NAILS 911: Expert Advice on Handling Last Minute Nail Emergencies

"Nailebrity" Elaine Watson is the VP of Marketing and Global Education Director at Star Nail. Watson also judges high-profile nail competitions, works on-set for editorial and runway events, and has her fingers on the pulse of what's new with, well, fingers.  And toes.

We asked her to weigh in on how to handle these real life nail crisis:

EMERGENCY: You are backstage, onset or with the bride minutes before the show starts or the walk down the aisle commences and your model, actress or nervous bride brushes against something and smudges her fresh paint. What do you do?

REMEDY: “If it is a minor smudge, break out the cuticle oil and get some lubrication on my finger so I can touch the nail and start smoothing the smudge out,” says Global Education Director of Star Nails Elaine Watson. “As kids, we were taught to lick our finger! This doesn't work in the pro world but cuticle oil does. If it is a bigger smudge and NO time to paint at all, glue on an embellishment. I always have hundreds of options with me. It could be as simple as some rhinestones, nail decal, full cover sticker- some solid colors, not designs.

EMERGENCY: You have a client who broke a nail. What wrap system do you recommend?

REMEDY: “If I have a client that called me and they need advice on how to fix it, quickly, themselves, I tell them to get ASP Wrap kit available at Sally's. When it is something I'm doing for them, I’ll use CuccioPro LED/ UV Gel. I find wraps aren't as strong as my newly formulated Hard Gel. I broke a nail last week, right down in my nail bed. It bled. To let it heal for two days, I applied a bridge over the crack, on top of the nail) with a dry acrylic ball (dry so it doesn't seep into the crack). This gave the cut two days to heal. It also immediately stops throbbing since the crackcan no longer move. After two days, the cut has healed so that there isn't any access to the blood stream and it no longer hurts. I prepped the nail, applied my Hard Gel and cured it. Now the nail is as good as new. I'm typing on it now!”

FASHION EMERGENCY: What is one important nail trend that every nail/beauty professional should be aware of for fall?

REAL-LIFE REMEDY: “One color on all ten nails is boring. For a little excitement, use two shades: as an accent color and one as the main shade. To amp it up, use more than two shades and sometimes on ONE nail. Mix fall nudes into the manicure. They play off the trendy ‘negative space’ without showing actual ‘empty space’. It's the difference between walking out of the house without foundation on your face or with foundation on your face. Negative space can be negative when you leave an imperfect natural nail clear. However, use a nude shade in the negative…and now you've got a professional look.”

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