Nail Polish 101: 3 Quick Fixes for Small Mishaps

Spilled nail polish
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

We all know how annoying a chipped, dented or smudged nail can be, so I thought I would share a few tips and tricks for an easy and quick fix. You can solve all the problems listed below by smoothing your base. However, the way you do this and what you do afterwards will vary.

You could wipe the nail clean and then start again (use a Qtip to do this so as not to damage your other nails). But why waste polish or time when it can be easily fixed? Below, I’ll outline quick ways to fix three common nail polish mishaps:

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1. Chipped Nails or Tip Wear


Chips and/or nail tip wear are among the most common problems to run into after you paint your nails. If you don’t have time to repaint all ten nails, but want to repair the damage, here are some quick fixes.

Take a Q-tip soaked in remover and run it over the tip or chipped area to create an even surface to work on and minimize the bumps. Don’t go overboard – just rub it on until it is smoothed out.

You now have two options. You can either paint over the whole nail again, which could save time, but I usually opt for painting a light layer over the tips where it’s bare instead.

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Be careful not to put too much on to avoid any discrepancies. To blend in everything, you can paint a second layer if one layer is too thin.

Another option is to paint over chipped nails after they have dried. Next, apply a top coat. This will make it easier if you have multiple nails that need fixing.

You can also file the tips to remove any wear.

2. Smudged Nails

Smudged nail polish

For smudged nails, the same concept can be applied with just a few minor changes.

Use a little polish remover to coat the tips of your fingers. Then, rub the polish lightly on the affected area. A Q-tip can be used, but my preference is to use your finger. This allows you to control the amount of polish that you apply. There is always the possibility of getting unwanted fluff on your nails, depending on how good the cotton swab is. This is why I prefer using my finger.

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Wait for the nail to dry before proceeding on the next step to avoid any contamination. While I understand that some people simply paint another layer of polish, it leaves me with a gap or obvious dip. Instead, I lightly fill in the bare area with a bit of polish and, after it’s dry, paint on a generous layer to blend everything out. Voilà! Voila!

3The smudge is gone. Dented Nails


With dented nails,use the same basic concept as the smudge fix I outlined above. Again, I prefer using a finger instead of the cotton swab for this, but if you want to take out a smaller area of your polish, feel free to use a Q-tip instead.

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You can also skip painting a thin layer on the area you are working on and just paint the nail.

It is possible to save your nail if you accidentally scratch or damage it while it’s still wet. You can either apply another coat to cover the imperfections or use a topcoat to smoothen things out.

Did you find this article helpful?

What are your tips for nail mishaps? You can leave any suggestions or tutorials you’d like me to write on.

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