I took off my own gel manicure…because I’m a boss.

Don’t worry, I haven’t been hiding some insanely amazing gel manicure from you, I got a basic red manicure while I was home (mother-daughter bonding session!) and it had hit the two week expiration date. I was very much capabable of walking myself into a nail salon to remove it, but I thought Hey, I can totally do this myself! And it was pretty easy! Here are my semi-pro tips for DIY gel mani removal:

1. I split up a cotton ball into 5 parts and soaked them in my drugstore brand polish remover (the label says “Nourishing Remover” but it includes acetone, so I think it cancels out…If you have a better way of taking off a gel please tell me! I know acetone isn’t ideal). I put a piece of the soaked cotton onto each nail. I had to do one hand at a time because…

2. I wasn’t ready for a full “Edward Scissorhands” look. You have to wrap each nail in tin foil and it’s really hard to do the other hand while you have pieces of foil sticking off the ends of your fingers. So one hand at a time, half an episode of New Girl per hand.

3. Remove the foil and cotton. Now comes the worst part, the scraping. I used an orange wood cuticle stick to scrape off the polish, starting at the cuticle. You might have to wrap a few nails again to help with any tough spots.

4. Repeat on other hand. Finish that episode of New Girl.

5. Now my nails needed some TLC. First up, a little buffing to smooth out any rough spots. Next, that cuticle oil I told you about before. I slathered it all over my nails and cuticles and let it sit for a bit. Okay, and maybe I started another episode of New Girl (just to be clear, I’m just watching for Nick).

And there you have it! My official semi-pro guide to removing your gel manicure at home. Have you removed your own? Any tips?