How to Fix a Broken Nail With Gel Polish On

Breaking a nail may not necessarily be a medical emergency, but it’s a huge inconvenience, especially if your nails will be out and about in public. We all know the disappointment and even that sting of pain that comes with a nail break.

If you’re wondering how to fix a broken nail with gel polish on, keep reading.

There are a few quick, easy solutions to solve your broken gel manicure problem. All of the solutions in this article can be done at home. The outcome might not be perfect, but your repaired nail might only be noticeable to you once you master the steps of these nail-repair options!

We sure hope that you have the matching nail polish color on hand, but if you don’t, there’s no need to worry. You’ll learn some tricks on how to get around not having the matching shade. Without further ado, let’s get into the gel manicure repair methods!

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how to fix a broken nail with gel polish on
Having one broken nail when all the rest are flawless is disheartening, to say the least.

How to Fix a Broken Nail With Gel Polish on With a Tea Bag

Have you ever heard of brush-on nail glue? It’s perfect for fake nails or gel manicures. It’s also extra easy to apply since it comes with a little brush, just like a nail polish bottle.

Only use this method if your broken nail is still attached. The brush-on formula will bond the broken part with the rest of the nail. Easy, right?

It’s a must-have in your beauty cabinet for those pesky nail emergencies. Check out the steps below to see exactly how to use it, along with a piece of a tea bag to repair a broken nail.

Kiss Brush-On Nail Glue 0.17oz (1 Pack)

  1. Start with a clean canvas. Using a cotton pad and rubbing alcohol, gently wipe the nail to clear it of oil or residue.
  2. Brush a tiny amount of your nail glue right where the nail is broken.
  3. Press the broken part of the nail into place so it’s flush with the rest of your nail.
  4. Allow the glue to dry as you gently hold the nail in place.
  5. Cut a tiny square off of a tea bag.
  6. Add more nail glue on top of the broken area (that you’ve just glued in place).
  7. Put the tea bag material on top of the glue and hold it in place. 
  8. Brush another layer of nail glue on top of the tea bag material.
  9. After the glue dries, buff it out so it’s smooth.
  10. Repaint the nail with nail polish.

Do you have silk wraps on hand? They will work in a similar manner to tea bags. It’s helpful to keep these in your beauty cabinet, and they’re less messy than tea bags.

Supernail Swiss Silk Wrap Self-Adhesive Tabs, 40 Count

How to Fix a Gel Nail That’s Broken Completely Off

What if the tip of your gel nail broke off completely? It’s always a downer when this happens, but don’t worry. It’s fixable with a little TLC. 

Start by assessing the damage. How different is the nail length from the rest of your nails? Read the options below and select one based on your broken nail predicament.

Option 1: Smooth the Edge of the Broken Nail & Trim Others to Match

When you hold up your hand and look at your nails, is the length of the broken nail somewhat similar to the rest? If so, you’re lucky. A situation like this requires minimal effort.

If your nail isn’t too different in length from the others, gently file down the rough edge of the broken nail. File the other nails a bit, if necessary, to make them a more similar length.

Depending on how badly the broken nail was damaged, remove the cracked polish and paint it again with nail polish so it appears smooth and unharmed.

This method is only best for those who may have already had short or medium-length nails. Even so, use your best judgment to determine whether the length difference is noticeable.

Option 2: Glue and Repair Your Broken Nail With Powder

If Option 1 doesn’t resonate with you, bring out the big guns with this option. When the broken nail is way too short to match the rest, use a DIY nail repair kit

Disclaimer: It probably won’t last as long as your gel manicure did. But if you need a quick fix, nail repair kits are perfect. They’ll tide you over until you can squeeze a salon appointment in.

Orly Nail Rescue Kit

Nail repair kits are the holy grail of at-home broken nail repair. A kit like the one above Helps with so many different kinds of nail repair. 

Maybe you have acrylics or even a dip manicure. No matter what the case is, there are tools and equipment and glue in these kids that can rescue your nails. Use the steps below to fix broken nails with a nail repair kit.

  1. Use rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad to wipe the nail clean.
  2. Wipe off the remaining nail polish (on the broken nail) with polish remover.
  3. Add nail glue to the broken edge. Just use a small amount.
  4. Dip the nail into the nail powder, then allow it to dry.
  5. Grab your nail buff from the kit and use it to smooth out the edge.
  6. Repeat this step to lengthen the edge of the nail. You may need to do it a few times.
  7. File the edge to even it out so it matches your other nails.
  8. Repaint the nail with nail polish.
Having a few DIY nail repair tricks up your sleeve can save your mani.

How to “Fix” a Nail With Press-On or Glue-On Nails

Some people roll their eyes at press-on manicures, but they’re seriously worth consideration! They’re particularly worth a second chance if you have a broken nail.

If you have nail polish that matches your other nails, this is an uncomplicated method that can look almost as perfectly polished as when you first got them done at the salon.

If you don’t have matching nail polish, don’t sweat it. You might be able to find press-on nails that match your gel or acrylic ones.

Gold Finger Gel Glam Design Nail, Press On Nails, Gel Nail Kit, Polish Free Manicure Long Length (GD16)

No one’s arguing that press-on or glue-on nails were pretty atrocious years ago. But they’ve come a long way, and the press-on nail kits they come in provide all the tools you need to successfully apply them.

When you’re in a bind, pick up a pack of press-on nails and give them a try. If one nail, like your ring finger, is broken, you could even put a press-on on the other ring finger to your nails to add a bit of an accent color.

How to Avoid Nail Breaks in the First Place

It’s helpful to know how to repair a broken nail yourself, but ideally, you can avoid breaking one in the first place. let’s go over a few things you can do to prevent this problem. with a few tips, your nails will stay fresh and unbroken long after your salon visit.

  • Use a high-quality moisturizer on your hands and ensure that it covers your cuticles.
  • Wear gloves if your hands will be exposed to water, dirt, or chemicals.
  • Use cuticle oil to improve the health of your cuticles and keep the skin around your nails looking healthy.
  • In general, be careful with your nails. Do not use them as tools (i.e., to open taped packages or crack open soda cans).

The Takeaway: Repairing a Broken Gel Nail Isn’t Ideal, but It’s Doable

Let’s face it, most of us have suffered through broken nail woes at one point or another. It’s about time we learn how to deal with it in a relatively stress-free, hassle-free way. Using the tea bag technique, a nail repair kit, or press-on nails will help you easily and quickly patch up a broken nail and get on with your day!