Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Tea Bag Nail Repair

I have an impromptu tutorial for you today on how to repair a nail tear using a tea bag. Over the weekend I accidentally hit my nail on something and a corner of it was left hanging on by just a few layers. I would usually file down damage such as this, but I really wanted to keep my nail length so I chose to repair it. Normally, however, I use this repair technique for damage that is further down the nail such as a tear along the nail bed (ouch!) and it works really well.

  • Tea bag
  • Nail glue
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Nail file/buffer

  1. Cut out a piece of tea bag large enough to cover the damage. 
  2. Clean and prep the nail. You want to make sure to remove any polish, oils, lotions, etc. 
  3. Apply nail glue to the tear directly on the nail
  4. Place the tea bag piece on the nail and gently press it down so it lays flat against the nail.
    1. Wait for the glue to dry completely
    2. Add more glue over the tea bag and allow it to dry as well
  5. File or trim any excess tea bag hanging off the nail
  6. Gently file/buff over the glue and tea bag to smooth out sharp edges. Make sure not to file down any of the actual nail or tea bag which covers the tear. Filing too much will remove the tea bag and leave the tear unprotected.
  7. Apply base coat, polish and top coat as usual and you are done!

I hope you will find this useful and as always I would love to know what you think!
Have you tried this technique before?

Thanks for looking!
Anutka :)


  1. Thank you so much for this tutorial !!! I never knew how it actually works with the tea bag method but now I do :D And since I have a little tear in one of my nails I will do this right now! ;)

  2. :-) this is very good tutorial :-)

  3. Great post! I use this method all the time to keep my nails long and now have to file them down because of a break! :) I get quite a few questions on how I do this whenever I mention it, so I'll for sure be directing others towards this post! :)

  4. thank you so much!!!! next time i get a tear, i will try this out!

  5. So grateful for this! I wish I knew how to do this a few days ago when I had a nasty break.

  6. I have saved my nails from a huge chop a couple of times using the tea bag method. The only thing I can say, that I found out after my first repair (and tutorial), is that it's actually better to tear the bag rather than cutting it. It makes the edges blend in much better, or so I find anyway. Nice little tutorial :)

  7. @Theodora, I'm so glad this helps! Let me know how it works out for you :)

    @Suzi, thank you so much :)

    @Emma, Thank you! You are so kind. I'm glad to hear this works for you :)

    @Nail Polish Anon, yes, give it a try and let me know. Although I hope you don't have any tears any time soon :)

    @Shannon-Lee, Ouch! I'm sorry. Hopefully this will be helpful next time :)

    @Nail Buff, that is such a great idea! I will have to try just tearing it next time. Thank you!! :)

  8. I'm glad I found this tutorial and know I'm doing the repair correctly. I have one nail in the middle of a repair (a week of teabag patch) I change the patch ever third mani. and it survives the school glue base coat technique just fine.

  9. Thanks for sharing such a lovely post.........!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. wow, very cool!! I will have to remember this :)

  11. Thanks for the tip! I tend to get small breaks way far down, about mid-nail. I have tried repairing them with glue, but as they grow out and come closer to the end of my nail bed, they always rip all the way off. I'll have to try this!

  12. What a great tutorial! I've had a tear on my right index finger since May that just won't cooperate, just when it's growing out it tears again! I did the teabag over that nail and I also did it on a nail I couldn't help but peel when my nailpolish started chipping.. bad, bad habit! So I put it over the weakened part of my nail to reinforce it so it hopefully won't break! Quick question--do you just leave the teabag on between manicures until the tear grows out and you've basically cut or filed that portion of the nail off? Thanks again for such a great tutorial!!

  13. @Nightingale, I'm so glad to hear it works for you and even works with the nail glue technique! Thank you for letting me know. I have not tried the combo yet :)

    @Nail Glue, thank you!

    @Kate, Hopefully you won't have to use it for a while, but it will be there when you do :)

    @Lisa T, yes it is the same problem I usually use them for. The tea bag helps reinforce which is something the glue can't do on it's own. Good luck! :)

    @Andrea, Thank you! The tea bag should remain in place between manicures. If you use acetone remover, it will last ~3 changes. If you use a non-acetone remover it can last through ~5-6 manicures. You can apply a new patch when it wears off until the nail grows out to a desired length and you file it down. Good luck! :)

  14. I have a tear about half way across my pinky nail that if it ripped all the way the length of the nail would be half of what I waited for it to be! This trick saved me heartache and 2 more months of work! Thank you!

  15. @Brigette, Thank you for your comment! I'm so glad to hear this technique worked for you. I use it all the time to fix corners and extend the life of my manicure :)


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