Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tutorial and Review: The Teabag Method

The Teabag Method, as I call it, is a way you can patch a nail break and continue on polishing as normal. You know those breaks that threaten to drastically decrease your nail length...hate those. You can use it for any break really. This is the first time I have done it and I LOVE it! See the break?

Short version: nail glue, teabag piece, nail glue, and buff

Long version:
The tools you'll need are some nail glue, a teabag, some celophane/plastic wrap, a nail buffing block or file with a gentle grit, and scissors. Start with nails that are fully prepped for polish (remover, cuticles, moisturized, remover).

1. Cut the top of the teabag off and pour out the tea. Cut or pull the teabag apart to make it into a sheet. Then cut a small piece that is at least the width of your nail and about half an inch longer. Bigger is better otherwise you might end up having to start over and cut another piece.

2. Take the small piece and place it on your prepped nails. Using your other hand, hold it on your nail and use your fingernails to crease the paper to fit your nail. This will make a nice line to cut on. Don't worry about getting it all right in one go. That's why we made it a bit big. Trim the cuticle and side edges carefully, but the free edge at the end you can trim after you put on your nail if you need to. I liked trimming it before. This doesn't have to be freaky perfect. It just has to be really close and definitely covering the break. Cut out the piece for your nail.

3. Apply nail glue all over your nail in a nice thin coat. You don't have to be perfectly even because when you put the teabag piece on it will spread out the glue a bit anyway. Using a nail glue with a brush will be easier, but I used the super cheap squeezy kind just fine. Put the teabag piece on your nail pretty quickly, as nail glue can dry fast.

4. Don't worry if it isn't perfectly in the right place. You have a couple minutes to adjust it by using the celophane. It's just nice and slippery and doesn't stick to the nail glue. Also use this time to rub out any wrinkles and bubbles. Get it just right, then let it dry a bit - about 3-5 minutes.

5. Apply a second coat of nail glue on top of what you already have. Let this dry until hard, about 10-15 minutes. This is your completed patch for your break. Next you need to make it pretty.

6. Buff out the top slowly and gently, making sure you don't go through that top layer of glue. I didn't have any problem with this, so don't worry too much. Also buff the rough part on your free edge. Make sure you do all this gently! Less is more! It doesn't have to look pretty right now, it just has to feel smooth. This picture is my complete patch. Ignore the pink lines on the edges. I tried outlining first and decided the "crease method" is way better. It looks all dry and funky, but it's really quite smooth.
Here is my totally complete patch with my Seche Ridge Filling Base Coat on, ready for polish. You can't even tell, even with this quite sheer base coat on. It's really fabulous and I love it!

Let me know if you have any questions, if you've tried it before, or if you try it after reading my tutorial!


  1. OMG, I'm so glad you posted this. I get breaks like this often & am so OCD about my nails being the same length or at least close. This will save me!

  2. Thanks so much! Some friends I have made on the Zoya Facebook page led me to this!!/ZoyaNailPolish/posts/10150091482518815

  3. I'm OCD about many things lol. I just edited this post like 20 times *cough*.

  4. I'm so glad this worked for you! ^_^

  5. It did, it's pretty amazing. The edge came up a little, but it was time to redo my polish anyway so I just added more glue.

  6. the only thing i do different is i don't cover the whole nail. This has saved my nails several times over the last couple of months!!!

  7. I have been wondering how to do this! I have had to stop wearing acrylics for a while since my nails are so weak. This is really great.

    Check out my blog and tell me what you think! I just started it last month =]

  8. Does the tea bag eventually dissolve or will you have to remove it later?
    Also, how does this fix the nail exactly? Does the nail attach back to it's original place?
    I'm just curious because I have never heard of this before.

  9. @Jen - What a good idea! It might even stay better just covering a small part because then it wouldn't be around the free edge to lift up.

    @Pretty - Just followed your blog! I've seen it before and apparently forgot to follow it. I would love to have gel nails and have been looking into it. I want them so badly except for the price and the nail damage when I want to take them off.

    @Shaina - The teabag material won't dissolve, but the glue will eventually wear out. It should last a good couple of polish changes though. That is, if you don't use acetone remover. Acetone will dissolve the glue and take off your patch. It fixes the break by covering it kind of like a bandaid so that it doesn't break more. Many women really want to keep their nail length they've worked so hard for, so they do this so keep it from breaking all the way until it grows out enough that you can trim off the broken area.


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