Soak Off Your Two-Week Mani at Home

When I can be bothered, feel financially able and/or have things to do which require looking groomed but don't wish to shame myself, I go for a two-week manicure. They're brilliant. Whether I'm getting Shellac, Gelish or some other brand of long wear polish, I find that I get two solid weeks out of the polish, which is brilliant.

My hands always look groomed when the polish is on, and I feel it's worth the €25 or so when I can afford it, especially at this time of year with parties and such happening. It comfortably accommodates my lazy nature.

The problem arises when it comes time to have the stuff removed. You CAN'T pick it off. If I catch you at that lark, I'll haunt your very dreams. And no, I DON'T have anything better to be doing, actually. Smarty pants...

Beautifull woman hand. Fingernail.

When I treat myself to a two week manicure, I head to a very popular salon in Dublin. It's my favourite place and the service there is great. Having the polish soaked off costs around ten euro, though. So that means that every time I pay around €25 to have the polish applied, it's actually costing €35. I don't know about you, but that's over my budget. It's also annoying to have to go back to the salon just to have a soak-off. It takes time and unless you have polish applied again, you have the rather disappointing experience of leaving a nail salon with boring old nails.

I've started saving money by soaking off my two-week manicures myself at home. It's perfectly safe to do - it doesn't require a professional nail technician. Your head won't melt off if you do it yourself. It's a touch fiddly, but it will save you a tenner and goodness knows that's a LOT of Minstrels.



Here's what you'll need:

  • Acetone -Available from any beauty supply store - regular nail polish remover won't work - you need a very high percentage acetone  gel polish remover.
  • Some Humble Tin Foil - cut into ten small squares.
  • Cotton Wool Pads - I favour the large rectangular ones designed for babies as they don't lint. Cut into ten little nail-sized rectangles.
  • A Cuticle Pusher or Soft Nail File - I use this handy tool for pushing back my cuticles, but it does a great job of removing the softened polish from nails.


Step One

  • Pour your acetone into any convenient receptacle - I usually use the lid of the bottle. Remember that it's highly flammable, so never ever do this in proximity to any kind of flame!
  • Dip a little cotton square in the acetone until it's soaked, then place it over a fingernail.
  • Take a foil square and wrap it around the tip of your finger, covering the nail and cotton pad, tuck any excess foil under towards your fingertip to make sure the foil stays snugly in place.
  • Repeat on all the fingers of that hand, then wait ten minutes. (I do one hand at a time - it's almost impossible to do the other hand with foil all over your fingers!)
  • After ten minutes, remove the foils. you'll see that the polish is softened and puckered around the edges. To remove it, you need to either file the nails or gently scrape the polish from the nail with a cuticle pusher. There's no need to use any force - the polish will come right off. If it doesn't, replace the foil and soak the nail for three more minutes or so.
  • This step causes the polish to crumble everywhere, so I do it over a sheet of newspaper.
  • Repeat the entire process on the other hand, then wash both hands and apply some cuticle oil.

I know it's fiddly and a bit time consuming, but you can do it while watching tv and it saves you some precious precious moolah, which is especially important at this time of year!


Are you a fan of the two week manicure? Do you find the soak-off a pain in the hoop? Would you attempt it at home? To the comments!

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