How To Cover Exposed Nails
When your hands are in close or closed positions, it can be difficult to conceal exposed nails. This is particularly true if you like long, elaborate nail designs!
Luckily, there are several easy ways to cover up this look. You can use gel-type polish covers or buff away the excess topcoat that has gathered at the tip of the nail. For more dramatic looks, you can also add fake nails or gel caps over the whole length of the natural nail.
This article will discuss some simple tricks for hiding short, neutral painted nails. If you would like more tips on designing beautiful longer nails, check out our guide here!
Reminder: Because these strategies apply to any shape or size of natural nail, we will keep the style relatively simplistic for simplicity’s sake.
Use a soft cloth to wipe off excess polish
The best way to cover exposed nails is by using the right product!
You can use either clear or printed cotton pads, cream-shaped gel products, or short brushes designed for this purpose.
Many people use a washcloth when covering up their own nails but these work just as well and are much cheaper!
A good quality nail brush will also help in taking away some of the thickened polish that has been extended beyond the natural length of the nail.
Use an acetone nail polish remover
Acetone is usually your best bet for exposed nails. Make sure you mix it properly and try rubbing the area thoroughly.
Acetone will also work as long as you are careful not to ingest too much of it!
You can use cotton balls or pads to apply some onto the damaged area, making sure to spread the liquid evenly. Then, let the skin dry and repeat until all the powder has been removed.
Make sure to wash your hands well after doing this so no residue remains! Also, do not breathe in the fumes while removing the paint, otherwise you could risk poisoning yourself.
Once done, make sure to file and buff off any leftover bits of painted nail.
Use a natural source of acetone to remove polish
Acetone is probably your best bet if you need to take down your painted nails. Almost every woman has some sort of bottle of acetone around their home, it’s usually used for cleaning dishes or removing makeup products.
Acetone can be found in most drugstores as well as beauty supply stores. Just make sure you don’t use alcohol-based acetones since they won’t work.
Beware of buying online versions that contain benzene! Benzene can cause serious health issues such as cancer.
Use a non-acetone nail polish removal solution
When your hands are too busy for extended painting, there is still one way to go about removing your nails! Using an alcohol-based gel or solution will work as long as you do not use our regular tip!
Most people know that using acetone as an exposed nail polish remover can damage the natural oils in the skin, which may lead to dryness or even more serious issues like infection. However, some alcoholic gels contain glycerin, which help replenish those lost oils.
Use an adhesive strip to help remove polish
When your nails are fully painted, it is very difficult to take off the last bits of topcoat or gel without getting some sort of drag along with it.
This can sometimes leave you with little pieces of paint stuck under your nail which will need to be removed, too!
One way to do this is using an adhesive strip. These are long, thin strips that can easily be pressed onto any part of the exposed nail. As they dry, they stick solidly, so you can then pull up on them while the glue dries.
Use a hard surface to help remove polish
When your nail has been exposed due to tip damage or removal, it is important to cover the area to prevent dry-stickyness.
You can use a lukewarm washcloth to wipe away excess gel coat that has dried onto the nails.
If there are longer hairs in the gel coat, you can also use cotton balls to soak up the extra goo.
Apply a layer of top coat
One of your most common exposed nail projects is painting your nails different colors! If you have small, short natural nails, it’s easy to cover them up by simply applying a good quality gel or acrylic topcoat.
Many people use regular clear glass bottle topcoats since they are very expensive professional level products, but there are many lower cost alternatives such as using food grade acetone (or alcohol) as a primer and then buffing with a soft cloth.
Let your nails dry naturally
The best way to cover exposed nails is by letting them air-dry. When they are slightly wrinkled and soft, you can use clear glue or gel polish to smooth out the nail.
If you want more elaborate designs like flowers or patterns, there are many ways to do that! But making sure your nail is completely dried before moving onto the next step will ensure perfect results every time.
You can also add additional touches like rhinestones with this method, but be careful not to pull off any of the natural layer of growth that has taken place since your nails were last short.