Lisa Hannam
Lisa Hannam

Negative mani SOS: How I fixed my chipped nail

Thumbs up to a gorgeous mani, but thumbs down to a chipped nail. Three days after a mani date with my good friend Christine, and I was left with chipped polish and a broken nail. Set with not letting a good, paid-for mani not to go to waste, I grabbed my tools and polish.

I have to admit first that I’m a bit of a nail nerd: I always bring my own lacquer and top coat to my mani appointments. The reason is threefold: 1. I know that I’m the only person to use my polish and, as a health editor, I like that. 2. I like my polish colour collection a lot. I curated it myself. And since I’ve got enough skills to paint my own nails,  I leave it to the professionals take my polish to the next level with a bit of nail art. And, 3., if my mani chips, cracks, peels or flakes, I can try to save it.

chipped middle finger 1

So, with my Sally Hansen fine nail file, Quo Chip Defense Topcoat, Essie Virgin Snow (this one’s from my archives, but if you like this you’ll also like Cabana Boy), I started with my broken nail on my middle finger. It was heart-breaking. As this accent nail was suddenly the shortest of the bunch. So, I filed it down a bit shorter (*tear*) by narrowing the sides so that the squat nailbed looked more almond-shaped. Then I did a quick file on the other two nails to shorten them just a little bit. I figure this way the broken nail won’t look as short.

Chipped middle finger

Next to tackle the chipped nail on my pointer finger. I used a very fine grit to sand away a the chip. Essentially I buffed away most of the polish, about three millimetres away from the negative polish line. This was to smooth out the crack in the polish, so that when I went over it again, the colour would go on smoothly. I had to do two coats to match the opacity on the other nails. You’ll have to time this right though, and let it dry a bit between coats. You don’t want the polish to be tacky, which will cause ridges, bumps and possibly another chip. After about a minute between coats, I finished with a top coat.

Chipped nail polished

Now, with a negative mani, there is opportunity to make mistakes and get polish on the wrong part of the nail. But don’t stress, as the solution is an easy one. When I got a bit sloppy above the negative mani line, I just grabbed an eyeliner brush, like this one here, dipped it in nail polish remover and dotted the mistake away.

You’d never know that my mani wasn’t flawless or that I had a chipped nail. And I’ve still got at least another week to appreciate it.

chipped nail 1