Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Nail Chronicles

I have had acrylic nails for the past 12 years or so.
Had little breaks here and there but have had them on for 90% of that time.

I've been pretty open about the fact that I LOVE my acrylics.
I may be one of the few people left that do.


I have an announcement.

The nails are GONE!

Above you can see how badly I needed my nails to be done.
Baring in mind I decided to chronicle this partway through removal so they look worse here than they did.
Also note the remnants of glitter polish I was using to cover the growth
My ring nail shows how much growth I had, about 5 weeks after my last infills.

I had seen a few tutorials for removal of shellac so decided to take the same approach with acrylic removal.
I first buffed off the gel layer.
Applied cotton pads soaked in Acetone Nail Polish Remover and wrapped finger & pad in foil.

At this point I made a cup of tea and settled in for some Homeland...

I lasted about twenty minutes, which was not enough time to shift the acrylic.
I should of used pure acetone for a quicker effect.

I buffed the remainder of the acrylic until it was quite thin, then used an orange stick to peel off the acrylic. That hurt like nothing else and I DO NOT RECOMMEND doing that.

Not only did it hurt, but it also caused a lot of damage to the underlying nail.

I filed the very jagged tips with a glass file, and lightly buffed the nail as they were very damaged and peeling.

The above photo is after the file, buff and two coats of Sally Hansen Miracle Cure.
I have been applying Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail & Cuticle Oil like a maniac ever since.

No strengthens or hardeners over here. Many contain formaldehyde and I took off my artificial nails to reduce my chemical exposure.

This is after 2 coats of OPI Bubblegum.
Because I ripped off the acrylic layer, I damaged the cuticles around my nails
Application is messy, but I dare not place any nail polish remover around them for fear of the pain!

I plan on updating my nail recovery, as it's very unlikely I will be up to swatching for the next week or so.
I don't plan on getting my acrylics back anytime soon.
Depending on how long it takes for my hands to not hurt every time I do anything.

Hot water is the worst!

Have you DIY'ed your acrylic removal?
Have you had them professionally removed?
What steps did you take to speed up recovery?

Do you know any products that will make them stop hurting???


  1. owwwwwwwwwwww ok that looks incredibly painful, I do not envy you one bit! My fingers are hurting just looking at it haha

    1. It is.
      So much.
      I have a pretty high pain threshold. But this is something else!
      Still in agony, took them off on Sunday!
      It even hurts to type.

  2. oh sweetheart, i feel your pain. I did the same thing about a year ago now. Sometimes I do miss my acrylics but having to get them redone all the time became more of a chore than a joy. I found nothing helped mine no matter what I put on them. Only solution was to bare down and wait for the damage to grow out. Now I use lashings of solar oil & lemony flutter from lush to keep them in tip top condition, well somewhat top condition.
    Good luck with your quest lovely, i'd love to see the transformation!

    1. I think my saving grace will be the fact that they were SO grown out - the damage is only on the top 60% of the nail, so I am hoping they will be fine in about 3 months.

      Then I get to tackle the fun that is Psoriasis so they won't be any good - but 12 years is a long time for improvements in nail treatments - fingers crossed.

      I couldn't find anywhere in our neck of the woods to do them, there is ONE place and its always booked out [I don't do chains, too scared of infection/inferior staff training]

  3. I had acrylics on for years and my nails were in such bad shape, I had them removed at the nail salon and one of them was so damaged I could feel my skin through what was left of the nail. I think I used a nail restoration polish on them but it took months for them to get healthy and grow out. Never ever getting acrylics again after all that!

    1. I considered going to the salon to have it done.
      But I knew I would just get them put back on!
      Plus, there is one place that does them near me, and I can't do the chain stores. I fear for my safety :)

      If I can push through the next few months recovery time, I will never get them again either :)

  4. YIKES! I usually rip my acrylics off with my teeth... because I'm a lady :P

    Lol. It looks like you've done an amazing job though!! I'm very keen to see how your nail rehab goes!

    1. You still wear acrylics?
      I thought I was the only one left on the planet!

      Thanks doll - will definitely keep you in the loop. <3 Nail Rehab :)

      P.S I have ripped them off with my teeth in the past too. Usually while driving, eek

  5. I just got acrylics for the wedding! Have been painting them but I really need to make a decision in the next week whether to remove them or fill them - kind of too scared to keep them after seeing your nails!

    Can't wait to see an update post on the nail rehab. X


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