Nail Mates for Gel Polish Removal

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Okay, there is no better way to start this post than by saying that Nail Mates are the greatest! So, what are Nail Mates? They are simply a gel polish removal system that is easier, more efficient, and far more attractive than the foil method.

Nail Mates for Gel Polish Removal

I first heard about Nail Mates a few months ago and I knew I had to give them a try. Gel polish removal is a beast and anything to make that process easier or shorter will definitely be going in my shopping cart. Haha! Anyway, Nail Mates are awesome. Here’s how to use them to take off gel polish.

Steps to Use Nail Mates for Gel Polish Removal

1. Apply lotion or aquaphor to cuticles and buff the nails to break the seal. The lotion will help hydrate your cuticles and protect them against the drying effects of acetone. You also need to buff the the nails with a 220 grit buffer to break the seal of the top coat. Usually I buff the nails before I put lotion on my cuticles, but I guess putting a camera in front of myself got me nervous and I suddenly forgot how I normally do things. 🙂

Nail Mates for Gel Polish Removal. Put lotion on cuticles during removal to protect them from the acetone.

Nail Mates for gel polish removal. Before removal, buff the nails with a 220 grit buffer to break the seal of the top coat.

2. Soak and load nail mates pads into nail mates covers. Soak each Nail Mates pad in acetone and load it into a pink cover. It took me about 3 removals to finally get the right amount of acetone. You don’t want too much that it drips everywhere, but you also don’t want too little that the soak off takes an eternity. If you get Nail Mates, just know that it may take you a couple tries to get the acetone amount right. The directions suggest that you soak each pad with acetone and then load each one into all 10 covers before you put them on your finger. I personally find it much easier to just soak, load, and cover each finger one at a time, but that’s just me.

Nail Mates for Gel Polish Removal. Soak pads in acetone and load into caps.

3. Cover each finger with Nail Mates. Whether you pre-load all the pads or do it one at a time, you need to make sure you put the Nail Mates on correctly. Make sure the pad with acetone is covering your fingernail (obviously, haha). Push the cover down so it is secure. Make sure that the pad is not folded at all inside of the pink cover. This will stretch out the cover and make it less effective over time.

Nail Mates for Gel Polish Removal. Cover nails with Nail Mates and soak for 15 minutes.

4. Soak for 15-20 minutes. Yes, you still have to let your fingernails soak for 15 -20 minutes. But, I have found that my soak off time has decreased 2-3 minutes now that I use Nail Mates. Because of the Nail Mates design, you are supposed to be able to use your fingers during soak off!!! Wahoo! This was a huge selling point for me because just sitting and waiting is not easy for me. The pad of your finger is supposed to grip the pink Nail Mates cover and that friction makes it possible for you to use your fingers without the Nail Mates coming off. Unfortunately, this has not worked for me yet. Maybe I’m still putting on too much acetone, so it may be user error.

5. When ready to remove, press pad against fingernail and gently slide back and forth while taking the cover off of the finger. Use an orangewood stick and cotton ball soaked in acetone to remove any remaining gel polish.

Nail Mates for Gel Polish Removal. Fingernails after removing Nail Mates.

Nail Mates for gel polish removal. Remove any remaining gel polish using an orangewood stick.

6. Wash hands and Nail Mates pads. I always wash my hands after gel polish removal to make sure any gel polish or acetone is completely gone, but I don’t wash the Nail Mates after every removal. I just wash them every once in awhile when they look like they need to be cleaning. I just use warm water and rinse them all off and make sure there is no gel polish sticking to anything. Then, I let them air dry for a couple of hours.

7. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. After you have removed all gel polish and your hands are washed, apply cuticle oil and hand cream. Do not skip this step! Acetone can dry out your nails and cuticles like crazy, but if you keep them moisturized with cuticle oil and hand cream, it will keep them nice and moisturized. If you are going to paint your nails immediately after removal, then don’t moisturize until after painting your nails. 🙂

Nail Mates for Gel Polish Removal. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

So, what makes Nails Mates so much better than the foil method? Here are a few of the things I like best about Nail Mates.

  • It’s super easy to soak the pads in acetone and load them into the covers!
  • I can put the covers on all by myself!
  • Uses less acetone!
  • More even removal! Acetone works from the outside in every single removal!
  • I don’t have to prepare tons of materials every time I need to take off gel polish! (Good bye time wasting foil and cotton ball cutting!)
  • Decreased removal time!
  • More attractive than fingers covered in foil!

Have you used Nail Mates? I’d love to hear how they work for you. Leave me a comment on this post or on facebook. If you have any questions about Nail Mates (or anything gel polish related), please let me know! Email me at or message me on facebook. 🙂

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Hi, I'm Kirstylee. I'm a wife, mom, and lover of all things gel polish. I started this blog to share my knowledge and make new friends. :)