IT’S TIP TIME, PEOPLE!
As you can see in the above picture, I had a manicure that was past it’s prime. But guess what people? Pregnancy makes you lazy. I’m generally lazy to begin with so growing a human doesn’t help my motivation.
The manicure in question was just over one week old. I had done a great job prepping and painting (see my initial tips post here) so they didn’t totally fall apart. But the cuticles and tips were showing wear and growth. And I was sick of it! How often does it happen that you have a chipped or old manicure, and something to do that evening or the next day, but don’t want to take the time to remove the polish and then re-do it? Well, lazy folks, I have FIVE different answers for you to give that old mani a quick and cute update!
The first step is always to touch up the nail. Fill in the growth and chips. It may take two coats. Make it neat but don’t worry about perfection. (FYI, the base polish I’m using is essie e-nuf is e-nuf.)
(PS- I hear people sometimes say they can’t touch up a manicure because it was done at a salon. Word to the wise- bring your own nail polish!!!!! Then you can touch it up if you have to. Also, some salons thin their polish to get it to last longer (which makes it wear off your nails more quickly) so it can be a waste of money for a manicure that will only last a few days.)
Then, pick your poison. I’ve put them in order of, in my opinion, easiest to hardest. Or more like least effort to most effort.
Shown with flash and without, because I think nails 2 and 4 didn’t show well without flash.
1 – Crackle polish
I know, I know. Many people are like, ugh, crackle? That’s so 17 year old! And yes, it can be. I guess it depends on how bold you want to go. Crackle is, in my opinion, the easiest way to fix a tired mani, and most fool proof. The crackle hides imperfections really well and is SO SIMPLE. If you want it too look less juvenile/daring, try a tone-on-tone crackle. This gold crackle looked almost sophisticated on top of a nude/brown color! Throw a few cheaper crackles in your shopping cart at the drugstore for occasions like these. I like sparkly ones like gold and silver best. The one shown here is Antiqued Gold by Sally Hansen. Cheap and works great.
2 – Sheer overlay
Throwing a sheer, shimmery polish over your tired mani seems really easy. And it is! I just ranked it above crackle because it shows more imperfections. You need to be more careful touching up the base coat if you do this method. This is better for nails that aren’t too messed up, for that reason. Find a nail polish with a sheer finish that has shimmer or iridescence. They’re great to keep in your arsenal, especially since they change how they look COMPLETELY depending on what polish they’re layered over! Seen above is L’Oreal The Temptress’ Power, but I also love essie pure pearlfection, or Julep Melissa (which I don’t own yet but it’s on my list.)
3 – Glitter
You knew this one was coming!!! Glitters offer many options for covering up a crapped-out manicure. First, figure out if your glitter is low, medium, or full coverage. Low coverage (looser) glitter are great for all-over application. Full coverage glitters give you the option to do a glitter gradient. They’re too hard to attempt with low coverage glitter- the glitter to clear polish ratio is more polish less glitter, and it will take too many coats to make a gradient. Full coverage glitter is full of it and easy to create a gradient! It’s a little advanced but has a great effect. The glitter shown, Nicole Rainbow in the S-Kylie, is medium coverage so I was able to create a pretty good gradient, but this would look great as all-over glitter too.
4 – Saran Wrap
I’ve touched on this a bit before, but this is SUCH a fun way to touch up a mani!!! I didn’t love the color combo I chose here, but I think the picture with flash (right) shows it better. I chose Julep Dendrie for the 2nd color. I applied it to the nail and immediately took a wadded up square of Saran wrap and blotted down once with medium pressure. You’d need to do one nail at a time… paint, blot, paint, blot, etc.
This one is easy, because I’m sure you have Saran wrap (or any plastic wrap) in your drawer. But it’s tricky and probably good to practice a few times. You only get one try- it’s nearly impossible to “fix” if you press too hard or not hard enough. It also takes some prep- you need 10 wadded up squares of Saran wrap ready to go, you can’t re-use them. But as far as quick and easy, this method gets an A+! I wish I had done a silver holographic polish to go against the bold base color. I think holos look amazing with this method. I also think neons look great with this type of manicure!
5 – Stamping
This is the most challenging method, but the results can be amazing! Of course, stamping requires a lot of tools. A stamper, stamping plates, a scraper, good stamping polish (some regular polishes work well, others don’t) and um… patience. This has been a LEARNED skill, and as you can see, it’s still not easy for me. I have very curved nails so any kind of stamping is challenging for me. Full coverage stamps, like the one shown, are especially hard.
I chose to stamp using Zoya Purity, a white color. Stamping makes the stamped color more sheer, which is why it looks a little pinkish. To stamp, you fill the plate’s design of your choice with polish, moving QUICKLY. The polish dries fast! Scrape it with the scraper to remove excess, and transfer the design to the stamper with a rolling motion. Then transfer the design from the stamper to your nail, again with a rolling motion.
I won’t sugarcoat it: it’s messy and time consuming and often, you make mistakes. Some patterns are more forgiving than others. Like most things though, practice makes perfect. So it’s a fun way to save a mani after a few days, since you get practice while also extending your manicure for a few more days. Even if I plan to take off my polish, I sometimes just test out a few designs/polishes by stamping them onto my worn out mani. The more I stamp the easier it gets, and I’ll take practice wherever I can get it!
There you have it! Five ways to quickly and easily remedy a tired manicure.
What are your favorite ways to save a manicure that is past it’s prime? What polishes would you recommend for manicures in each of these categories?