Your nail just broke—now what? Not only did it take so long to grow that nail, if it rips any more, it’s going to bleed. Luckily, with a little ingenuity and a tea bag you can fix a torn nail in under a minute. Yes, you heard that right—no more trauma!

how to fix a broken nail

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fingernail file
  • Nail glue
  • Tea bag
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Base coat
  • Nail polish
  • Top coat

Before you start this Macgyver style repair job, make sure your nail bed is clean and you’ve removed all lacquer or lotion residues. A clean nail always aids adhesion.

First, run a file across the broken area just a bit to rough up your natural nail. A file with 240 grit will work best and not damage the tear further. Then take a pair of scissors and cut a small square out of your tea bag. Don’t get carried away – you only need enough of the netting to cover the broken area.

Next, apply glue on and around the break in your nail. If the nail broke at an angle, this will allow some glue to seep under the break and strengthen the bond. Place the cut piece of tea bag over the glue and use your tweezers to press it firmly against your nail. Then apply more nail glue (Seriously, nail glue should be your best friend right now). If you don’t have a tea bag available, just work with the glue, but note that you may have to do a quick repair again within a few days.

After the glue has dried and the tea bag is secure, buff away any rough edges with the file. Your new and improved nail bed should now be smooth and ready for base coat, color and top coat. Next secret agent task to tackle: fixing all your broken makeup.

Have you had to repair your nail in a pinch? What worked best for you?