Skip the salon with this trick for removing a gel manicure at home

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For anyone who has trouble making a normal manicure last more than three days, discovering the magic of gel nails (near-flawless for three weeks?!) can be life-changing.

But the worst part about gel nails is that moment when you need to take them off and you just can’t. Suddenly, you feel like you’re trapped in a gel nail prison. The options are basically stab and scrape and peel your fingernails with various objects for what feels like hours or head back to the salon to pay someone else to take them off. The worst!

So, I tested three methods to see if there was a better way. Spoiler alert: There is!

You’ll need: Whatever product you pick up in the nail polish aisle at the drugstore.

Our Style editor Emily Sher did the honors here, swinging by her local drugstore to pick up one of the “over-the-counter” gel removal options for me to try. There are a lot of these products on the market, and the frustrating part is that you can’t know how they work until you get them home.

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