If you’ve ever gotten gel polish put on, or put it on yourself, then you’ve likely also gotten it removed. Removal requires at least 10 pieces of foil and 5 cotton balls, plus a boat-load of acetone. Then, you have to sit there for ten minutes as the acetone works its way through the gel until it can be safely flaked off of the nail. It’s probably the most wasteful 10 minutes of your life (unless your nail tech happens to have a stylus available for you to use on your iPad while you wait). You’re literally trapped in the foil, which has the tendency to slip off if you fidget (which is inevitable).
NAILMates has come up with a solution to this that I’ve tested out myself, and love for at-home use.
NAILMates are small, latex-free caps that, when paired with their foam counterparts, are extremely effective at removing gel polish.
The caps (the actual NAILMates) look like tiny whoopee cushions. One end is open and the other is closed. The pieces of foam that are inserted into the caps match the rounded shape of the caps, and are dipped in a small amount of acetone before being placed into the cap.
Once you place the removable pad into the cap, you slip them on your fingers. It’s much faster than fumbling around with cotton and foil, especially if you’re doing the service to yourself. Slip all 10 pads into all 10 caps, then slip them on your fingers. Here’s what they look like on:
The cap and foam combo not only stay on your fingers much better than foil, they also drip less, making the whole process super simple. And you don’t need much acetone for it all to work. I just dipped the end of the pad into the cap of my acetone container. If you do too much, it’ll drip, but they are clear about not using too much in the instructions.
I also like that you can wash and clean the pads for re-use at home, until the foam starts to break down. After one use, I didn’t see any breakdown, which is good news for the next gel mani I try! If you’d like to try this in a salon setting, the NAILMate caps are also sanitizable.
Ultimately, if you do gel manis, you’ll want to look into these. You can purchase them from the NAILMates site