Nine nail polish fixes

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

There is nothing worse than spending time on your nails and then they smudge, split or start chipping after a few hours. Here are our quick answers to your nail problems.

Problem: No time to wait for my polish to dry
Quick fix: So you’re trying to perfect the DIY mani, but you often smudge because you just don’t have the time to wait around? Simply submerge your fingers in ice cold water for a few seconds and then remove your hands. Your polish should be rock hard!

Problem: Chipped nail polish
Quick fix: If you had them done at the salon and don’t have the shade at home, apply a glitter accent to that nail and do the same for the other nail on your opposite hand. Also, try applying a top coat every three days to keep that colour from chipping.

Problem: Smudged nails
Quick fix: The earlier you spot the smudge, the better! Lick your finger and gently dab it onto the smudge, working your finger towards the end of your nail. The colour should spread and you won’t even notice the smudge.

Problem: Broken nails
Quick fix: You mani is on point, until suddenly one of your nails break and if that’s not bad enough, it start hooking onto everything. Le sigh! Luckily there’s a really handy hack. All you need is a tea bag and a strengthening base coat. Remove all polish and apply a base coat to all your nails. Next, place a piece of the tea bag paper (tea bags are made of thin, fibrous paper) to cover the area of the nail that was once whole. Simply cut a tea bag, remove the leaves and use a piece big enough to the cover the affected nail area. Apply another coat of clear polish over that and then add a pop of colour to your new, revived nail!

Problem: Polish on your cuticles
Quick fix: We can’t all be Van Gogh and paint the perfect canvas. Your ideal tool is a cuticle pen that you can use around the cuticle to remove excess polish. But, dipping a cotton bud into acetone will do the trick. Try waiting for your nails to dry first, so that you don’t remove the polish from your actual nail.

Problem: Removing glitter polish
Quick fix: If you have ever tried to remove glitter you will understand the nuisance it can be. Just like you would remove gel nails with tin foil, do the same here. Dip a cotton pad in acetone and place it on your nails. Cover each nail with tin foil and wait for about 5 minutes before removing. You will be surprised at how easily it lifts.

Problem: Peeling nails
Quick fix: This could be a sign that your nails need a break to breathe. Stop applying polish for a good three weeks or so. Also apply a nail strengthening polish before manicures and try to up your calcium intake.

Problem: Hangnails
Quick fix: Do not pull or rip off the skin. This causes damage and opens it up to infection. Use a nail clipper or cuticle remover and do it gently.

Problem: Bubbles in the polish
Quick fix: Don’t shake the bottle vigorously. Instead, roll the bottle between the palms of your hands. If you have time, place the bottle in the fridge for about 15 minutes as this allows the bubbles to smooth out and ensures a bubble-free paint.

What trick or quick fix works for you? Share it below.

Written by

Tatum is an all-round digital being with a penchant for lipstick and a slight shopping addiction. After completing her Honours in Communications and Media she was thrust into the world of publishing and has since worked for some of the biggest magazines in South Africa. As a writer, editor and social media consultant, she’s all about spreading body positivity and a revised attitude towards beauty.

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  1. Danielle Cateley

    Wow! These tips are awesome, thanks! :D

    2 years ago •

  1. Blair

    Thanks for the smudge nail tip! I am always smudge my nail polish, definitely going to try it out.

    2 years ago •

  1. Lenisha Kissoonlal

    Dipping your fingers in ice water actually works. i am impatient and always smudge my nails so i have tried this tip. it doesn’t remove the nail polish but actually hardens it :)

    2 years ago •

  1. Feli0017 CHEYANAND

    I get bubbles on my nails after my nail polish dries! Hate that!

    2 years ago •


    Won’t dipping your hands in cold water remove the nail polish?

    2 years ago •

  1. DivaDesle

    Wow! Dipping your hands in ice cold water to dry nail polish quickly is such a great tip. I’m definitely going to try it.

    2 years ago •

  1. Mialise Tolmie

    I am so bad at doing my own nail Polish. These tips will definitely help

    2 years ago •


    Definitely not Van Gogh, the cotton buds work every single time.
    Now I know how to remove glitter from my nails! Its been such a tedious task

    2 years ago •

  1. Tembisa Maqungu

    I always dip cotton buds in nail polish remover to remove the polish around the cuticles, the sharp pointed cosmetic ones work the best to also get in the corners.

    2 years ago •

  1. Tanya Lawrence

    To thin thickened nail polish just add a little bit of nail polish remover and give it a good shake. Works wonders! I find that when I apply nail polish my nails feel so much stronger and less prone to breakage. I usually do 2 to 3 coats of colour and clear over that.

    2 years ago •

    1. Tembisa Maqungu

      Body spray also works well too if you don’t have remover.

      2 years ago •

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