If you’re like me and put everything off until the absolute last second, odds are you’ve had “fixing your overgrown nails” creeping higher and higher on your to-do list while simultaneously avoiding making an appointment. The window between “my nails look fine” and “there’s, like, a half-inch of un-painted nail” is surprisingly small. So, if you ever find your nails in desperate need of salon care with no time to make it to one, here’s a simple hack for filling in overgrown gel nails without completely ruining them at home.
This hack is incredibly user friendly and, as nail Seattle nail artist Cassandre Banel tells Elite Daily, will not only hide the growth, imperfections, and chips, it’ll also give your manicure a whole new look. All you need for removal is glitter nail polish — Brittney Boyce, an L.A.-based nail artist, recommends using a chunkier glitter because it’ll cover the growth the best — and a topcoat polish. If you don’t have any glitter nail polish on hand, you can order Essie’s Set in Stone Nail Polish ($9, Amazon).
Then, “fill in the naked area by dabbing glitter and letting it completely dry for 10 minutes,” Banel says. Once that’s dry, you can blend the glitter into your existing color by gently adding another layer of glitter up the nail for more of an ombré effect. By being very soft with your application, you can make the ombré any level of intensity you like. When you’re satisfied with how it looks, add topcoat and let it dry completely.
If your nails are more grown out to begin with, Boyce recommends that instead of dabbing the glitter, apply it in three layers, one on top of the other. Begin by bringing the glitter polish one third of the way up your nail in a thin layer. Once that’s dry, apply another layer from the cuticle to about halfway up your first glitter layer. If a third layer is needed, focus on only applying it directly to the overgrown area. And here's a tip: "When doing each layer, at the end, fan out the brush to get a whisk effect and break up the solid line for a professional ombré look,” Boyce says. If you can do that, go for it. If you can’t, your ombré will still look great in a straight line.
If you’d like to watch someone walk you through it, Olivia Smalley, a South Florida hairstylist and influencer, posted a tutorial for fixing grown-out nails on her Instagram. However, if those instructions prove to be too much, use this gel polish removal tutorial to safely take off your gels at home. No matter what you decide, pour yourself some fruit-infused water, put on some soothing music, and indulge in your at-home salon.