In the grand scheme of things, worrying about a grown-out gel manicure is admittedly low on the priority list right now. But it’s an unexpected consequence of social distancing nonetheless. Now that numerous salons and spas are closed for the foreseeable future, women are left wondering how self-isolation will effect their usual beauty routines.
This most certainly goes for nails, since booking a manicure is out of the question for at least a few weeks. But that hasn’t stopped creative minds on the internet from brainstorming new ways to adjust to the disruption. The latest to gain traction is a brilliant hack shared by Olivia Smalley, a hairstylist in South Florida.
As noted by Allure, Smalley first posted the trick a few months ago when she had to film a video for work—she’s a content creator for the haircare brand Joico—but noticed her overgrown gel manicure. Instead of panicking, she grabbed a glitter polish and filled in the unpainted area. She recently re-shared the video, thinking it would be extra relevant now that no one has access to their usual salon.
In the video, she starts by freshening up the shape of her nails with a file, and then filling in the grown-out area with a chunky glitter (she used Essie’s Rock at the Top). She notes that you can stop at just the cuticle area for a reverse-French look, but she brings it about halfway up her nails for a pretty ombre effect.
“I love the idea of covering your re-growth with a chunky glitter,” nail artist Brittney Boyce tells Glamour. “I think the glitter ombré look is very approachable for doing at-home.” Not only does it look good, it helps fill in the physical space left behind by the gel. Plus, as Boyce notes, it’s absurdly simple to do. “Chunky glitter is great to ombré with because it comes out in an uneven disbursement making it easy to avoid harsh lines,” says Boyce.
Not only is this trick genius, it’s actually on-trend too. Some of our favorite nail artists have been rocking cuticle art for a while now, so now’s as good a time as any to try. Plus, it saves you from panic-peeling off your gels and destroying your nails in the process.
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Bella Cacciatore is the beauty associate at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @bellacacciatore_.