6 steps to help repair damaged crafting nails

I wanted strong luxurious nails that looked amazing on camera and didn’t break while fastening jewelry chains & jump rings. Sadly, after two back-to-back rounds of gel polish and improper removal, my nails were left damaged, discolored, and peeling. 

I researched and tested many different options for nail repair and found a great solution that I wanted to share. After a month of TLC, my nails are looking better than ever!

Here are 6 steps to help repair your damaged crafting nails:

1) Don’t Rip

If you’ve torn or snagged your nails while crafting, never rip them! Instead, clip & file until smooth to prevent further damage.

If you are a gel-wearer, soak off polish with appropriate remover or have it removed at your salon. Don’t be like me! I picked & peeled off my old gel polish, then had the remaining gel sanded off at a salon. I was left battling torn & flakey nail damage.

2) Gently Buff Your Stuff

If you ignored step 1 and are in need of nail repair, lightly buff rough edges as a first step. Not too much! Just enough to get rough flakes removed.

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 2.10.22 PM

This handy little buffer is my favorite so far: Manicare Miracle Shiner.

It costs under $10 for a pack of two, is a quick 2-step process, and leaves nails smooth & shiny. Magically shiny! I can’t stop staring… they are sooo shiny.

Excessive buffing can be damaging, so only buff gently when necessary. 


3) Get Oily

Use healthy oils to strengthen nails. You have two options to consider: Buy or DIY.

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 3.31.12 PMAs a cosmetics addict I’ve tried and tested many nail oils and cremes, but prefer to make my own.

Nail oils are easy to make, long lasting, refillable, and safe from harsh chemicals. You can change up your scents and oils easily as you go.

My favorite DIY Nail Oil Recipe is linked here. 

The hardest part is picking out your container!


4) Start a Strength Routine with a DIY brightening Top Coat

In addition to oils, use a clear oxygen top coat to strengthen nails while growing out your damage. Combat yellowed nails by amping up your clear coat with just 5-6 drops of a bright purple hue.Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 12.15.20 PM

My clear polish of choice – Zahara’s Oxygen Top Coat, found here. It not only allows your nails to breathe to prevent future damage but also provides extra strength through your regrowth.

For maximum impact, try this weekly 2-minute nail strengthening routine, straight from my favorite nail technician:

  • Day 1: Start with 2 coats of brightening oxygen top coat, add cuticle oil night
  • Day 2: Add one more coat, add cuticle oil night
  • Day 3: Add one more coat, add cuticle oil night
  • Day 4: Remove polish with a non-acetone remover, add cuticle oil night
  • Day 5-7: Let nails breathe polish-free for three days, just using your oils
  • Repeat the process 3 cycles for a 1-month growth spurt.

Whatever you do, DO NOT opt for a clear gel manicure on severely damaged nails. This is exactly how I yellowed and burned my nails originally. Let your nails fully repair before getting gel polish again!


5) Opt for a Healthier Polish 

Swap your regular color routine for an oxygen & water permeable nail polish when you want to play with color.

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 12.54.50 PMI ‘m OBSESSED with Zahara’s polishes. They are a much healthier option when you need new colors to rock during your next crafting tutorial. Check them out here

Zahara polishes are 5 free, meaning they don’t contain the top 5 harmful chemicals found in most polishes. Free of Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, & Camphor.

Tip: ‘Lovender’ – seen here- is the perfect hue for also creating your nail brightening top coat. And Zahara Colors of ‘Miss Matcha’ & ‘Blush Crush’ make totally adorable watermelon nail art.


6) Upgrade Your Diet

What I learned from years working in cosmetics: an inner + outer makeover always gives best results.

diet for healthy crafting nails from etta craftHealthy diet, exercise, sleep. Repeat!

I opt to supercharge my daily diet vs. going the ‘nail vitamin’ route.

Foods high in Biotin, Calcium & Iron are known to promote strong nails. Fresh green veggies, wheat germ, beans, lentils, eggs, paprika, salmon, and oatmeal are a great start to strong nails.

So… what else do you do to keep your nails healthy while crafting?

Feel free to leave a comment! 

As I continue to discover new beauty tips & tricks, I’ll be sure to share. So don’t forget to subscribe to my blog  🙂



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s