This simple process will enable you to remove acrylic (false) nails painlessly and safely at home without causing damage to your own natural nails.
Salons can charge anything from £10 upwards for this procedure, but with a little patience and care it can easily be done in the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the cost.
Firstly be aware that there are different types of acrylic nails. EMA, MMA, fibreglass, etc and although the correct and safe process for removing them is the same certain types will take longer so be patient.
If you wear acrylic nails all the time you should note that each 'fresh' nail tip application should be totally removed/replaced after a period of no longer than 3 months.
It's also worth considering letting your own natural nails 'breathe' a little before having a new set applied and by removing them yourself at home you can allow this rather than having them removed in a salon and replaced immediately - also very time consuming!
So, down to the nitty gritty - let's look at what's involved.
FIRSTLY YOU WILL NEED:
* One or two old towels
* An old glass/ceramic basin (not your best porcelain though!)
* Hot water (optional)
* Large plastic bowl like a washing-up bowl (optional)
* A tub of petroleum jelly such as Vaseline
* A large bottle of nail-varnish remover that contains ACETONE
* Nail file and buffer
* Cuticle oil
RIGHT - LET'S GET STARTED
DON'T TRY AND CLIP THE ACRYLIC NAILS PRIOR TO STARTING THE REMOVAL PROCESS AS IT WILL MOST LIKELY CAUSE THE ACRYLIC TO 'SNAP' WHICH CAN BE VERY PAINFUL AND CAUSE SERIOUS DAMAGE TO YOUR NATURAL NAIL - SOMETIMES EVEN 'RIPPING' PART OF IT OFF.
1. Protect your surface with one of the old towels. (I wouldn't recommend doing this at your dining table as any spillages could take the polish off the wood, kitchen worktop is probably best or even in the garden if it's a nice day).
2. Pour the acetone nail-varnish remover into the glass basin.
3. Apply the Vaseline to your fingers and cuticles liberally.
4. Soak your fingertips in the acetone for around 15-30 minutes.
TIP: It is better to use warm acetone as it works faster. You can heat it gently by placing the basin of acetone into a larger bowl of hot water.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HEAT ACETONE IN A MICROWAVE OR ON A HOB AS IT IS HIGHLY FLAMMABLE AND VERY HAZZARDOUS.
5. Cover your hands once in the bowl with another towel to help prevent evaporation.
6. Once the liquid starts to appear 'gummy' which is the acrylic starting to melt off, you can help to speed up the process by wiping away at the nails with the edge of a towel or flannel dipped in the acetone.
Tip: Don't try to remove the acrylic before it is ready to peel off otherwise it will harden and you will have to repeat the soaking process all over again.
Once most of the acrylic has gone you can speed things up further by using an old nailbrush if desired to apply a little pressure.
7. When the acrylic has dissolved away from your natural nails remove your hands from the acetone and wash thouroughly two or three times with a moisturising soap/handwash.
8. Trim and file your nails into shape as desired and lightly buff the surface. It is perfectly normal for your natural nails to feel a little rough and hard to begin with as the acetone is very dehydrating.
9. Massage more Vaseline into your fingertips paying particular attention to the cuticle area.
10. Finally apply cuticle oil and massage well.
TIP: It is recommended that you allow at least 24 hours before applying a new set of acrylic nails.