It's like clockwork—as soon as you finish off that last nail and are literally watching paint dry, you get the sudden urge to rifle through your handbag, run your fingers through your hair, or go to the bathroom, only to smudge the lacquer so carefully applied either by you or your nail technician. Luckily, there's no need for a total do-over. If you have the color and a bottle of nail polish remover handy, the error can easily be erased.
First, take a cotton swab and stick it in your nail polish remover. Wipe the excess onto a towel, and with the cotton swab, gently move color from another portion of your nail to fill in the smudged area and even out the surface. Once the gap has been closed, finish with another layer of polish, and a final swipe of top coat.
Another slightly weird remedy? Licking your thumb, and smoothing things over that way. We're not kidding—simply lick the pad of your thumb or another finger, and while the hue is still slightly tacky, apply pressure with your digit of choice over the affected area, using circular motions to blend over the smudged area. Top off the nail with a clear top coat, and this time, be sure to wait until your color dries completely before making any sudden movements.
Related Video: InStyle's Editor-at-Large Is Obsessed with Sally Hansen Cuticle Eraser