A couple of weeks ago I had a nail tragedy involving my index finger and a new adjustable patio chair (horrors!! haha!). So I thought I would document what I did to fix it in order to turn my misfortune into something useful! Warning for the faint of heart: if you don’t like photos of nails broken off, you may not want to look at the third pic! (no blood was involved, though, so it’s really not so bad!) 😉 And to end on more pleasant images, the last part of the post will feature nails of the day as well as a kitty! 😀
The items I used to fix the break are: rubbing alcohol, polish remover pad, buffing block, nail file, nail glue, small scissors, fiberglass nail wraps.
The two main tools are of course the wraps and the glue. The glue I used is by Beauty Secrets, and the fiberglass wraps are “the Rap Fiber Mesh” by Originails. I got both at Sally Beauty Supply.
And, the promised photo of what I was up against:
Yikes! Right at the quick!
The first thing I did was to clean the nail using the remover pad and some rubbing alcohol (no photo of that step). Then, I applied a little nail glue to the broken surface and glued down the loose edge.
Since that edge gluing probably wouldn’t last very long on its own, the next step was to get out the fiberglass wraps. I’ve heard you can also use a piece of a tea bag for this, which is a cheaper option, and more convenient if you don’t happen to have wraps on hand!
These wraps consist of strips of different widths pre-cut into each piece of wrap, so first I chose the strip whose width most closely matched my nail and cut a small piece off the end. I then trimmed a little bit off the side to get the exact width I needed.
Next, I peeled off the backing and applied the sticky side of the wrap to the nail. This part needs to be done gently as the wrap material is very soft and flexible and could easily lose its shape and become unravelled or stuck together.
I used the scissors to trim as much as I could of the excess wrap over the end of the nail.
Time to get out the glue again. This particular glue comes in a tube with a long yellow stopper built into the cap that is supposed to prevent the opening of the tube from getting blocked by dried up glue.
I dabbed a layer of glue over the whole surface of the wrap, using just enough to saturate the mesh.
It dries fairly quickly.
Once the glue was dry, I filed the edge of the nail to remove any roughness and lumpiness.
I then lightly filed the top of the nail for the same reason.
I also applied a tiny bit of glue under the free edge at each side using the long yellow stopper, right on the underside of the break. (This could have been done before starting to file but I didn’t think of it until then!)
I used the point of my nail file to make sure I wasn’t getting glue all over my hyponychium (the skin right under the free edge of the nail).
Here is the result after I finished lightly filing down the lumpy spots.
Next, to smooth out the wrap’s surface as much as I could, I used a four-sided buffing block.
I used each of the four sides in succession from coarse to fine. You have to be careful to find that balance between having an uneven surface versus filing and buffing so much that you’ve actually filed off the wrap that was just applied!
Voilà! The fixed nail after buffing.
To show the fix in action, here is the manicure I did right after fixing the nail!
I did a bit of a jelly sandwich, but then added more glitter on top because it was too subtle for my mood. Unfortunately there was no sun so these photos are in overcast natural light.
This is two coats of OPI Barre My Soul from the spring Ballet collection, followed by a coat of Orly Spazmatic from the recent Glam FX glitter collection. Then one more coat of the OPI and one more coat of the Orly glitter. Spazmatic also has tiny little flecks of iridescent blue shimmer in it, which makes it pretty unique and interesting!
When changing my polish, I used non-acetone remover on the index finger with the nail wrap, since acetone would break down the nail glue more quickly. It lasted for about a week fully intact until it peeled up a little at the cutucle edge and I broke off the peeled-up part (a couple millimetres) and buffed the rough edge a bit. But, around then I also started not bothering with the non-acetone remover anymore, and the wrap started disintegrating quicker. Now it’s mostly gone, but my nail has also grown out a bit. I may apply another wrap just to the end of the nail to hold it for another week or two until I can file off all the remaining evidence of the break.
So there you have it, my nail-fixing method. It’s not perfect (if you notice anything unusual about my index finger in some of the posts just before and after this one, that would be why! and I did a couple of marathon swatching sessions while I had this wrap on, so these posts will be appearing for a while! I’m curious whether the wrap is noticeable in the pics…) but hey, it works pretty well!
And now, I leave you with my little helper, Julius! 😀
Comments on: "Fixing a Break" (11)
Wonderful tutorial! Thanks for sharing. Love the mani as well and I don’t notice anything on the index finger.
Thanks!! Glad you like it 😀 …and glad to hear the nail isn’t noticeable! Maybe the main effect is just making VNL seem a little less “V” on that nail! 😉
Thanks for the great info, Arlix. I guess if you have long nails the way you do, knowing how to do this is a necessity. Mine are short, because of peeling issues. Anyway, both are good and Julius looks like he’s ready to lend a ‘paw’ if needed! Beautiful kitty—what kind is he?
Hi Sandy! Yes, it’s either this or having uneven nail lengths (even if I file them all down, on some the hyponychium sticks out further underneath the nail than on others, so they’d still be uneven!), which I wouldn’t mind so much if it wasn’t my swatching hand! 😉
And thanks! Julius is Russian Blue (or Russian Blue mix, apparently he was a stray before being brought to the shelter we adopted him from, so we don’t know for sure) – I call him my Little Blue Boy ❤
I forgot to ask you something, Arlix: where do you get your Nubar polishes? I find the brand is very hard to find unless you go to their website. ^^
I get most of mine on ebay, actually! Occasionally from nailpolishcanada.com as well! 🙂
Hi, so the nail glue is vegan?
I’d like to know the answer to this too – the ingredients look vegan (i.e. synthetic) but I can’t find any info on their animal testing policy. Is anyone able to confirm this?
Hi Kate, please see my answer to Lisa above 🙂
Beauty Secrets is one of Sally Beauty Supply’s house brands (along with Finger Paints and Sally Girl polishes), and when I contacted them about whether they conducted/commissioned animal testing or used suppliers who did, they assured me they did not. The exchange I had with them is posted on my Vegan Nail Polish Resource tab. And the ingredients on the tube of glue don’t include any animal ingredients. 🙂
Oops I just noticed that on my Sally Beauty page that I never added the second exchange specifically asking about Beauty Secrets (I didn’t know it was a Sally exclusive brand at first, so I wrote back later to confirm about Beauty Secrets). I’ll have to see if I can find it and add it to my page!