Sweet Action! A Nail Polish Trick for the Short-Nailed and Klutzy

This post is for people like me. My nails go from being awesome for two weeks to full out suckage for a month at a time. My cuticles get all dry and start cracking. Then my nails fall apart and start cracking. Then I break/peel/file/tear/rip them off to start all over again.

The problem with uber-short nails is twofold. First of all, It's impossible to paint really short nails and have them look good. Especially in the fall and winter, when I'm mainly interested in darker colors. 
The other issue is that polish (on me, anyway) seems to chip much faster when I have super short nails I am trying to nurse back to health. So I get the polish everywhere and it chips off almost as fast as I can get it on. Blurg.

(I don't like this part of Shooty-Town. I imagine sharks are going to eat him.)

Here is a trick I came up with while waiting for Loxy to finish playing his game of "Shooty-Town" or Call of Duty, whatever you call that "the UAV is online" game in your house. Take a magazine subscription card from whatever magazine you have laying around. Cut a few half circles out of the edge. Don't worry about making them perfect.

Then pick a seriously glitterific polish like the new ones from Nails Inc or China Glaze. I used Cosmic Specialty by China Glaze, with a base and top coat from Essie. Carefully paint your base coat on your well filed nails.

Next get out your glitter polish and your magazine subscription card that you chopped. Place the first finger you are going to polish into half-circle that fits it best, inserting the card just slightly under the edge of your short nail. Even if your nail is shorter than short, you can make this happen painlessly. Now paint the surface of your nail, without getting it all over your skin.Sure, you can just wipe off any mistakes you make with a q-tip dipped in remover, but then your edges are sealed and it's more likely to chip. After you've double coated all nails using the card and glitter method, seal the deal with a shiny top coat.

Voila! Pretty nails that won't budge. You can try the card trick with any polish, but for super short nails that take lots of abuse or picking, glitter is great because it's hard to get off on a good day. Speaking of which, when the time comes, try soaking a little piece of paper towel in remover. Wrap it around your nail and let it sit for a few minutes. Just be sure to really moisturize your tender cuticles afterward!

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  1. Fab idea- thanks. You are the Macgyver of nails! :-)

  2. Yeah!!! I hope it works for you as well as it did for me!!

  3. Yeah! I seriously hope it helps!!

  4. This seems so obvious, yet I never would have thought of it on my own!  Thank you SO MUCH for this idea!  I'm very excited to try it out!  I have to keep my nails short for work (I can't type with long nails.) so I'm always running into the problem of messy manicures.  Plus, I always have those annoying magazine cards laying all over.  This is the perfect use for them!  Thanks again!  :)

  5. I wish I did. I've tried all kinds of tape and stickers and paper blocking techniques. I'm terrible at them. If you had really long nails, you could water marble the tips only for a really unique french that is meant to be imperfect.

  6. Samantha MittelmeierOctober 3, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    That is such a great and simple idea! Maybe I'll finally be able to do something with my nails!

  7. Great idea!! I always try to paint the tip like in the salons but always fail. This is something that I can easily do. Thanks!!

  8. That's an awesome idea. I'm gonna give it a go next time I paint my nails. :)

  9. Wow!  That is a seriously brilliant idea!  Do you have any tips for the French manicure look?  Especially getting a neat white strip?

  10. MarciaF (beauty info zone)October 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    I made a cheat sheet with one of those cards for my longish nails and it's amazing. I have so much trouble doing my own nails so I'm excited that you gave us this tip!!!

  11. The shooty-town bit made me laugh.


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