Nail polish repair: possible?
July 22, 2013 9:36 AM   Subscribe

I got my first pro manicure on Friday and the nail polish (acrylic, not gel) has already chipped on one finger. Sadness has ensued.

Is it normal for the nail polish to have chipped after only 3 days? And is there anything I can do to repair it? I do not have the nail polish and do not intend to buy it. Going back in for a touch-up isn't an option; the nail salon I went to is out of town.
posted by Wordwoman to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total)
3 days is pretty expected for a regular-old nail polish manicure, even professionally done, yeah. You can go to a nail salon for a "polish change", which should generally only cost $10 or so, and get just the polish completely redone (without all the rest of the manicure stuff), or you can change your polish yourself with polish you like. Or you can go into Sephora or something where they sell nail polish and have samples and see if they have the right polish and just fill in the gap, but it will still be visible where it chipped if you're looking.
posted by brainmouse at 9:39 AM on July 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Just a standard manicure? Yes, chipping after a couple days happens. It's a bummer. But that's why those gel and shellac manicures are such a thing, because they last for like 2 weeks.

To "repair" it you use polish remover and re-paint the nail.
posted by phunniemee at 9:40 AM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Do you mean regular non-UV-curing nail polish like from OPI or Essie or whatever? If so, yeah, that stuff never lasts more than a couple of days for me, even when professionally applied.

If you're not willing to buy the polish and fix it yourself, then I think your best bet is to find a nail salon in your area with a good, wide selection of polish colors and ask them to help you find the best match, and then let them fix it.
posted by joan_holloway at 9:40 AM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

You can go to a nail salon for a "polish change", which should generally only cost $10 or so

I don't know where you fancy people go, but you can get a full basic manicure at any strip mall place for ten bucks.
posted by phunniemee at 9:40 AM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

I agree, it's pretty standard for chips after a few days (sometimes I even get them within 24 hours, which really burns).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:44 AM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, this is normal. It's also normal for it to last for over a week, it just depends on what you do with your hands, nail polish quality, luck. etc. (I feel like the drying method is the most important factor, but I can't prove it.)

The only way to fix it is to brush a bit of the same color polish over the chip. If you intend to get this color a few more times, it's worth it to buy a bottle. If not, if it's one if the usual nail salon brands you could always go to a place near you and ask if they'd help you fix it. That's what I'd do anyway, just ask if they have the color and how much it is to fix one nail. They've probably seen all sorts of panicked women with manicure emergencies.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 9:56 AM on July 22, 2013

Polish change is like $5.
posted by k8t at 10:11 AM on July 22, 2013

Yeah, that's about my track record with manicures. I've decided to start thinking of manicures as being more about the trimming and shaping and such and less about nail polish. Because if you think of them as "lookit my fancy nail polish" you will realize you paid $20 for three days of nail polish and never get another manicure. (As it is I get them rarely for this very reason. I do too much with my hands to ever keep them nice for long. A pedicure is a much better investment.)
posted by Sara C. at 10:17 AM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

For the "future reference" file: when I do my own nails, and if I were to get them done in a salon, I would see about using a product from OPI called Chip Skip - the reviews on Makeup Alley are kind of hilarious because some people think its a topcoat and get mad that putting it on last wrecked their manicure.

It's a drying agent that's the first thing you put on your nail, and I find it extends the usual war of my polish from 3 days to a week, because along with a topcoat, it really does keep the polish from chipping by helping it adhere to the nail.
posted by deliriouscool at 10:29 AM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Nthing that this is normal (while looking at the manicure I got on Friday evening and realizing that there are a couple of small chips. drat.) Frustrating, but true. I often bring my own polish and have them use that so I know I'll have the match to fix chips and keep the pretty going another day or two.

@phunniemee - I think it depends on your location. I'm right near Boston, and even the strip mall places near me charge $15-20 for a manicure, and polish change is $5-10.
posted by hungrybruno at 10:32 AM on July 22, 2013

3 days is pretty expected for a regular-old nail polish manicure, even professionally done, yeah.

Not my experience! I get a manicure every single week (pedi every two) and I expect to go the full week, for sure.
posted by thinkpiece at 12:05 PM on July 22, 2013

You could always just repaint that one nail with a different color and call it an accent nail. At Sephora they have tester polish that you could put on right over your old polish. You might even be able to find a close enough match to fix the chip without calling attention to that nail. Or you can do what I do when I have a lot of chips but no time for a full polish change--add to your manicure by putting on a glitter topcoat or freehanding French tips with a different polish color entirely. I can usually get an extra day or two of wear from doing that.
posted by Fuego at 12:49 PM on July 22, 2013 [3 favorites]

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