How to completely disguise chipped nail polish.

There are two main “How long did it last?” questions in life. One relates to the bedroom, one relates to your nails – and both are often shorter than you’d like.

Unfortunately, when it comes to getting a manicure, ‘going again’ is not a good thing. It’s an expensive thing. And while we would never condone faking things when your body’s naked, semi-naked nails are a whole different story. Consider this your manicure’s CPR, and here’s the cheat’s way to, ahem, nail it.

1. The glitter tip

If you’ve shied away from glitter polish we have two words: get involved. Because when it comes to chip cover-ups, it’s your nail polish paramedic. And you can go subtle. For this, imagine a French manicure – but instead of white tips, paint a thin line of glitter polish (ideally one with lots of fine particles) along the chipped tips. Voila, they’re gone.

RELATED: The nail art trends we’re still not sick of

2. The glitter dots

Less steady of hand? Great! Simply add little dots of glitter to each nail. Cover the chips, of course, but otherwise keep the pattern as evenly spaced or as random as you like. Our guarantee: no one will ever know that this design wasn’t your original intention. Us: 1, mean nail gods who inflict chips: 0.

RELATED: 21 minimalist nail art designs so simple anyone can try it

3. The ombre glitter

We know what you’re thinking: moooore glitter, broken record or what?! We can confirm that a glitter factory is not sponsoring us – this is just how useful the stuff is. This tip is brilliant if your nail art skill level is -1. (Join the club). It’s a graduated look that’s glitter-heavy on the tips (to cover chips) and then trails off the further down the nail you go. Start by very lightly dabbing glitter-polish on the middle of your nail, then do way more dabbing at the tip. No stroking – your nails aren’t pretty kittens – you must dab to get good coverage.

4. The accent nail

Paint one of your five fingernails a contrasting colour to the others. It says to the world, “I did this deliberately because I’m such a cool nail trendster,” rather than, “I smudged one nail taking the bins out.” Ah, the glamour.


5. The pen touch-up

This only works with black or navy polish, and it’s more of a Bear Grylls-style survival move than manicurist-approved great nail practice, but a Sharpie marker pen very conveniently fills in chips on dark polishes. Add a top coat and you’re fixed.

RELATED: The half-moon manicure hack you need to try

6. The one-side wonder

If your chips are clustered at one side, take an opaque polish (nude works well) and paint one brushstroke just down the offending half of your nail. Do the same trick on all nails to make them look even.

7. The subtle paint-over

Your natural urge is to paint right over a chip – it’s easy, but it’ll be lumpy. The trick is to smooth the edge of the chip first. Dip a small brush or cotton bud in nail polish remover and run it over the edge a few times so the polish starts to dissolve. Once dry, carefully add a layer of the original colour to the non-painted areas – or, for smoothest results, two thin coats.

RELATED: The $12 wonder drops that dry your nails instantly

8. The toothpick trick

If you only have a very small chip (but no less annoying), use a toothpick or a bobby pin to dot on polish to fill it in. If it looks lumpy once dry, use the polish’s brush – but with hardly any polish on it – to smooth the edges.

9. The bling up

Nail gems are perfect not only for hiding chips, but for turning a once-chipped area into a feature. Compliments, here we come. Add one or two per nail – applied onto a tiny dab of semi-dry polish – then surround them with clear topcoat to set them.

Image via Instagram/theillustratednail


10. The Breton look

Earn your nail stripes, literally. Use a nail polish pen and add several stripes to your chipped nail – covering the chips with one of the strokes. No need to do it on every nail – one per hand is effective. And quick. Which we always like.

Do you have any favourite quick-fix tricks for chipped nail polish?