Monday, August 23, 2010

...No-Chip Manicure Removal!

**Sorry about the water marks. I started seeing my photos elsewhere on the web. Please, do not use my photos without asking first.**

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.

Supplies:
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.



6). Moisturize.
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.

68 comments:

  1. robot fingers made my day, so glad you included pictures!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. seriously! the pictures are going to make the removal process much easier! thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. So glad I could help out, the process is really simple! Cheers!
    -Lauren

    ReplyDelete
  4. LOVE people like you on the internet! thanks for the great help and, indeed, those pictures were needed.

    ReplyDelete
  5. OMG! Thank you going to do it right away today!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is great information as I had my no-chip done just over two weeks ago. I think I have another week at most before removing the polish. One question, can't you just soak in acetone as with acrylics?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well, I've never worn acrylics, so I'm not sure how to remove those. (Please note, I am in no way a professional here, I'm just a customer of the no-chip manicure!) My understanding is that this is not the same as acrylic, rather it is closer to what they use for artificial gel nails. The no-chip "polish" is actually a gel substance. As it says in Step 3, apply the acetone to the cotton pads then secure with foil. This is the "soaking" part. Once that step is done and the foil and cotton is ready to come off, the gel just peels away, and you have to scrape away the rest. It's easy to do this because the acetone is still soaking through the product, so it all scrapes away very easily.

    ReplyDelete
  8. How are your nails doing now? I did the no-chip a few times (removing myself the first time and allowing the pros to do it the others). My nails, over a year later, were still not quite the same. I have been using different products to strengthen them and prevent peeling, but they are still weaker than pre-nochip. Kinda makes me sad because having nice looking nails for 2 weeks is a huge plus!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've done the no chip about five times, each time I remove it myself. I've not noticed any change in the condition of my nails at all. I have pretty strong nails, they grow really fast. maybe that's why.

    ReplyDelete
  10. mine lasted 6 days and started chipping at the bottom. i have been trying to chip the rest off all day because nail polish remover wouldnt work! thanks for these instructions

    ReplyDelete
  11. Whoa, this is intense. When I Googled "no chip manicure" for some Swoop research, your blog post was the second result that came up!

    The drying out of the nails is CRAZY, though…makes me wonder whether I want to get this done.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I has acrylics done in the past and after having them removed and not redone, my nails were very weak and brittle. I went to Sally's to find a product that could help me get my nails back in shape, they recommended Nail Magic, it's about 8.00 a bottle but this stuff is magic! I always use it on my nails now and they are very strong and beautiful. I have to say though, I did the no chip manicure and I don't think I'll do it again. I had no idea when I had it done that I would not be able to easily remove whatever it is they put on my nails. It looks great, but I don't know if I want to go through the hassle.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for the Nail Magic tip! My mother had acrylics for years and her nails are very weak now. Sorry the no-chip wasn't right for you. It does take extra to remove it, your nail tech should have explained the removal process to you! Thanks for the comment!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just had a my first no-chip removed at the salon today. I'm going back to regular mani's because the process takes too long, and I fear for the strength of my nails. Also, after the removal today, I had a "regular" mani this afternoon and when I take a close look at my nails, it looks sort of like "sheet marks" or a little bumpiness under the polish. I suspect she didn't get all the gel off. I don't think she did robot fingers quite long enough! I do appreciate your blog!! Good info.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you so much! My nails look great... Even though it was a long process it was definitely worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh and I wanted to add that before I applied the robot fingers I put some oil on my finger around the nail to protect my hands from drying out... When all the no chip was gone I used a buffer that had a shine side too. :) made my nails look like new again

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for the great information. The photos were helpful too.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks, this will definitely come in handy later!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you so much!! This was so helpful! I thought I was going to be wearing this nail polish forever!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great step by step instructions worked great!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Gonna addd a little hint here.

    my hint which has been stolen from someone who stole it lol. Rather than foil - you can get sewing thimbles to put over the cotton :). I'll be trying this soon myself!

    ReplyDelete
  22. This blog will help me so much.. just starting to get this done on a regular basis due to $ I will go every other time to the salon (they will remove for free). Salon will paint me a darker color - I will do a lighter color since I am not the best at doing this. But it will work and I so LOVE the nochip on my nails - they are just so firm and pretty :).

