Patching is easy. Just empty a teabag of it's contents and cut a tiny piece big enough to cover the area you need to repair. (Save the bag in your mani kit for future patches. A bag should last you a long, long time. I am still using the same one for almost two years!) First, use a little brush on nail glue to repair the tear, break or crack as best you can and let it dry for a few minutes. Next, brush a light coat of nail glue over the spot you need to patch and let it sit for a moment to start to set the tiniest bit, then pick up the tiny patch with a tweezers and set it down in the glue. Use a wood cuticle stick to gently roll and manipulate the patch perfectly into place and smooth it down to fully adhere it to the nail. After the glue starts to dry, you can further smooth and press the patch with your finger. Just be careful not to glue your finger to your nail!
Add a little more glue, if needed. But don't overdo with the glue! Trust me, too much glue flooding around on your nails is never a good thing. If you get glue where you don't want it, acetone will whisk it away. Once you get the patch on just as you like, let it dry completely, then gently smooth and polish it with a multi surface buffer. I like to use my Mambo buffer for this task. It works great and makes my patches nearly invisible on both bare and polished nails. I buy my Mambo buffers at Sally Beauty. They are very affordable and for me, indispensable. Once your patch is finished and polished, clean the nail and do your polish.
Patching takes a little practice. But once you get the hang of it, it is a fast and easy way to save a nail. Or two. Or six... Below are photographs taken after I tore my left ring finger nail. And after I patched it.
One nasty tear. This one stretched two-thirds of the way across my nail.
After repairing the tear and applying base coat. This patch held, with one or two replacements until my nail grew out long enough to file the tear and patch away for good.
Techniques for a Picture Perfect Manicure. AKA, Cleanup
For those of us who make boo-boos when polishing, cleanup is a great way to have a neat, picture perfect manicure. And it is easy. This link will take you to Megan Chair's cleanup tutorial. This is the method I learned from this tutorial and it works fabulously. Tho I have since made a few tweaks to the technique to suit myself.
Rather than doing my full mani then getting down to cleanup, I do cleanup after every colour coat on each nail as I polish it. I find that it works better for me. It is faster and easier, in the long run to just swiftly refine each nail through wet, freshly applied polish rather than having to drill down through top coat, two to three coats of enamel and base coat which have set and dried or are drying. As always, do what works best for you.
Any cheap, firm, small brush, angled or straight across will do the job. Truly, don't spend a lot on a cleanup brush. It is unnecessary and you are just going to toss and replace it, every now and then. I put my acetone for cleanup in a salvaged acetone bottle cap (with the liner disk removed, of course) or a little glass bowl. If you use plastic, just be sure that your acetone won't eat it.
Glitter Removal, the Easy Way!
Removing glitter polish. What a task! Gah! We love the glittah! We hate to have to try to get it off. Here is how to do it without killing yourself and your little digit tips. You will need acetone, (I find that acetone works best for this, you can use remover, tho) cotton rounds, pads or balls and ten squares of foil, about 4" or so. (I knock hair foils into four pieces and use them. You can use foil from your kitchen.) Soak the cotton in acetone, press to the glittery nail, wrap the nail and cotton in the foil and repeat on as many nails as you can, without dumping acetone all over yourself. Let your robo-fingers soak for about four or five minutes. Then, using some downward pressure, pull the foil and cotton from your fingers and your nails should be all nice and clean. If not, just soak them a little longer. Any little bit that remains can be cleaned off with acetone and a cotton round. Then just do the rest of your nails. Takes a little time, but is sooooo much easier (and faster, in the long run!) then rubbing, scrubbing, cussing and throwing stuff every time you want to de-glitterfy your nails. I did not invent this method. I learned about it reading the nail blogs. I am just sharing the love.