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How to Prep & Clean Nails for Gel Polish

I love gel nail polish.  It’s probably because I love having beautiful no-chip polish for a full two weeks.  Doing your own gel nails at home is such an easy and simple process.  Don’t waste time going to the salon anymore.  Instead, learn how to do your own gel nails at home.  However, before you can get the polish on your nails, you need to know how to prep and clean your nails for gel polish first.

Supplies needed:

Remove old gel polish:

How to Prep and Clean your Nails for Gel Polish

To remove old gel polish, cut up strips of aluminum foil.

How to Prep and Clean your Nails for Gel Polish

Cut each strip into thirds.

How to Prep and Clean your Nails for Gel Polish

Buff each nail with a nail file.  This removes the top coat of the gel polish so that the cotton ball and acetone remover can reach the nail through the polish.

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How to Prep and Clean your Nails for Gel Polish

It doesn’t need to be perfect, just a little buff on the top.  You can see that my first two nails have been buffed with the file above.

How to Prep and Clean your Nails for Gel Polish

Get out the cotton balls and the acetone remover.  I usually split the cotton balls in half and use one ball per finger.

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How to Prep and Clean your Nails for Gel Polish

Dip the cotton ball in the acetone remover and put onto the foil.

How to Prep and Clean your Nails for Gel Polish

Wrap the foil around your finger with the cotton ball placed directly onto the nail.

How to Prep and Clean your Nails for Gel Polish

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Once each finger has been wrapped, wait for about 10-15 minutes.  I don’t time it exactly.  I can usually tell by feel when it is ready.  Once my fingers start to feel a bit of heat, I know that it’s done.

How to Prep and Clean your Nails for Gel Polish

As you can see from the photo above, the gel polish has started to lift.

How to Prep and Clean your Nails for Gel Polish

How to Prep and Clean your Nails for Gel Polish

On top of a soft cloth, kleenex, or paper towel (I use kleenex to easily throw away after use), use the cuticle pusher to push off and remove the old gel polish.  After removing the polish, push up your cuticles towards your nail bed.

How to Prep and Clean your Nails for Gel Polish

Use the cuticle nippers to take off your cuticles.  Also use the nippers to clean any dead skin from around the nail bed or the sides of the nail.  This will help to keep the polish from sticking to cuticles and causing the polish to lift later on. At this point, you can use the soft side of the nail file to buff and smooth the tops of your nails.

Next Step:

Now you are ready to move to the next step of applying gel polish.  Your nails should be nice and clean.  Click here to go to the next page to learn how to apply gel polish to your nails.

How to Prep and Clean your Nails for Gel PolishHow to do your own Gel Nails at home

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