How to File Your Nails
Clip your nails (optional)
Though you don't have to clip your nails before you file them, clipping them will help you file and shape them, especially if they're really long. Just clip them enough to leave a square edge that you can shape with a nail file. If you clip them too short, you won't be able to shape the nail.
File your nails.
File from the outside of the nail towards the center of the nail -- going from each side inward, but not going back and forth. Sawing the file back and forth instead of in one direction will tear and break your nails. Make sure to let the file form your desired shape as you continue filing. For a curved edge, you need to curve the file, and for a square edge, you need to keep filing it in a flat position.
*Be firm but not too forceful when you file your nails. If you apply to much pressure to your nails when you file them, you may damage the nail wall.
*If you're going for that perfect smooth nail, start with a rough grit and move towards a fine grit.
*File off any uneven pieces with the rougher section of the emery board.
*Once you're done filing, you can use the file to remove any excess skin from under the fingernails.
Buff your nails (optional).
Though you don't have to buff your nails, doing so will help you get that smooth and shiny finish. Buffing your nails too often can weaken the nails, but buffing them once a month or so can improve their look.
Check out your new nails.
If you've filed your nails correctly, then you should not have chipped or snagged edges. You can test this by running your nails along a piece of fabric. If your nail snags, file that bit down.
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