Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Crystal File 036: Tips for Nail Shaping

In the past when i've posted NOTD photos on various forums i've gotten requests for advice on nail shaping. Since nail shaping was probably the one thing that took me the longest to get the hang of, i though i would give a few tips that i found useful.

1. Leave your polish on. Yep, no joke! This is the single-most useful piece of advice i've picked up over the course of my nail obsession. This trick is most helpful if your polish is an easily visible color (not a BaBB or a sheer)and fairly opaque. Why is this helpful? In my experience this makes it so much easier to keep the shape and length of all your nails even (in comparison to one another) because i'm able to avoid being distracted by the contours of each nail. Trust me, once you try it you'll see what i mean!

2. Use a crystal/glass file. I never realized how rough my traditional stainless steel file left my tips until i switched to a glass file. I have far fewer problems with peeling and chipping polish than i did before i found my first crystal file. I do all of the length removal and shaping of my nail with my file, i do not use clippers. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with clippers, as long as yours are sharp and clean. Personally i only use them if i am aiming for a more squared off shape. Since i prefer my shorter nails to be more of an oval shape i don't use clippers very often as i find it too easy to accidentally take off more length than i intended when i use them.

3. Buck the current nail trend and find the shape that you feel is most flattering and practical for YOU! Short, oval nails work best on me. It has taken a great deal of experimentation to come to this conclusion. Wearing my nails any more than a scant few millimeters beyond the tips of my fingers leaves me far more prone to breakage, so i keep them short. Just at or below the tips of my fingers if the best length for me personally, but if you're most comfortable with longer nails, i say go for it!

I hope you, my dear readers, find this information helpful. If you ever have questions, always feel free to ask via comments, i'll answer as soon as i'm able!


Olga Diaz said...

Thank you so much for the tips, i'll be putting them to use right away.

elizabeth said...

Do you have any recommendations for glass files? I have no idea which ones are good. Thanks.

Jenn said...

I would like to hear some recommendations for glass files, too. I recently purchase a Revlon one, and it was terrible.

Hillary said...

Thanks for the comments ladies!

For a good glass file Essie and OPI are easily available at retailers like Ulta and work well. Mehaz brand glass files i've also heard very good things about, but i've only found them for purchase online. You can also find Swissco glass files at Sally Beauty Supply, and while they work well, they are a bit thick and only one-sided, so i'd recommend one of the others first.