Because we’re too grown to pick at it, right?

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It took many, many times over. Many, many stripped nails over, we could say. Many sad, broke-down, torn-up nail beds to get us to the point where we’re finally strong enough to resist picking off gel or dip powder nails. Please, hold the applause. 

Like responsible adults, now we take ourselves straight to the salon to get them properly soaked off. Again, the applause. But what happens when you can’t make it to the nail salon for whatever reason? Well, a girl just has to take things into her own acetone-soaked cotton ball. (You’re going to need a lot of those.)

Dip powder manicures (also known as SNS manicures) typically take longer to chip off or degrade than gel manicures. In fact, the base formula is also way harder to peel off on your own, which makes it even more important to remove it the right way when trying to do so at home. Follow these steps to emerge from post-manicure regret unscathed.

How to remove dip powder nails (or SNS nails) at home 

Step One: Use a nail file to file the nail polish as far down to the base of your nail as you can without damaging your nail bed. Once you start seeing a decent bit of your nail bed or all of the shiny top coat is gone, you’ll know to stop filing. For this part, a cheap, rough nail file works better than your nice metal one. 

Step Two: Once you’ve filed down all of your nails, it’s time to break out the nail polish remover. There are two options. First, you can cut a sheet of aluminum foil into two to three inch squares. For each nail, soak a cotton ball in acetone and then wrap the nail (with the soaked cotton ball on top of your nails’ remaining polish) in the square of aluminum foil until it is snug. Follow with the rest of your nails until you're looking like you have silver claws. Let them soak for about 25 minutes or longer until all of the polish comes off. 

Tip: It’s easiest when you have someone that can help you wrap your nails with the aluminum foil. Additionally, make sure all of the cotton balls are thoroughly soaked with acetone. 

Alternatively, you can get a small, shallow bowl and fill it with nail polish remover and let your nails soak for about 20 minutes or longer until the polish wipes off completely and easily with a cotton ball. 

Step Three: Make sure all of your nails are clean and bare by rubbing each with nail polish remover once more. Apply cuticle oil (our go-to is Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail & Cuticle Oil) and your favorite hand cream to help offset any dryness caused by the acetone. 

Tip: Applying some sort of heat when soaking off gel or dip powder nail polish makes the whole process go way faster. We suggest either covering your aluminum foil-wrapped fingers with a hot towel or floating the bowl of acetone on top of a bigger bowl of hot water while soaking. 

Just like that, your nails can breathe again, sister. Now time to pick out your next nail color...