Three weeks after receiving my first no-chip manicure, I had to remove it somehow. I spoke with the talented ladies at the No-Chip Boutique, and decided to remove it myself. Not an impossible task, just more involved than normal nail polish removal.
Note: Don't peel it, don't peel it, don't peel it! Use this removal process. The gel polish is NOT normal nail polish. There's a reason why it sticks to your nails for two+ weeks. Don't peel it, even if its lifting in the corners. If you peel it, you will take layers of your nail with it, which obviously is damaging to your nails.
100% Acetone (Find it at your local drug store/super store, etc.)
Cotton pads or cotton balls
Foil, cut into strips about 1-2 inches wide
Metal cuticle pusher or orangewood stick
Nail buffer or very dull nail file
Nail/cuticle oil (can also use olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil or baby oil)
Cuticle cream, body butter, or lotion
1) Prep your manicure for removal.
Your no-chip manicure still has a shiny clear coat. Remove this by using a nail buffer or very dull nail file. Buff it away until the color is dull.
2) Lay out your supplies.
Since we're dealing with 100% acetone and will soon not have the mobility of all our fingers, I like to lay out all my supplies. Use one cotton ball per finger, or cut up cotton pads to fit. Make sure your foil is in strips before you begin. I recommend covering the surface where you're working to protect it against accidental acetone spills or drips.
3) Begin removal.
Apply acetone to the cotton pad and lay it over your finger. Wrap the foil around it. I secured mine with tape, but its always really necessary. I also preferred to remove the polish one hand at a time, so I had a free hand to work with. Once all the foil is applied (as I like to call it, "Robot Fingers,") keep it on for 15 minutes.
4) Remove foil and cotton pads.
This is what it looks like when I first removed the robot finger.
Now its time to scrape it away. GENTLY take your scraper or orangewood stick and lift up the polish. Some of it may lift, some might need light scraping. The object is to remove the polish without damaging your nail. The acetone should have loosened it up enough that you can do this without much effort. If it's too hard to remove, put some more acetone on a pad and hold it to your nail for a few seconds.
5) Buff away rough spots.
Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them. I noticed once all the polish was removed there were still rough spots on my nail, which I think was just leftover base coat from the manicure. I used my nail buffer again to remove it.
Acetone can be drying. It is important to moisturize your nails and cuticles once the removal process is complete. I like to use nail oil and cuticle cream.
Here's how my nails looked like just one day after the removal process. To me they look normal, and very long! The no-chip polish protected my nails from breaking, so three weeks of growth really shows.
*Observations after receiving/removing multiple manicures:
I'm still happy with this kind of manicure, and I still remove it just how I represented in this blog. I'd say I get one once a month, or once every other month. Polish usually stays on for two weeks, plus or minus a few days. As far as how nails appear after the removal process, I think it really depends on your nails! Mine aren't dry to begin with. Acetone *is* drying. But the day after removal, my nails are normal again. However, my nails are naturally tough, they rarely break, and they grow like weeds. How your nails appear after removal all depends on how you've treated them in the past (if you've worn false nails), how often you get/remove the no-chip manicure and how well you take care of them on a day-to-day basis.