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The thing about nails is that that they come as a set. Sure, you can wear pretty nail polish, but nothing says cool and confident quite like a set of ten uniformly shaped, flawlessly polished nails. One bad apple ruins the whole pie. If you’ve ever invested the time and/or money required to achieve the perfect manicure only to have it ruined with virtually no effort at all, you can attest to the devastation. So how do you deal with the chipped nail? If you try to remove the polish from the deviant nail with a pad or cotton ball, you will inevitably remove the polish from another. Is your only option to start from scratch? Have no fear! There are ways to fix the chipped nail in a much less painstaking manner.
To Fix a Chipped Nail
Manicurist Deborah Lippman suggests the use of nail polish remover to patch things up.
- Dab some acetone-based polish remover on your fingertip and, using a tapping motion, gently smooth the ridge where the nail polish is chipped. Don’t use a paper towel, Q-tip. or cotton ball, or anything else that might leave fibers behind. Avoid using an acetone- free remover, which is probably too dilute to do the job.
- Let the nail dry completely, ten minutes should do. Lippman warns skipping this step, as it will make your nail look worse than the chip alone did.
- If the chip is minor, a coat of clear top coat could seal the deal. If the chip is bigger, use the original nail color and dip lightly into the divot and only apply to the spot that you need to fill. Do not coat the entire nail, only the part sans polish. Allow the nail to dry completely. If it still looks a little questionable, a second coat of polish applied to the entire dry nail should fix it.
For A Smudge
If you smudge still-wet nail polish, apply remover to the pad of your finger and dab it on the smudge gently. Allow the remover to spread and them pull forward using your finger to smooth the area.
For a More Creative Solution
If you want to get a little experimental, here are some more out of the box quick fix ideas.
- Glitter: Grab some super chunky glitter polish and use it to top coat your chipped nails. It should hide the imperfections while adding shine.
- Dots: Use a new color to paint dots on the nail to distract from or cover the chips. You can use the nail polish brush, or a cotton swab for a neater effect.
- Fade Out: Dip a small brush or Q-tip in acetone to fade out the edges beginning from where the chips start to make them look like an intentional effect.
- The Ombre: Apply a complementary shade to a sponge and press on the nail tip for an ombre effect.
- Do Nothing: Kerry Diamond, vice president for public relations at Lancome, says chipped nails are moving into the mainstream, noting that imperfect nails may be a sign of the contemporary woman. Aspiring actress Michelle Markowitz phrased it well when she said she likes the grungy nail look, “because it shows you really don’t care.”
We want to know what you think. What is your go to when your polish chips? Pro-fix, creative look or “really don’t care?” We love to hear from you!