Remove Shellac Nail Polish (Nail Enthusiast Process)

There are several methods to remove shellac nail polish, and I'm going to tell you my favorite way. Note that Shellac is not a gel nail polish!

If going to the salon to remove your nail polish is a hassle and you decided to take control and remove your own shellac nail polish at home, then you're at the right place! If you've removed gelish before, shellac won't be hard at all!

This is what a Shellac Nail Polish Manicure looks like 2 weeks after;

how to remove shellac nail polish

Some people use a nail file to on the top coat of their Shellac nail polish. Some people also fill up a small container with acetone and start to soak their nails.

I'm personally not a fan of filing off the top coat because you may damage your natural nails, especially if you are a beginner. If you are going to do this, be sure to be gentle.

What I don't recommend; Soaking your nails in a bowl.

So, what do you need to start the process?

The Supplies to Remove Shellac Nail Polish

With the following supplies, you can remove your shellac nail polish at home;

  • Cotton Pads and Aluminum Foil
  • Shellac Remover Wraps (Either these or the above)
  • Shellac Polish Remover (Acetone or Non-acetone)
  • Cuticle Stick
  • Nail File (May use Electric)
  • Orange Stick

The total cost to get yourself a little shellac removal home kit is around $20. If you want to get real fancy, go for an electric nail file.

CND Shellac Remover Wraps

If you want to save time, buy CND Shellac remover wraps. You can use them on regular nail polish and gel nails too!

cnd shellac remover wrap and acetone

If you're wondering where to buy acetone to remove your shellac nails, the answer depends on whether or not you want a natural nail polish remover or just a regular acetone bottle.​

Most of the natural or organic nail polish removers are available online or at beauty stores. Don't expect to find something high quality at your local supermarket or convinence store, that's where they sell regular acetone.

Using a non-acetone nail polish remover adds about 10-20 more minutes to the removal process. This is due to the fact that the chemicals are weaker than acetone and are gentler on your nails.

It does have its benefits though. Soaking your hands in organic polish remover is better since it doesn't dry your hands so much, but be prepared to scrub away your nail polish for a while.

If you are training, I recommend you buy non-acetone nail polish remover because you will be using it very frequently.

OR you could just get a manicure practice hand​ or a fan of false nails and practice on those instead!

Process to Remove Shellac Nail Polish

After several years, this is my best "how to remove shellac nail polish" process for home, either with acetone or non-acetone nail polish remover.

If you have shellac remover wraps, apply them now and skip to step 5. Using these wraps is the "official" way of removing shellac nail polish by CND.

If you are using a natural nail polish remover, you will have to LIGHTLY file away the top coat of your nails to damage it a little, then continue to step 2.

1. Get your aluminum foil and cut small squares that will wear on your fingertips. 10 Fingers, 10 aluminum foil squares.

cnd shellac nail polish remover wrap

2. Soak a cotton pad in some acetone or organic nail polish remover until it absorbs as much as it can.

If you know what you're doing, lightly file the top coat just a little bit.

3. Put it on top of your fingernail and wrap it with the aluminum foil square. Avoid getting acetone on your skin, it dries it out quickly.

4. Repeat for the rest of your fingers.

5. After 10-15 minutes, or 20 minutes, depending with nail polish remover you used, slide your fingers out of the aluminum foil squares. The shellac nail polish will look as if it is flaking, this is good!

remove shellac nail polish

6. To remove the remaining shellac nail polish, use a cuticle stick and begin genly scraping the shellac off. If it doesn't come off easily and is still stuck to your nails, put the finger back into the soaked cotton pad aluminum foil square.

7. Repeat the process for your other fingers!

8. Use your orange stick to get all the excess material from underneath your nails!

orange stick remove shellac nail polish

9. Once you get the shellac nail polish off, restore your nails by buffing them.

10. Wash your hands, apply cuticle oil and moisturize. Solar oil is the official CND "cuticle oil".​

how to remove fake nails moisturizer

This is my best method to get shellac nail polish off. When I am practicing on myself or with a friend, I use non-acetone nail polish.

I bought a bottle of Karma Naturals from Amazon a while back because it was the top rated product in the category. It has a lavender scent and works like a charm, except the extra 10 minute removal time.

Congratulations! You now know how to remove shellac nail polish successfully! Let me know how long it took you to do the process and if you have any questions!

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