Monday, March 19, 2012

Mending Broken Nails

I am surprised I never got around to making this post yet, in the couple years of this blog's existence. You'd think that this subject would have been among the first I wanted to write up. But somehow it slipped into the back of my mind and I just never got around to covering this one.

Not all breaks can be mended and sometimes we have to just 'grin and bear it' whilst clipping off a nail and then  waiting for it to grow out. But often, if we act quickly, a break CAN be mended and given a chance to grow out before we clip the broken portion off. This is especially useful information to have for those painfully low breaks that can sometimes occur at or even below (YIKES!) the smile line.

I wish I had step by step photos for this, but I don't. Use your imaginations, ok?

What you need:

Nail polish remover & a cotton ball/pad
Nail glue or super glue
A tea bag (unused!)
An emery board

The first step is to carefully remove any existing nail polish with the polish remover and cotton pad. Even if you aren't wearing polish, carefully clean the nail to remove any dirt or oils that may be present.

Next, trim a small piece of the tea bag to cover the break entirely. (You can usually do this by snipping the top of the tea bag where it's been folded over, and then you can still brew up the tea later on. OR, you can buy empty tea bags and use those. This is what I use as we drink a lot of tea in this house and much of it we purchase loose and fill the tea bags ourselves.) Sometimes I'll go ahead and cut the tea bag in a strip to go across the whole width of my nail, to give the nail some added strength while the break grows out.

Once you have the tea bag trimmed to size, apply a dot of nail glue to the nail directly on the break. Use the tweezers to place the tea bag over the glue. You can use one layer of the tea bag, but I like to use two for the added durability. If necessary add another drop of glue on top of the piece of tea bag to help seal the entire piece to the nail, and press gently with the tweezers to assure it's flush to the nail.

Let the glue dry completely - this should only take about 5 minutes or so. Once the glue is dry, use the emery board to lightly buff the nail and ensure the repaired patch is smooth. If you run your finger over the repair, there should be a smooth finish to it with no bumps or rough edges. This should be a nearly invisible fix - you can't see it unless you're really, really looking for it.

For some this is sufficient to repair a break. You can now paint your nails as usual, if desired.

For me, since I tend to be pretty hard on my nails, this alone is not enough to last more than a day or two. So when I had to do this recently for TWO nails (you never can just break one, can you? It always has to take a friend along with it.) I decided I'd apply some SensatioNail on top of the fix. I went through the above steps as usual, and then followed the usual steps with the SensatioNail for a clear manicure. (SensatioNail cleanser, primer, two coats of the base/top coat then cleanser and done.) Adding the SensatioNail to the process REALLY helped give my nails an extra layer of strength and durability so the repair can last till the breaks grow out enough that I can clip the broken portion off. Which is great because one of those breaks was significantly below the smile line. (Never ever fun when that happens.) It's still going to be a while before said breaks have grown enough I can trim them down, but they are holding up fantastically.

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