Gel Nail Polish Removal Process: Before and After Photos

I really liked having the gel nail polish on my fingernails for the past 13 days but it was time to take it off. It still shined but the edges were beginning to look grown out and I must say that my nails grew longer and faster with this polish on. Or at least it seemed so. I really like short nails and when I started to feel them tap on the keyboard, I wanted to cut them all off. I included the picture on the left for you to see how much they grew in the 10 days between photos.

I went to the same salon that I went to the first time. Typically if you go to have the polish put on there they will give you a discount to take it off. The process itself took a total of 15 minutes and I was on my way. The scraping and filing was the part I wasn’t such a fan of. I would have rather let them soak longer so they could easily lift off.
My overall thought when I left was that I wasn’t sure if I would do it again in the near future in order to let my nails breathe. My nails look good today, 24 hours later and my fear of ruining my nails has subsided. They look healthy which was my main concern. I love the gel polish and would recommend it for long vacations or events but maybe not as an everyday thing.

Previous Post: Are You Jellish? The Life Cycle of Gel Nail Polish

The Process:

My Manicurist filed the top layer off of each nail with a large file to expedite the acetone process.

Acetone soaked cotton is applied directly to the top of the nail and wrapped in tinfoil to hold in place for 5 minutes.


The nail is then scraped in layers to remove the gel polish and the clear undercoat.

All the little flecks of polish.


The tops were filed with a small filing block and the tips were shaped to remove any leftover color. You can see the scrape marks that made me regret my idea. I came home to trim the nails and add nail oil to rehydrate. The photo below is what they look like 24 hours later. They look so much better today than when I left the salon.


  1. I basically had the same experience. I had the Opi Axxium applied and removed probably a total of 4 to 5 times. I have really strong nails that grow really fast. I loved the fact that the polish lasted. I didnt really chip and the shine lasted forever. I’d mostly remove it when my nails grew out and the new growth started to show at the nail bed. I usually had a french manicure so the new growth wasn’t as obvious. The polish can “build up” your nails and make them fell a little thicker.

    Anyway, loved the long lasting results, but like you I have a problem with the removal process. I’ve had my nail tips soaked in a bowl of acetone, then the polish lifted off with a metal cuticle pusher. No real damage to the nails, but this method can leave your nails pretty dry. I’ve mostly had the cotton ball soaked in acetone applied to the nails then wrapped in foil method. A lot of the polish comes off, but I don’t like the scraping of the nails with the metal cuticle pusher. It left the damaging scrape marks on my nails also. I would get new polish applied right after each time.

    About the fifth time I had it done my nails were so scraped up that I decided to leave it off. My nails were thin, peeling and breaking easily which never happened before using the gels. Finally after about three and a half months my nails are getting back to normal.

    I agree, I think you have to insist the manicurist allow the nails to soak longer so the polish easily lifts off instead of needing to scrape so much-taking along little pieces of your own nails with the polish and damaging them.

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