Saturday, February 02, 2013

How I Do It: Filing

Welcome everyone

to another part of my "How To" blog series. I already showed you how I take care of my cuticles and what products I use for hand care. So the next step towards neat and healthy nails is filing them properly. If you want to see a detailed description of how I do it, read on after the jump!
The first step to proper filing of your nails is using the right tools. I use nail scissors, two different glass files and a buffer. I never cut my nails with scissors! I only use these to trim hangnails that might appear from time to time.

I always start out with clean nails, meaning I remove my old polish and wash my hands before I start filing. I know quite a few people like to file their nails with nail polish on, as it is supposed to protect the nail from damage during the procedure and it will also make shaping your nails easier. However, I firmly believe you won't damage your nails when you file them "naked" - provided that you use the right file for the job! I always stay away from those metal files included in most manicure sets, they're way too coarse. Cardboard files work well, but I find they bend too easily. That is why I prefer sponge boards. They have a plastic support in the middle that prevents them from bending. If you choose cardboard or sponge board is completely up to you. The most important thing to consider is the grit strength you use. The lower the number, the more coarse the file. The problem with files from German drugstores is, that usually the grit strength is not written anywhere (at least I have never come across it). So I personally go for files that say "for weak/brittle nails", as they have a finer grit. If you want to be on the safe side, I highly recommend glass or crystal files. These normally come in just one grit strength, but there are differences between different companies. I use two for my nails, one is from Cult Nails, which I use to take down nail length. The other one is from OPI and I mainly use this to shape my nails, because it is a bit finer compared to the Cult Nails file. But no matter what glass file you choose, it will be fine enough to not damage your nails, even if you file them down by sawing back and forth.

So now on to the actual filing process. I like to lay my hands flat on a surface for filing. I hold my file in a 90° angle towards my nail and start shortening by using short strokes in one direction only. I always make sure that the edges are straight. I do not follow the shape of my nailbeds, because most of the time they're uneven. Instead, I have a look at my nails from the back to see if they're straight.

When I have reached the desired length, it is time to shape the nails. I like to wear my nails "squoval" - that basically is a square shape with rounded corners. To achieve this, I place the file in an approx. 45° angle under the edges and gently sweep my file towards the middle of the nail.

The final step then is to seal the edges of the nail plate to prevent peeling and splitting. For this, I use the very fine side of a buffing block. I mostly use the "correcting" site of the Essence 6-step buffer, but any other buffing block will do. I then run the block perpendicular to my nail in an upward motion. This step will also get rid of those shavings that often remain after filing.

And ta-daaa, we're all done! If you want, you can also buff and polish your nail plate, but please do not do this every time you file your nails. I buff my nails only once a month, otherwise they get too thin and tear more easily. Buffing can also come in handy when you need to remove yellow stains when you want to go "naked".

I hope this post was informative and helpful. If you want to know more about how to file or nail care in general, I recommend the blog loodie loodie loodie. She is really great at explaining all these things and more!

What are your tips for nicely shaped nails? And do you have any other nail care or nail polish topics you want me to tell you about? Let me know!

Thanks for reading, have a great weekend,
<3 Sabine

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