    ReplyDelete
  23. Lauren this method is absolutely amazing! Worked even better and faster than described above. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm a huge nail biter. Do you think this would be good for me. i currently do False nails and do not bite those. (since i pay so much, i dont want to ruin them) They are also very hard if i were to bite down anyway. How is the hardness with a no chip manicure? is it like acrylic? i was told a no chip mani was almost like having your own nails. Idk if i could handle that. my biting is really bad...

    ReplyDelete
  25. Tabbi-
    I never wore false nails before, but my mother did for many years. When she finally removed them, her nails were brittle, weak and could not grow at all. They are starting to get better, but it's almost been a year already since she stopped doing false nails. That said, she did get a no-chip manicure with me a couple months ago, which helped her nails grow out a little. Upon removal, she kept her nails very moisturized and only used clear polish. They are still very weak after removal. She does not have a biting problem, though.

    Learning from my mother's experience upon removing her false nails, I do not recommend getting no-chip manicures, as the gel polish can be very drying if used over and over. And on nails that will probably already be damaged, it's just going to make your problem worse. I suggest asking your doctor for suggestions. I know there's something on the market which makes your nails taste bitter, to try and divert people from biting them. But really, these are all suggestions, and you need to take care of this situation on your own with people who know you best. Hope this helps!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks so much for posting this! I actually used regular polish remover with acetone as the first ingredient and it worked just fine. My nails aren't as strong as yours but this was quick and free so I loved it. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    2. That type of remover worked for me too! Thanks for the tip.

      Delete
  27. Thank you so much for posting this! The only thing I don't have at hom is the 100% Acetone nail polish remover. $4 or so for that is much better than paying whatever it would cost to go to the salon again. I'll gladly spend the time to save some money! Appreciate your post and photos!

    ReplyDelete
  28. This is very helpful...salon did NOT explain the removal process.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks for this, I can't get an appointment at my salon to remove mine. I do think I can handle this.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks so much for posting this! This was so helpful, especially since this was my first time trying the no-chip and I had no idea how to remove it. I didn't have 100% acetone on hand, so I actually just used regular nail polish remover and it still worked. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thank you do much for this advice and pics. On my way for removal.

    ReplyDelete
  32. THIS ADVICE IS GREAT, THE PICTURES HELP A LOT....JUST ANOTHER SUGGESTION FOR GROWING LONG AND STRONGER NAILS....BIOTIN IS A VITAMIN SUPPLEMENT, GET IT AT ANY DRUGSTORE 5000 UNITS AND THEY'RE TINY LITTLE VITAMINS....HELP HAIR, SKIN, AND NAILS....ADD NO CHIPS AND YOU'RE GOOD TO GO....AND GO.... AND GO!

    ReplyDelete
  33. thanks for the advice! this worked great on 8 of my 10 nails, 2 of them somehow didnt come off as well and my nails lost the top layer in a few spots, oh well, mostly worked out :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Awesome information! You are great for offering this. The pics made a huge difference because you always wonder when you're doing something different "is this how it should look". Awesome, awesome, awesome!!!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you sharing your tips with the rest of the world. I love the no-chip manicure but have always damaged my nails with its removal. Can't wait to try this at home this evening and get them back in shape.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thank you so much for sharing these tips. I really appreciated it especially after I realized how hard it was to remove this manicure.

    I don't think I'm gonna do this again, but it was an interesting experience.

    ReplyDelete
  37. When my Chi died, I bought a Hot Tools flat iron at Ulta and have been very happy with it. Thanks for the polish removal advice!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I tried this yesterday and it worked perfectly. Thanks for providing great details on the removal process.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thanks for the post. You got right to the point with the relevant information. I did not have to spend a lot of time piecing together information. Your answer made everything easy to understand.

    You understood the reasoning for the question, you answered inquiry from first hand experience. Your pictures are worth a thousand words.

    Wish I had investigated before I had the no chip manicure; my first and my last no chip manicure.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thanks LaLa for the tips on how to remove the no chip mani, I had mine done 2.5 weeks ago and wanted to remove it just with the nail remover - didn't work and I might add that the salon didn't tell me that's its different removal process. Your pics are great I can see how it's suppose to look and won't be freaking out that I'm doing something wrong. Well off I go to start removing this no-chip!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Thank you for the detailed instructions and pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thank you for the detailed instructions and pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Worked great for me and my nails now look very healthy! I've been getting no-chip mani's for a year now. Usually lasts about 3 weeks, although I always get french, so the new growth isn't so noticeable. I just didn't have time to go in this week and found your blog to be very helpful. Of course I've watched them do it at the salon many times, but having it all documented was cool, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  44. I tried this out yesterday and it absolutely worked! Thanks so much!!!

