A regular old manicure? It’s like the VCR: you only choose it if there are no other options. When the gel manicure snuck its way into nail salons across Boston, needless to say, I was pleased. However, I have thin nails and a habit of peeling off polish – a combination that does not bode well for my nail beds. In an effort to save the five to eight bucks it costs to have the gel removed, I take ten minutes and do it myself.

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The key to getting all of the gel off in one try is the first step: filing the tops of your nails. This process breaks though the clear coating and helps the acetone soak in. Make sure you’re using pure acetone, as regular old nail polish remover will not work. The petroleum jelly will protect your skin from the acetone – this works wonders, especially for those with sensitive skin.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

Questions? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala, then check out our Rue How-To column every Wednesday.

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June 12, 2013