chipped-manicure(Photo: russaquarius/iStockPhoto/Getty Images)

I love having nicely manicured fingernails. It just makes me feel more on top of my shit to look down and see what look like the hands of a grown-up attached to my arms. The only problem is that I am not a grown-up, and I am not on top of my shit, not even a little bit. I chip my nails constantly. I’m always that person who knocks her hands on top of the nail-dryer at the salon and smashes up her manicure before it’s even dried yet. When I do manage to have nice nails, I usually wind up chipping them within a few days, which is why this quick, lazy beauty hack is my go-to trick for keeping a chipped manicure going longer.

(Related: This Hack Will Let You Wear Dark Lipstick Without Leaving a Mark on Your Wine Glass)

Last week, I actually got a manicure. I live in Europe, and manicures are pretty expensive here, but they don’t last any longer. Within three days, I was covered in annoying little chips.


My right hand was even worse, but I can’t take a clear photo of my own right hand.

If having nice nails makes me feel like a grown-up, having chipped nails makes me feel like I am utterly failing at everything as a human being and life is crashing down around me. (I tend towards the melodramatic.) But I didn’t want to completely strip the polish off, because I just got it done. Besides, I liked the color.

Whenever this happens, I have a very quick and easy “cheat” that is so fast it really barely qualifies as a “beauty hack” at all. Just take another shade of nail polish that looks good with whatever you have on, and apply that over the chips in a sort of messy French manicure.


I messed up the paint a little on the pointer finger, but that’ll wash off. The main thing is just to cover the chips on the end, and it’s OK if it looks messy, because the new look is, “Messy is what I was going for.”

My personal favorite is to do this with a silver or gold polish, but any color works. In my experience, darker colors cover chips more evenly. If you lose a whole nail of polish, just go ahead and do the whole nail in the new color, too.

Sure it’s lazy, but I love it. It’s fast and easy and does not require me to own the original polish color or apply a new coat smoothly over chipped polish. In my experience, this will usually extend the life of a manicure by a week or more, especially if you keep doing it. You can keep applying the second color, or try for a third one. I mean, eventually you’ll have to stop and take all the polish off, but when that happens is pretty much entirely up to you. Really, you could keep this going indefinitely.