I love acrylic nails, for the most part. Probably because I can't grow my real nails out for one fig. The thing I don't like is the maintenance involved. Probably because I'm too busy to carve out a block of time to get them filled or removed after I'm done with them. Also, though my natural nails won't "grow out", they do grow fast, so after just a few days I have the dreaded gap, and my polish addiction stains them yellow after a couple of my obsessive changes.
So, let's pretend you have some stained, growing out nails, but you don't have time to remove them or get them filled. Because you have a deadline that is kicking your butt, maybe. So, let's pretend your nails look like this:
This is what my nails looked like on Thursday. Not pretty, right? The CND Shellac base coat held up pretty well, but since its job is to hang onto polish, it really held on to the yellow stain left by the brighter blues and greens I prefer. It was time for a little Macguyver style rescue.
This is the part where I tell you that I'm not a professional manicurist, and this is probably not advisable. But if you need a quick-ish fix and you don't have time for a nail appointment, this is what I did:
First, I filed the top of the nail, Shellac and all, right off, paying particular attention to the ragged edges of the grow-out line. I also did some shaping, as a week of typing and lugging bags around airports had messed up the tip shape slightly.
Between steps, I used a moistened cotton ball to remove dust. It helps you see better.
After removing most of the stained bits, I went to the buffer. Be really careful doing this that you don't file the acrylic too thin or completely off or something silly like that. Once they're buffed, this is a really good time to test for lift at your nail beds. If any nails are loose, apply a few drops of nail glue under the lifting edge and wait for it to dry.
Because the above steps have left tiny scratches and nicks in the surface of your acrylic nails, use a ridge-filling base coat. Or, what I'm using: Orly "Nails For Males" matte topcoat. Two coats makes a great base coat/ridge filler, and you can find it pretty cheap at some beauty supply stores, because it's been discontinued. Pick up two, if you find it.
After that, I applied two coats of Essie "Pink Glove Service". Any translucent pink will do.
And I finished it off with a coat of Seche Vite.
It's hard to tell from the pictures, but there was a remarkable difference, and keeping the whole nail "natural" helps to disguise the grow-out line. If you're trying to stretch out your time between appointments, this has never gone wrong for me.