9/13/2012

Fix That Nail

My nail issues are well-documented.  I'm basically a recovering cannibal.  I've had a pretty good handle on it for the past couple years, but the million years I spent eating myself resulted in some pretty funky ridges in a couple of my nails.  Most of them are just minor, and polish will cover them.  My ring finger on my left hand, though, was apparently my favorite one to eat, because it has a pretty terrible ridge, and my nail will always break down the ridge.  

Recently, I cut my nails down and grew them back so I could get rid of some of the staining and a couple spots where I picked polish and shit was a little peel-y.  I finally have enough nail to paint, and I noticed that my ridge broke.  Usually, I will just cut my nail and file it down, but this one ripped to the quick, and I wanted to paint them and be glamorous instead of having farmer hands for another week or two.  So, I'm going to show y'all how I fix my broken nails.  It's pretty easy, and it's a good trick to be able to pull out of your hat.


OK, so here is my busted-ass nail.  I will go a long time without it ripping like this, but sometimes it just does it over and over.  I think it happens more when my nails are dried out.  ANYWAY, it's annoying.  I usually will patch my shit up with a teabag.  It's easy, cheap, and it will last until you can grow your nail out, as long as you use non-acetone to take your nail polish off.  WATCH ME DO IT!!
Here is my teabag.  It doesn't matter what kind you use.  I used this one because I don't like this kind of tea.  They sell silk wrap thingies at Sally's, but those suck and the teabags actually work better and are easier to use.  !!!!NOW!!!!  I cut the teabag open, and dump the tea out.  Then, I cut a little square of the bag, and trim trim trim trim trim until it is the same size and shape as the nail that's broken.  If you fuck up, just start a new one... there's plenty of teabag paper to fuck up about 20 times.
Next, I get my nail glue, preferably the kind with the brush.  The brush makes it easy to just put the glue where you want it, and I think it might dry a little slower so I don't glue the brush to my finger, since I am a moron like that, and I get a couple more seconds to put my teabag down.

I put some glue on my nail, a nice spot in the middle. just enough to arrange my teabag and have it stay.  I use an orangewood stick to press it down.  Now, I paint nail glue over the teabag, like if I was painting my nail.  The glue will soak through the bag and stick it down all the way, all over the nail.  Make sure you don't have any bubbles, because they can end up looking like pits at the end.  Let that fucker dry all the way.  Once it's dry, I file the extra teabag off, kinda like a Sally Hansen nail strip.  I buff it with all 4 textures on a 4-way buffer until it feels nice and smooth.  You might be able to see some of the fibers in the paper, but if you buff it smooth, you won't be able to see it once you polish your nails.
Then you polish your nails (that "Violetta" PopBeauty nail polish is the most lovely thing ever, by the way.)  Now I am completely beautiful and perfect and happy inside, and everything is always going to be great and nobody is ever going to die.

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Usually when I do a new post, I close the comments on the previous post, but since y'all have been blowing up my spot with snack ideas, I thought I would leave it open for another week.  Have at, if you are so inclined.

41 comments:

  1. I'm also a former cannibal, and while I don't have big ridges, my nails peel like a merf. I wanna try this, but does the nail glue mess up the nail? Like when I had fakes glued on mine and the real nail underneath got all thin and janky?

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    1. i've never had a problem with it. if you use acetone, it comes off pretty easily, not like with fakes where it rips your shit up. i think the fakes mess up your nails because you lose a layer of your nail when they pull them off. this will roll off with acetone.

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  2. You do the whole nail? Other tutorials I've seen only do a bit bigger than the crack. Have you tried both?

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    1. i do the whole nail, cause it is hard for me to buff out just a strip and have it match the rest of my nail. sometimes i will do a strip on the underside, if the rip is really bad.

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    2. I've only done it once, on a very slight (2mm-ish) tear. (I'm the one who commented on FB about doing this in the car) I didn't have any smoothing/matching issues and you'd really never guess which has the patch (which is just over the crack). Everyone who's seen it has guessed the middle, but no.

      I wonder if splits are harder to cover and buff than tears.

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    3. i try to get my ridges covered, too, and i can see the edges of the teabag sometimes if i don't cover the whole thing. i'm sure it's just a personal preference thing.

