Unfortunately it looks like it might be awhile before we’re able to hit the salon again. And while some of us have resorted to picking at those gel or dip nails (which btw stop – that will damage your natural nail), we turned to an expert, Mazz Hanna from @Nailinghollywood to help us safely remove our gels or dips.

Hanna teamed up with the experts at Japonesque to provide easy-to-follow steps on how to get salon-quality nails at home.


Step 1: File to a thin layer

Start by filing down the dip or gel to a thin layer with a medium grit emery board. Thinning the gel or dip down will breakdown the product and allow acetone to penetrate through the product faster. Just be careful not to file the surface of your nail to prevent damage. Japonesque has a 15-pack of essential emory boards perfect for the job.

Japonesque Emory

Step 2: Soak in acetone

Next, soak cotton balls with acetone and place one on top of each nail on one hand. Wrap each nail with a small square of tinfoil and allow acetone to penetrate for 5-8 minutes. We recommend this method versus soaking your hands in acetone because the foil holds in heat, speeding up penetration. NOTE – Never heat acetone on a stove or in a microwave, it’s flammable and dangerous. Let your body heat do the work.

Japonesque acetone

Step 3: Gently remove

Once the dip or gel on your nails feels gummy, use the flat side of a cuticle pusher found in Japonesque’s Velvet Touch Essential Pedicure Duo to gently scrape away excess product going in the direction the nail grows (from cuticle to free edge). If the product doesn’t remove easily, add more acetone and soak for another 5-8 minutes and repeat the process. You may have to do this in a few layers.

Japonesques Velvet Touch Essential Cuticle Pusher

Step 4: Buff and shape

Once the product is removed, gently buff any remaining residue with a padded buffer until your nails feel smooth. Be extra careful here to avoid filing your natural nail. The more you thin them down, the easier they will crack and break.

Japonesque Padded Buffer


Step 5: Mini-mani

Lastly, give yourself a mini-mani. You’ll probably want to trim your nails to reduce length – especially if they feel a little thin. Use a nipper with sharp blades like those found on Japonesque’s Power Duo Clipper nails will cut easier with less risk of cracking. Cut from each side versus across the top to avoid bending the nail as it’s cut.

Japonesque Nail duo

Then shape and smooth the edge with a buffer and clean up cuticles with the Japonesque Cuticle Nipper. Finally, massage cuticles and nails with a cuticle oil or moisturizing lotion.

Japonesque Nail Nipper


Need more inspo?

Check out Mazz Hanna’s tutorial to see these steps on video:

Tools of the Trade

Pick up all of the Japonesque do-at-home essentials featured above. Head over to Target.com for Japonesque’s line up of beauty tools.

  • Japonesque Essential Emery Board
  • Velvet Touch Essential Pedicure Duo
  • Power Duo Nipper and Clipper
  • Glamour Salon Board
  • Velvet Touch Cuticle Nipper

Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at contact@intouchweekly.com.