Filing Your Nails

by April Reinhardt
(last updated July 25, 2016)

I went to the mall a few months ago and was duped by a very persuasive saleslady into buying an expensive nail filing system from a kiosk set up in the middle of the throughway. I wasn't thoroughly convinced of the product until she whipped out the buffing block and buffed my index fingernail to a shine. It was so shiny, it looked as if I were wearing clear nail polish. When she quoted the price tag of $69.00, however, I balked and started to leave.

She told me that she would lose her sales commission, but she'd let me buy the entire kit for only $39.00. I came home with the kit, proud of myself for obtaining a miracle nail filing system at such a low price. It was while I was using the kit that I noticed a website address on the lid. I looked up the website and, to my shame, I saw that I could have bought the kit online for only $19.00 plus shipping. I have since learned that I can purchase emery boards and metal nail files for only ninety-nine cents at my local pharmacy, and save even more money doing it myself at home.

Don't fall prey to persuasive ads or salespeople like I did. Instead, follow these steps for filing your nails, with little cost:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly and dry your nails. Since hot water may soften your nails, allow them to cool before filing.
  2. Trim your nails. Decide what length you want, and whether you want rounded or squared nails, and then trim them with either nail clippers or nail scissors. If you do have long nails, use tail scissors, as the clipping action may cause breakage.
  3. There are two sides to a nail file or emery board, with one side being rougher than the other. Use the rough side first and gently file your nail at an angle, but do not saw back and forth. Instead, start at the outer edge and work towards the tip in on motion, and then do the same thing to the other side of your nail.
  4. Once you've filed all of your nails with the rough side of the file or emery board, use the other side to file in the opposite direction—from the tip, down.
  5. Remove ridges with a buffing block. You can find a buffing block at any cosmetics counter or isle. I found one for only one dollar. With the roughest side of the block, buff the tops of your nails. Always buff in one direction, and never use a seesaw motion.
  6. Once you've buffed away all of the ridges, use the white side of your buffing block to buff your nails until they shine. For this step, first apply a drop of baby oil to your cuticle and rub it into the nail bed. Then, buff your nails until they shine.

Before applying nail polish, wash your hands to remove any excess oil, else the nail polish won't adhere to the nail. Once your emery board has lost most of its grit, throw it away and use a new one. If you have cuticles that grow to your nails, apply baby oil to your cuticles to soften them, and then gently push them back with an orange stick or cuticle pusher.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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