The $5 Trick Celebrity Manicurists Use To Fix A Broken Nail Fast

In Hollywood, the show must go on. When your hair gets stuck in a fan, you keep singing. When you faceplant on your way to the stage, you dust yourself off and soldier through your acceptance speech. And when you break a nail on set, you bust out the industrial-strength glue and get back out in front of the camera.
Rips and tears happen a lot — just ask manicurist Jackie Saulsbery, who once had to perform urgent manicure surgery on Jennifer Hudson in the middle of shooting a commercial. In those moments, the pros have a kit of products to seal a break fast. Steal their exact tricks, ahead.
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Saulsbery, who also works with Adele and Mariah Carey, swears by this quick fix, which has been in her arsenal for two years. The powder fills in cracks and tears quickly so her A-listers can get back to the stage in record time.
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This glue seals the deal. If it's a deep break, Saulsbery suggests waiting a week to give the nail time to grow out so it's not as painful (or worse, bloody).
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Nail silk, like this one from SuperNail, is completely invisible when glued onto the nail, so it's especially great for male clients, says nail artist Gina Viviano, who's given manicures to the likes of Blake Lively and Amy Schumer. She does caution, however, that silk is a short-term fix — it won't last more than three to four days. Simply lay the piece of the silk over the crack or break, and add glue for a makeshift nail bandaid. For a more permanent fix, try nail linen like this one from SuperNail. If you don't have these handy, Viviano says she's even torn off a piece of a tea bag and glued it onto the nail in a pinch.
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Though it's not technically a beauty product (so proceed with caution), this is a lifesaver, according to Saulsbery. "When I'm in a bind with one of my clients, this works great to hold off a painful fix," she says. Make sure the area is dry and clean and there is no broken skin first, she advises. Then sprinkle this on the nail, add a drop of glue, and file after it dries, she says.
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But not every fix has to include glue. Whenever possible, filing down the nail is always the best solution. "I always just try to convince [the celebrity] that they don't really need the nail and I could fix the break by completely taking it away," says Viviano, who says that most people won't even notice if all your nails aren't completely the same length. She suggests a file with 220 or 320 grit, like this one from Tropical Shine. Whatever you do, don't pick at a break — that's just a recipe for blood and pain.
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