Mums Who Inspire

Here is the best way to remove your shellac at home

We can all admit we're missing our hairdressers and manicurists more than ever. Our nails are looking a little disastrous, but fear not. Emma Welsh, who has worked her magic on Emma Watson, Kate Moss and Rebel Wilson's nail, has shared her expert advice on removing your shellac at home.

She shared “Gels always look amazing when first applied but within a few weeks can look a little messy or chipped. Try to oil them daily, especially right now as we are increasingly using more alcohol-based hand sanitisers which are extremely drying on our hands and nails. Try Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil” 

Emma’s top tips to remove your shellac at home

What you'll need

  1. File /buffer
  2. Acetone
  3. Nail oil (Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail & Cuticle Oil or olive/coconut oil)
  4. Tinfoil
  5. Cotton wool.


  1. Make a space with a small towel and your tools.
  2. Start by filing the shine off the top of your nail polish using the flat side of your file, this is essential and speeds up the removal.
  3. Soak acetone on a small piece of cotton wool. Place this on the nail you have filed, then wrap the whole nail in tinfoil. Leave for about 10-15 mins
  4. Pull the wrap off your fingers and the gel polish should have bubbled and fallen off underneath. In some cases the gel is more stubborn, so repeat the acetone part onwards for a further 10-15 minutes. This is very satisfying! (You may need to help stubborn gel with an orangewood stick or cuticle pusher).
  5. Once the gel is off, smooth nails with your buffer very lightly (if you have one) and oil nails daily.

A post shared by Emma Nails (@emmanailz) on

We may not be able to go to the salon, but that doesn't mean you can't give your nails a little TLC. Having a manicure is very relaxing. And doing it yourself is also rewarding, in a few easy steps you will feel like you’ve been to the salon.

Preparation is key, start by setting up an area. You will need:

  • A small towel
  • A bowl of warm water
  • Hand cream
  • Nail oil (Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail & Cuticle Oil)
  • Nail file
  • Orangewood stick/ cuticle pusher
  • Basecoat
  • Nail colours (Rimmel Super Gel) / Topcoat (Rimmel Super Gel Top Coat)
  • Cotton wool
  • Nail polish remover

A post shared by Rimmel London UK & Ireland (@rimmellondonuk) on

  1. Firstly, use a small amount of hand cream and massage into your hands up to your wrists for about 3 minutes. Concentrate on your nails and cuticle area
  2. Put your fingers in the warm water and soak for a few minutes. Remove fingers and pat dry
  3. Apply a rice size amount of cream or oil on each nail and rub in again
  4. Now use your cuticle pusher to push back the unwanted cuticle that has grown on to your nail plate
  5. File your nails into the shape you like. Using your file, move only one way. For example, left to right or side to centre. NOT BACK AND FORTH. Unless you have a crystal nail file. In which case you can saw as these files will just create dust.
  6. Now wipe over your nail plate with remover, ready to apply polish on an oil or cream free nail
  7. Using base coat apply a thin layer to each nail making sure to brush the tip to seal the coat in, allow a few minutes to dry. Base coats are very important to protect your nails.
  8. If you have weak nails you need a strengthener to harden – try Sally Hansen Hard As Nails. Most people need to hydrate their nails. Look for a hydrating base coat like Sally Hansen Nail Rehab.
  9. Now apply two thin coats of your chosen colour, remembering the tip of the nail. Again, allow a little time between each coat to dry. Here is where you can have fun using bright colours or putting different shades over the top, or just classic nails colour. I love Rimmel Super Gel for an at-home gel-like manicure, they have a great range of colours!
  10. Now use Rimmel Super Gel Top Coat for a gel affect finish it’s fast drying and your top coat will help your polish to dry better.
  11. I always finish a manicure with a small drop of oil at the base of the nail and very lightly rub around and over the nail. You may want to wait longer for this stage.
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