on top of your finger nail.

Not sure all these pictures are necessary, but what eve's.

Squeeze the foil at the base of the finger to prevent leakage or evaporation of the acetone. Make sure the pad is held taut on the nail.

Step 3:

Sit and wait for X amount of minutes. Most soak off's, including CND Shellac, come off in 5 min, but can be as high as 10 min.

If for example you were very impatient and took your finger out early it may look like this. You can see some of the gel has clearly dissolved, while most of it is still there.

Do NOT pick it off! Just re-foil this baby. Shellac leaves absolutely no damage, unless you decide to pry things off which is a bad idea with any enhancement.

Step 4:

It should look like this. All of the gel will lift off or flake off. You should be able to take a second acetone soaked pad and wipe off the flakes. CND says you can take a orange stick and get rid of the flakes as well, but you shouldn't have to buff or pry anything off.

If you missed the other parts of the Nail Fix Series, here they are:
Part I - Nail Fix
Part II - Nail Fix - Shellac Nail Prep and Application
Part IV - Shellac problems and questions
Video: My face talking to your face. :D


  1. So after seeing your first post about CND Shellac I went and purchased some for myself. I followed your steps and the CND steps to a t! Loved the results.. AT FIRST. Within a day, it all peeled right off!

  2. hmmm ... First lets try to eliminate a few reasons why this may have happen.

    How long did you cure the shellac for?
    What UV light did you use?
    Were your nails completely dry (and oil free)before application?
    After you put on the shellac did you shower immediately after in hot water?

  3. I love this method: I used it for schellacs, glitter, and even regular nail polish when I'm feeling lazy!

  4. I cured it for 2 minutes on each nail. My uv light is a 36 W one-- 4 9W uv bulbs. My nails were completely dry, I made sure I didnt touch anything with water for an hour and didn't wash my hands or shower for a few hours after.

  5. Unless you have the CND UV lamp for shellac, I would cure the gel longer after each coat.

    How many coats did you do and how many minutes did you cure after each coat?

  6. Antoszewskia said...

    Well I checked to see what the Wattage was on the CND UV lamp and it was 36W, wouldn't it be the same then!? Plus the polish says only 10 seconds in the UV light. Anyway-- I did different numbers of layers on each nail some 2 some 3 depending on how thin or thick. I let the cure 2 minutes after each coat.
    February 2, 2011 9:56 PM

    Hi Antoszewskia, I though I would continue our convo on my blog since its relevant to my post :)

    Each gel product needs a specific amount of UV light intensity (output) to cure it in a specific amount of time. Although your UV light is 36W, which is the same as CND, wattage is related to how much power it uses, NOT to how much light it puts out (output). How much light intensity a UV light puts out (output) is related to the number of bulbs, their placement, and any mirror (or reflective elements) part of the lamp.

    It seems that since you are not using the CND lamp(even if it is the same wattage) it does not have enough intensity to cure Shellac in the time stated by CND. The gel is not curing properly, even if it seems hard. Since my lamp is crappy and not CND's, I cure mine for way longer than what CND says. Furthermore, I put tin foil all around it to give more reflection.

    Since you have product and a UV light, try to Shellac again, but this time cure 4 layers worth for 4 minutes each time. :)

    BTW, I have a 6W light and it works the way I described (*4 min cure per coat), proof that wattage is not as relevant as intensity (output). Good luck!

    Let me know what happens! <3

    1. i don't have a CND lamp or dryer but The one i have works great as long as you know that you have to wipe down the final nail process with alcohol wipes. it takes the tacky layer off and lets them have the awesome gel look quickly.

  7. Aah now I finally know what the term "soak off" means. Thanks for that