Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tutorial: How to fix a broken nail

 I mentioned yesterday how I had a break on my pinky nail and I know a lot of you might just file down all your nails or maybe even just only file down that one broken nail. Well, I couldn't do either. The break in my nail started way below my free edge, so I had no option except to fix it. Unless, of course, I wanted to be in pain and at risk for infection with the exposed skin. I rarely do fixes to begin with because I rather file down all my nails whenever a break occurs to have all my nails at an even length. The first time I ever did a fix was actually using scotch tape because that was all I had and it worked fine up until I had to remove the sticky residue! The next time I tried to do a fix I just used tissue paper. That worked really great since it's thin enough that it will hardly be noticeable once your nails are polished.

 On to the tutorial, shall we? There are six things that I use for a repair: tissue paper, nail glue, orange stick, ridge filler, cuticle nippers and a nail file with approximately 400 grit. The grit is important because you don't want to use one that will damage your nail bed or remove all of the tissue paper that is already placed on your nail.

Here's a pic of my broken nail sans nail polish or base coat. The white stuff at the tip is actually a bit of nail glue that didn't entirely come off, since I didn't want to press too hard on the nail and cause further breakage.

Here are the items necessary. It's preferable if you use white tissue paper to avoid the color from showing through, but this is all I had on hand.

This is the tissue paper I used. Nothing special about it. I just used some scissors to cut a small squarish piece that would fit over the break and then some.

Now that you have all your materials ready, the first thing to do is to put some nail glue over the breakage and let it sit until tacky. If your nail is completely separated from your finger then you will just need to glue it together until a little firm and you will need to do the following step also on the underside to give your nail some strength.

After the glue becomes tacky, apply the tissue paper to the nail and smooth with orange stick until it is completely adhered to the nail.

This is how it should look once it is completely smoothed with the orange stick.

Once dry you can begin buffing out the bumpy parts with the nail file until it's smooth to the touch. This is where you will use the cuticle nippers. Occasionally, I will cut a piece of tissue too big and not know it until I already have the tissue glued in place. Well rather than start over, with the cuticle nippers you can just trim it down with exact precison, whether the overage is at the tip or sides.

Here I have smoothed it out to my liking. While buffing your nail you will be removing some portions of the tissue paper but don't worry you will be reinforcing the fix with the ridge filler.

I used two coats to help cover the green tissue, but if you're white tissue you should be ok with one layer of ridge filler.

 The total process took me a little under five minutes, but to me it's worth it if you need your nails for a special occasion or to avoid further breakage like me. Tomorrow I will be posting the mani I did after the fix so that you can see for yourself how unnoticeable it is.


  1. Great tutorial Rosalinda! That's really smart. I had a break like that a while back, but I ended up clipping all my nails down .__. They're almost back to the length I had them before the cut though! xD

  2. That's what I would usually do as well, but this break was way below my free edge so until they grow out, this is my solution. I love your nails though, they're so perfect!


Please, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts. I would love to hear your opinions. Good OR bad!