ashlie_johnson/Instagram
Sheryl George
Nov 20, 2015 @ 9:00 am

Sure, fear of breaking a nail may have been a lame excuse to get out of high school gym class (just think of all the important dodge ball moves missed), but when it happens, it seriously hampers your mani. Rehabbing it can be tricky, which is why we went to L.A.-based celebrity manicurist Ashlie Johnson, who’s perfected the paint jobs on everyone from Jessica Alba to Kate Hudson, for her three top ways to keep your tips together:

Smooth
If it's a slight chip, you can gently buff the surface with an emery board or glass nail file; avoid large-grit nail files, which can be too abrasive. The goal isn’t to take off length, it’s to smooth out rough spots so they won’t split further.

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Repair
Make a temporary Band-Aid for bigger breaks: Place a dab of Krazy Glue on the tear, top it with a small piece of light colored tissue paper, and then smooth the surface with a nail buffer, says Johnson. This trick tends to work best with paler polish shades since your paper repair work won't stand out as much.

Layer
Wearing a bolder hue? Try brushing on several applications (think 3-4) of a strengthening base coat to seal the snag. Johnson likes Chanel's version ($27: chanel.com); it contains ceramides, which fortify the nail and safeguard against future breakage.

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