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How to Fix Chipped Nail Polish

From Novice to Advanced: 3 Ways to Fix Chipped Nail Polish

So you just got a shiny new manicure on your lunch break, but by the time you're headed out later that night, you look down and notice there's a blasted chip. While it's not the end of the world, luckily there are a few quick tricks for patching it right up. Find out a few ways you can say, "Goodbye, Mr. Chips," when you read more.

For the beginner (or time-deprived): Use a toothpick as your "brush" to dot on polish to the inside of the chip. Then simply allow it to dry.

For the intermediate: Apply polish remover to the pad of one of your fingertips (it's easiest to go with the hand opposite of the one with the chip). Then, using a circular motion, dab the remover-soaked fingertip on the chip to gently smooth it out. Once dry, fill any exposed nail areas with polish. Finish by sweeping on a fresh coat of lacquer over the entire nail to set. Tip: in lieu of using polish remover to diffuse jagged edges, you can always sand over the chip with a nail buffer.


For the advanced (or those with a few extra minutes): Paint a small portion of nail polish onto the chip (in the same polish color, of course). After it dries but is still a bit tacky to the touch, blot over your repair work with a cotton pad soaked in polish remover, being very careful not to wipe away any existing polish. Paint over the entire nail with a layer of polish and set it further with a topcoat.

Source: Flickr user Tim . Simpson

Join The Conversation
mommahello mommahello 6 years
That's why I go for the boring clear, it's easy to repair.
Jaime-Richards Jaime-Richards 6 years
Been there, Ellanora! I'm talking the nail polish picking. We actually just had a major discussion about that very topic yesterday here in the office!! And as for your Florida trip, you just made me LOL!
Ellenora Ellenora 6 years
@Jaimie Richards -- Ha ha ha! I don't think you can do it polish- and remover-free...unless you're like me and end up picking/biting off all the polish because that ONE spot is driving you crazy! (Very BAD habit, by the way. I don't suggest it doing it this way. Tastes icky too, especially the Essie formulas. Blech. Why? You have all these rough spots that you have to then buff out and you may have polish in your teeth--and polish aftertaste which is super gross--and weak nails. Just don't do it.) I think when you're traveling you need to go there with naked nails and your polish in your carry on. I went to Florida in 2004 with hot pink nails and by the time I got their I had Dalmatian nails from picking from all the anxiety (first time on a plane since I was 2!) I came back from Florida with no color! I just wiped it all off when I got there! I would have repainted them had I had nail polish and energy. No energy when you have to sing 4 hours later at Disneyworld.
Jaime-Richards Jaime-Richards 6 years
True, Ellenora. I don't think there's much of a solution, though, if you don't have either. (Especially while traveling!!) If I figure out a way to do it polish- and remover-free, I'll let you know.
Susan-Yara Susan-Yara 6 years
I always manage to chip my nail polish after a mani. Lately I've been taking my own nail polish color with me so I can touch up with it if I need to. Good tips!
reeskies reeskies 6 years
good info!! i hate chipped nails
GummiBears GummiBears 6 years
I need to do this since my at home mani kind of chipped when the fast drying top coat pulled back a bit of the base color.
Ellenora Ellenora 6 years
Of course, this would be provided that you had the nail color and polish remover on your hands....which I normally don't!
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