How to Fix a Smudged Pedicure

You can fix smudged nails fast in a pinch.
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You've put together the perfect pedicure, but to your horror, the nail polish smudged before you even had a chance to show it off. This can happen if you applied too much polish or walked around while it was still wet. You don't need to scrap the whole pedicure and start from scratch, though. Fix smudges by smoothing out the bumpy paint with nail-polish remover -- or even your own saliva.

Brush clear smudge-repair polish over the smudged nail, then allow it to dry. This product fills gaps and smooths out rough, bumpy nail polish. You can buy smudge-repair polish from almost any store with a beauty department, and it typically costs around $5.

Press the tip of your tongue against the smudged nail. The saliva softens the polish and helps smooth it out. This is a useful trick when you're away from home and need a fast fix. Only do it if the polish has dried, though.

Dip a cotton swab into acetone-based nail-polish remover. Rub the polish remover gently over the smudged nail polish to smooth it out. Don't remove all of the polish, just the smudged area. Fill the cleaned area back in with the same color nail polish or a similar shade. Apply a clear top coat, then let the nail dry.

  • To avoid future smudges, don't put on socks or shoes until your nail polish has dried completely. It also helps to apply thin layers of nail polish instead of thick ones. Don't apply a second coat before the first one dries, either.
  • Dry polish faster with a blast of cool air from a hair dryer.
  • If you paint your nails regularly, always remove the old coat of polish before applying a new one.
  • If you smudge your nails while getting them done at the salon, ask the technician to fix them. She will usually repair the smudge for free. Some salons may fix polish problems a few days after your pedicure.

Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.