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  3. if I ever stop eating the shit out of my nails and fingers !!! I will try this :)I adore your tricks ! I am not a girly girl but understand when you explain those things, thanks !!! it is always helpful.

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  4. This is amazing tip, my nails are always ripping. I don't know if the ridges are from biting though because my left ring finger looks IDENTICAL to yours, ridge in the exact same place, and I've never bitten them. Thanks!

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    1. they're sometimes caused by injury to your nail bed/plate...it's possible you injured your finger in some other way that wasn't chewing on it, or maybe yours was caused by something different, since they will sometimes pop up as you get older, too.

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    2. One of my nails does this because I slammed it in a door over 7 years ago.

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    3. My mother effed up her nail bed gardening. I think a twig got her or something. She's gotta baby it or it splits. If she wasn't such a hippie I'd try to get her to do this.

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    4. Totally possible I slammed it in a door or something. I find my nails getting much more ridged in general as I get older (I'm 36). Thanks again for your tips Natalie, I love them!

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  5. I recently became pregers again and went back to taking prenatal vitamins . Holly crap! I can shred things like wolverine now. I forgot how well those worked. You don't have to be pregnant to take them. My nails are amazing.

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    1. yeah, I was going to say as soon as i saw that photo at the top, I think those ridges might be from B12 deficiency (which also can cause depression). vitamin c and d deficiencies can also cause nail problems. multivitamins are one of the best things you can do for your nails! also, have your ever tried those little buffer block thingies? they make your nails look and feel like they have clear polish on them -- smooth and shiny.
      i work on a farm and do a lot of stuff that fucks up any nail polish i put on within like an hour, but when i buff them they stay smooth and shiny for weeks with just an occasional touch up when they start looking dull again.

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    2. i take multivitamins. my depression isn't from malnutrition.

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    3. As an aside: I also have depression and while I will never be off the Celexa, I did notice improvement when I started taking a vitamin B complex. Can't say it did much for my nails tho. Vitamin D supplements have helped too. Evidently a lot of people are deficient in vit D because we stay inside most of the day and women tend to need more of it than men. I suppose walks in the sun could help, but I'm ass-white and the sun is out to kill me, so supplements it is.

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    4. oh ok good. i personally had some mood swings and lethargy for a while and didn't think it was nutritional cuz i eat pretty healthy, but i don't eat much meat and things got better when i started taking vitamins, which was about three months ago so i'm still kind of excited about it. also i love your blog and your humor and your classy lady skills!

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  6. This shit has been happening to me for the last year and I had no idea what to do about it. I too bit my nails down super low for most of my life and have the ridges super bad. I tried nailtiques until I found out it has formaldehyde which can just make things worse. I do like to use lighter color polishes like Essie Ballet Slipper. Would the tea bag show through and make those sort of colors look weird? Like I said, I have the problem on several nails which always gets worse this time of year since everything is drying out.

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    1. i don't use light colors very often, but it would be worth a try. once you buff your nail out, the paper isn't really super-visible. a couple coats of light polish would probably cover up any grain of the teabag that you can see after buffing... it's really not much.

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  7. Is there a practical difference between acetone and non-acetone remover (i.e. does one work better or do more damage to the nail)?

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    1. http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/nail-care/tips/non-acetone-nail-polish-remover.htm

      basically, the acetone eats through plastic, so it will take off fake tips and nail glue and stuff. non-acetone is a solvent, but it doesnt eat through plastic. it doesn't work quite as well as the regular stuff, in my opinion. i have to keep it on my fingers longer to get everything off, so i find non-acetone to dry me out more. it's good to keep on hand, though, if you have fakies on, or if you have a gel manicure and want to polish over it, and want to take off the polish without ruining the gel manicure.

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    2. You can take the harsh out of acetone with glycerin. Put some in and shake and keep adding until it won't mix anymore. Works wonders. Still need to wash your hands after, but it's so much gentler and doesn't really reduce the effectiveness.

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  8. I am so stoked you posted this since today my thumb nail split down past the quick. You are amazeballs.

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  9. There must be a Left Ringer Finger Ridges Curse on us all because I have THE SAME THING. It must be from that one time we killed that fortune teller on Halloween and then went back to boarding school like nothing happend.

