Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How to repair a chipped gel nail

If you've followed along with my DIY gel nail tutorials you'll love this next one.


You've heard me rave on and on about how much I love wearing gel polish because of how long-wearing and durable it is. I love that I can polish my nails and have them looking beautiful and shiny for up to two weeks. Every once in a while though, I get clumsy and I'll still chip a nail about a week into wearing my gel manicure. That leaves me with a slight dilemma: do I leave the chip and obsess over it and stare at it for another week before it's time to redo my nails? For me, the answer is usually no. I can't leave a chip. It will drive me insane. And it also annoys me when I run my fingers through my hair and the chip catches on my hair or something. So the only solution is the fix the chip. Now, I've searched online for tips for repairing a gel chip, and I couldn't really find anything "official." So just like the filling/refreshing method I showed you guys, I just kind of had to make up my own way and go with it! I'm showing you my quick and easy method for fixing a chipped gel nail with only 5 steps that takes about 5 minutes to do.

Ready? Let's get started.


Step 1: Asses the damage. Before we can do anything we need to make sure that the rest of the gel nail isn't lifting or peeling up. I use a pair of cuticle nippers to lightly clip off any loose pieces of gel around the chip. Take off as little as possible, but don't leave anything peeling up.

Step 2: Next, we need to gently file off the shine on the entire gel nail. We want to break that seal we created with the top coat so the new gel will stick to the old gel (gel polish doesn't like to stick to anything shiny!) Then, take your file and gently file around the chipped area. We want to level off the little "ledge" between the natural nail and the gel without filing into the natural nail. Hold your file parallel to the nail and stay on the gel while you file. It doesn't have to be completely flush with the natural nail, but try to get it as smooth as possible. Use your finger to feel around and make sure it feels smooth.

Step 3: Dehydrate the nail with your gel cleanser or alcohol. Then apply pH Bond to the chipped area (if you don't have pH Bond that's fine...just make sure you dehydrate the natural nail really, really well. Like twice). Now you can apply a layer of your base coat, Foundation, to the entire nail. Don't forget to do the free edge! Make sure you get the chipped area really well and that you don't leave any dry spots. Cure under your lamp.


Step 4: Apply your colored gel to the free edge and just in the area where the chip is. We want to "fill in" the chipped area first. Remember to do thin coats- you won't get complete full coverage with the first coat, so don't worry if it doesn't look perfect just yet. I used arrows in the picture above to show where I applied the colored gel on this first coat. Then cure under your lamp. Repeat with another coat of colored gel just to the free edge and chipped area again. Cure under your lamp. 

Step 5: Apply one coat of colored gel over the entire nail to make sure your coverage is even and level. You shouldn't be able to see the chipped area through the gel anymore. Cure under your lamp. Finally, apply your top coat, Top It Off, over the entire nail and seal the free edge. Cure under your lamp. Repeat with another top coat if desired (I prefer 2 coats) and cure again. Then remove the tacky layer of gel with a nail wipe and your gel cleanser (or alcohol) and you're done! Apply some cuticle oil around your nail and you are good to go.

This process should only take you about 5 minutes.
 Now I can get at least another week of wear out of my gel manicure!
 

This is my 1 week old gel manicure after fixing the chipped nail.
You can see this original gel manicure and the colors I used on this post here.

Need more gel nail tutorials? Check out the rest of mine:

As always, feel free to shoot me any questions here in the comment section, or you can email me directly if you'd like. Just click on the little envelope icon underneath my picture in the right side bar and I'll try to get back to you as soon as I can!

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