Knowing how to file your nails correctly is important for a great manicure

Get great nails: How to file properly

You might have a dresser full of amazing nail polishes, but if you don't know how to properly file your nails, you're never going to get the perfect manicure . Filing incorrectly can cause damage and also leave you with misshapen and uneven nails. If you're not sure about the right technique, read on for our top tips on how to file your nails to perfection!

Preparation

The process starts by choosing your board. Nail files come in four main kinds: emery, glass, metal and electric. Most people go for an emery board, although it is widely recognized that the more expensive glass boards are the best.

Then choose the shape of nail that you're after. If your nails are long, you'll be able to choose from oval, square, round and pointed shapes. Shorter nails will have a limited choice, but you must nevertheless decide beforehand.

Wash your hands and dry them thoroughly. Do not file your nails when your hands are wet, and especially not after a hot bath when the enamel is softer and less easy to file.

Filing

If your nails are especially long, use nail clippers to trim them down in order to speed up the process.

A common error when filing is to move the nail file back and forth across the nail. Instead, you should file from the outside towards the centre. Depending on the desired shape, file in a straight line (for a square shape) and curve the board around the nail (rounded shapes.)

Use the rougher grit when you start filing, and as you reach your desired shape, change to the finer grit.

Finish

Once you're happy with your freshly-filed fingertips, check for smoothness by running the edge of your nail along a piece of fabric. No snags = perfectly smooth nails. If you want to add shine, use a nail buffer, but not more than once every two weeks.

Now you're ready to get creative with nail art on your perfectly-shaped, smooth nails!

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