    ReplyDelete
  45. I thought painting your nails was suppose to make them stronger? Mine seem to get weaker and peel. Whats the deal? I'm taking regular mainures too, not no chip ones.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Everyone's nails are different. Some people who have naturally weak or thin nails probably shouldn't paint them all the time, to give them some air. Maybe try letting them breathe, and just apply nail oil in the morning and at night to try and strengthen them. Remember that if you get frequent manicures (regular or no-chip) the constant application of nail polish remover might make them weaker, too. Keep in mind that nail polish and remover *are* strong chemicals, and our bodies all react differently to different things. It's up to each individual to decide what will work for their nails and what they need to avoid. For someone who has weak nails after regular manicures, I personally would not recommend the no-chip application. It might be too much.

    (Disclaimer: I am in no way a professional or licensed nail esthetician! I just do my nails frequently and like to share information with everyone. Everyone is different and everyone needs to figure their own nail's needs. All statements written on this website are purely my personal thoughts and suggestions.)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Thank you so much for your great instructions. I had my first no-chip manicure 2+ weeks ago, and I was looking for a way to remove myself, as my last regular polish was removed by the manicurist and was pure torture. She really beat up my poor fingers! I would hate to go through any more polish removals with her, much less a no-chip removal. Great job explaining this procedure!

    ReplyDelete
  48. I have done the no chip about 4 times the first 2 times were great the last 2 times they over buffed my nails and made them very thin. So your article is very helpful I am going to try and remove my no chip myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If your nails are wearing thin I would suggest waiting a week or two without any polish. I know- bare nails! The horror! But it will give you some time to breathe and regrow.

      Delete
  49. Lauren - I cannot thank you enough for providing these instructions. I got my first no-chip on a whim so that I could have nice-looking nails for a couple of holiday trips. It never entered my mind that the removal process would be so involved. Thanks to a friend at work who warned me against peeling off the polish and then finding your blog in my Google search. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad I could help! I wrote this post two years ago but everything is still accurate. Enjoy!

      Delete
  50. Does anyone have experience reattaching one intact no-chip piece when it comes off too soon and the rest are still fine? Wondering if there is a safe adhesive of some kind to paste the intact piece back on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've had no-chips that lift a day or two after I get home on one finger. I think it's because it didn't sit under the lamp long enough. Not sure. But if that happens, usually your salon can take the polish off that problem finger and re-do it for free (they should, anyway!) Or, if you're a good week into your manicure you can try and reattach it with some nail glue.

      Delete
  51. Thanks for the great photos and descriptions! It worked like a charm!

    ReplyDelete
  52. How long should u leave a no chip on?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The amount of time you leave on your no-chip is totally up to you. I've had them last three weeks. There is usually a little bit of nail showing near the cuticle by that time, because of natural growth. I like to remove it after about 2-3 weeks, to allow my nails to breathe, and because the unpolished nail growth popping through can be a little unsightly, especially if the manicure is a darker color.

      Delete
  53. I was hot oiling my hair with olive oil heated up in the microwave. The heat and oil made the polish come off in big chunks. Continuing to run my hands through the hot, oily hair soothed the nails and made it easy to get the rest off with a stick. Try it, much simpler.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well usually the manicurist will tell you to avoid oils, cleaning solutions, and citrus, as they can weaken the no-chip. Be careful (to anyone!) if you decide to use hot oil and you've never tried it before... it heats up fast!

      Delete
  54. Did this step for step and my nails look great!! Thank you for sharing. Usually my nails are awful after removal

    ReplyDelete
  55. Thank you so much. I have has my no chip manicure peeling by itself. This is so helpfull. But how do I get my nails back to normal. I have very thick nails but they are always peeling. Even befor the no chip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I've mentioned before, I'm not a professional, so any suggestions I give are purely just that- suggestions. That said, It sounds like your nails are dry. Try using a nail moisturizer on them in the morning, and before you go to bed. And I am a firm believer in healthy body-healthy nails. Diet and exercise not only do a body good-it improves the condition of hair and nails, too.

      Delete
  56. It sounds like we have similar nails so I think I'm pretty comfortable with using the acetone and trying this at home! Thank you so much for the tutorial, this is so helpful!!!

    ReplyDelete
  57. I used this to remove my gel manicure and it worked wonderful. Thanks for the information.

    ReplyDelete