Dropping Knowledge: Three Ways to Extend Your Manicure Thursday 27 September, 2012

Is your manicure chipping or growing out? If you don’t want to remove it, revive it with these three foolproof techniques.

Traditionally, when our nail polish chips, we deal with it in one of two ways:

Way No. 1: We remove it.

Way No. 2: We continue to wear it, much to the embarrassment of our nails.

Way No. 1 is infinitely more acceptable than Way No. 2, especially when you’re wearing dark nail polish. A chipped manicure can be distracting and looks, frankly, unpolished. (Pun intended.) But there are cool quick fixes that will extend your manicure, and two of them require minimal effort.


(I revived the tips of my gold mani by painting on blue glitter polish. Granted, I should have revived the cuticle area too!)

#1 Tip Your Nails With Glitter Polish: Once you begin to see your natural nail peeking through your manicure at the free edge, all you need to do is paint a few random brush strokes of glitter polish across the tip. I suggest a glitter nail lacquer that is “glitter on glitter”—meaning, it has an opaque shimmer base (not sheer) with larger glitter granules suspended in it. Reason being: A sheer base wouldn’t do much to disguise your chips, right? Also, silvers and golds go with practically anything, so they should be your go-to metallic tones. Do three brush strokes of random length at the nail tip, and you’ll find you have a cool ombré effect. Plus, glitter polish is a bitch to remove, so it ain’t chipping any time soon. Level of Difficulty: Zilch. So. Darn. Easy.

#2 Deck Your Cuticle Area With Glitter Polish: I learned this one from singer Avril Lavigne. She told me that one of her Abbey Dawn clothing line designers will paint her cuticle area with glitter polish as her nail adhesive (she uses Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips, for which Avril co-designs styles) grows out. This isn’t so much a “chip” issue as a growth one. She uses the same technique as I did above, but rather than painting at the tip, you paint at the cuticle area. A few short strokes and you’re good to go! Again, choose a glitter-on-glitter opaque polish. Translucent won’t get you anywhere. Level of Difficulty: Nada. Easy as pie.


(Meredith fixed her chipped gold manicure by turning it into a half-moon one!)

#3 Create a Half-Moon Manicure: Over dinner a few weeks ago, I noticed my friend Meredith’s nails: black with perfect gold moons. I immediately inquired where she had them done. “I did them myself!” she told me. Her reason: Her manicure had begun to chip, and she thought it was a great way to test out the half-moon mani. Several beauty sites have featured how to DIY the half-moon manicure using binder stickers, and this is exactly what Meredith did. So, not only was she able to cover up the chips in her mani, but she created a very cool design too! Naturally, you’ll want to use a full-coverage opaque polish as your “cover-up.” Level of Difficulty: I have yet to try this method, though I did buy the stickers. I’d say this is medium difficulty, simply because you have to have patience—allow the polish to dry before stripping off the stickers, etc.

Do you have any tips for artfully extending your manicure? I want to hear!

Karie L. Frost Signature





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