Natural Nails

Your Guide to Nail Repairs & Reinforcements

There are a variety of nail issues, from the everyday bitten-nails to the all-out chip or crack, that require you to call in reinforcements. Whether using acrylic or gel (or even a tea bag), we offer some ways to strengthen nails into long-lasting beauts.

Editor’s Note: If you’re in doubt as to whether a nail is safe for you to work on, play it safe and refer the client to a doctor first. You don’t want to create an ­enhancement that camouflages a health concern that requires medical attention.

How To…

Reinforce Bitten Nails with Acrylic

Sue Kemp, SK Nails, Suffolk, England

Nail tech Sue Kemp says, “I have learned a technique that extends the nail bed to appear that it is longer than normal for bitten nails, creating a perfect set of pink-and-whites. The technique should take
1 ½ to 2 hours for a full set. I discovered the technique through years of experience and eventually realizing that using a form you can sculpt any shape with any color powder and create the illusion that a nail is longer than it is.” Kemp charges around £50 ($79) for this service.

1. Prep the nail, including removing the cuticle and using a 180-grit file to gently buff the surface and remove the shine. Apply a form under the nail’s free edge. Apply bonding agents to the nail for maximum adhesion.

2. Apply a bead of opaque pink acrylic to the free edge, overlapping the form to create a C-curve above the natural free edge.

3. Place a second bead of acrylic on the eponychium area to complete the extended pink part of the nail.

4. Place a bead of white acrylic above the pink to create the white free edge part of the pink-and-white.

5. File over the entire nail to blend and shape with a 180-grit file. Use a 3-way buffer to bring the nail to a high shine. Massage cuticle oil into the nail.

Next page: How to repair a cracked toenail with acrylic

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