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  10. How do you figure this stuff out? I have had a horrible splitting ridge for years since I got a bad infection in a fingernail once. I used to get fake nails put on it but always wound up with mildew under it because the nail takes a 45 degree turn at the ridge and so isn't rounded, so the fake would always lift.

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  11. Try filing down your nails instead of clipping. My friend suggested the same to me, she said clipping damages the layers of your nails - it weakens them. So I bought a decent crystal nail file and my shit has improved. My nails are stronger and my polish lasts a day or two longer before it looks completely fucked.

    She also suggested filing down your nails while your nail polish is still on, so you can't see the white part of your nail. It makes it 10x easier to shape. The girl is a fucking genius.

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  12. Thank you so much for the tip. I will have to give this a try. I don't bite my nails and they grow decently and don't feel weak or anything, but for some strange reason they always tear. It's so frustrating! As soon as I get one that has torn and I had to cut back somewhat grown back I tear another one. I would guess I need to file them more often and be careful not to catch them on things but they tear clear below the skin. It sucks, that's all I know.

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  13. You just blew my mind! I get those shitty cracks too, and I never bit my nails! I think I have some kind of genetic weakness..haha. Thanks for the tip and the humor! Love it! <3

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  14. Biting nails does not cause vertical ridge lines.

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    1. "According to the Mayo Clinic, vertical ridges may result from injury to the nail bed or plate and can become more apparent with age..."

      http://www.livestrong.com/article/18062-cause-vertical-ridges-fingernails/

      let's avoid being pedants. i don't care if i got my ridges from sticking my fingers up stray dogs assholes. i'm not an expert nailologist, i am just relaying what my term suggested might be the cause, and what i've read.

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  15. Do you think that would work on a toenail that split all the way? (Sorry, gross.) One of baby toes does that really bad, and I have to superglue it back together to make it grow back right, but superglue doesn't work all that well.

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  16. Hi Natalie, I am a huge fan and I love my dinosaur vice principal shirt I bought a few years ago as well as my Dr Unicorn shirt that was a recent purchase. As much as I love your store, I wonder where YOU online shop?

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  17. I've been biting my nails for most of my life, stopped about 3 months ago. I have no idea what to do with nail files and buffer thingys and all that. So thanks, Natalie, for explaining about cuticles and rips and breaks!

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  18. This is like magic! I was wondering if you could do a post about just putting on nail polish and doing your nails? I'm a bit of a nail-doing-virgin still and could use a few tips and tricks.

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  19. So THAT'S what causes the ridges on my nails!! I never knew! I am a former nail biter myself. I have a few nails with really awful looking ridges. Your trick for fixing the tears is awesome!

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  20. I don't have a huge problems with my nails splitting like that, but I just wanted to say that that .gif is probably the best thing I've seen all week. Thank you for bringing it into my life.

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    1. thank you for liking it, it's basically my favorite thing on the internet right now, and none of the philistines that read this post cared about it at all. you can show people magic, but you can't make them see it.

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  21. I have a really hard time not biting my cuticles! It looks like the least glamorous thing ever. Also, my nails typically flake--- like, split horizontally instead of vertically? But that has generally gotten better since I brought dairy products back into my life. It happens from time to time now and I just have to clip, file and buff the surface smooth.

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  22. I stopped biting my nails for a few days (thank you, Norovirus). Wouldn't you know, I was reading your entry and just bit my pinky nail down to 1/4" from the quick. I try to think about all of the shit germs that are embedded under my nails but it doesn't work. I must love puking my guts out (Fuck you, Norovirus). I give up and I'm envious of your determination.

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  23. Vertical and horizontal ridges can also be a sign of vitamin deficiency:
    http://www.askanaturopath.com/faqs/ridges-on-nails/p/699

    I've been a nail biter my whole life, really bad too, and have none of these ridges. My nails have always been thin and fragile, part of the reason why I bite them. I never get them out too long :(
    The site I gave is great info for all the possible reasons for your nails hating you (except in cases of slamming your nail in the door or something, then, well, that's a given...) But yeah, trauma to the nail can also cause stuff like this. I'm going to have to try this suggestion. I've never thought of using a teabag to solve my nail problems!

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