There are lots of tutorials on how to remove SOGs out there, but many are too much effort, too drying for skin and nails, or simply too stinky! Here is how I remove SOG. I am going to skip cuticle removal part here, as it it better to do that separately anyway- you don’t want any acetone near freshly removed cuticles.
You will need very simple and inexpensive items, that generally can be found in any home, and if not, in the nearest drugstore. They are: aluminum foil- 10 pieces big enough to wrap top of your finger, petroleum jelly, acetone (plain nail polish remover will not be effective enough), cuticle pusher- plastic great for pushing away the polish, metal for removing leftover chunks, nail files, 10 small lint-free material pieces size should be just enough to cover your nail when you fold the tissue- I had a dried out wet wipe that I cut up, and liked how it worked.
1. Shape your nails with polish on. This way you can see the shape and the length better, and thus have nails look better with your next choice of color. I do not pay attention to the free edge of the nail, and make nails on index finger, middle finger and ring finger the same length, and then little finger nail is shorter, and the thumb is however it looks right. Also, I make sure nails on both hands are the same length.
2. File off the surface of your manicure, this will help acetone to penetrate the gel and break it up for easy removal. Should look something like that- no shine.
3. Apply a generous amount of petroleum jelly to the cuticles and skin around the nail.
4. Take one of the small pieces of material, fold it, soak in acetone, and apply directly to the nail- no use in having acetone anywhere else but on the gel itself. Here I want to say that I have tried Gelish’s gel remover, and in comparison I like acetone much better, as it seems to remove SOGs better, and unlike Gelish’s remover, doesn’t make my nails curl painfully during removal, so I suspect, acetone might be less drying.
5. Carefully wrap the finger with foil making sure the material stays in place:
6. Keep all this on for about 10 minutes, you can press on your nails a bit every now and then to help acetone work. You can do 2 hands at the same time to speed up the process, I prefer to do one hand at a time, because it is a bit challenging to do all the applying and wrapping with foiled fingers.
7. After you wait for 10 minutes you can start removing the foil by twisting it gently and pulling it off the finger, you will get the result similar to what’s on the picture below. This is Sensationail gel, and it is not the easiest to remove. Some SOGs like IBD, Ez-Flow just lift right off completely, this one is kind of crumbly, but removal method still works well.
8. You can remove the stubborn pieces of gel by gently scraping them off with a cuticle pusher. I do not like orangewood pushers, as they don’t do a good enough job and the flat surface is too small, which makes it too easy to damage your nail. I use a small plastic scraper to remove big chunks, and a metal cuticle pusher to remover stubborn leftovers. Be sure to be careful and gentle not to damage your nails!
9. Here are my nails right after gel removal- I have not applied any lotions or treatments yet, but you can see that the skin and nails are not dried out, and look absolutely normal thanks to Petroleum Jelly. The chunks on nails and skin are just gel chunks.
And just like that I remove my SOG manicure completely painlessly and on a budget! Hope this was helpful!