TFMA: Shaping Your Nails

This is a tip I actually picked up while eavesdropping on a Twitter conversation. One… twitterer… was complimenting another on her perfectly rounded nail shape. The one with the perfect nails laughed, and said, “Really? I just clip them into a a triangle, then file them round.”

A flashbulb went off for me.  I have been just-clipping my nails for years.  I hate the sound of filing, and when I’m trying to reduce length (say, because my nails are too long for me to take out my contacts), it takes too long to file them down.  I also lack the artistic vision to file them into an attractive shape. So I’d grow-grow-grow, then end up clipping them down to nubbins and starting over.

But a combination clip-and-file has revolutionized the way I shape my nails. Now, when I want to reduce length, I clip, just once, straight across the nail. Then I round the edges into my preferred squoval. I don’t have to lose all my length, and it’s much, much easier to achieve my preferred shape.

Bonus Discussion: The Glass Nail File

On the recommendation of several nail experts, I impulse-purchased a glass (or crystal) nail file. I happened to buy Essie’s, which is double-sided and costs $10 at Ulta.

I’ve heard a lot of things about glass files: you can sterilize them, they “seal” the edge of your nails to keep them from splitting, they never wear out, you don’t have to file in only one direction, etc.

My new file is not sealing the edge of my nails, but it is a really nice, quick, effective file. I’m still filing in only one direction (rather than sawing back and forth), because that’s what the box said to do.  And maybe it’s all in my head, but the sound of filing doesn’t seem to be quite as bad.

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7 Responses to “TFMA: Shaping Your Nails”

  • Rose Varela says:

    I got a glass file not too long ago, and unlike I’ve seen around, I think it’s a pretty good file to reduce length, just not as noticeably (sp?) as a regular one.

    Mine doesn’t seal my nail’s edges, but since the sound of filing has dissapeared, I’m in love with it!

    Thank you very much for that tip =)


  • Susan G. says:

    Got a glass file from a craft fair and I love it! The point about “sealing” the edges – what they mean is because the grit is superfine on the file, it does not leave the edges rough – imagine different grits on sandpaper and how they use a superfine grit to finish a piece of furniture. The smoother your edge, the less likely it is to break (little beauty school insider info for ya :)

  • Kelsey says:

    “a combination clip-and-file”

    I thought that everyone did their nails like this! It’s how I’ve always done mine. I do 3 clips on each nail (top, right side, left side) and then file them to follow the natural shape of my nail.

    I use a metal file and saw back and forth, but I have never had any problems with nail splitting. I didn’t realize that these were supposedly “bad” things to do until I started reading nail blogs! :P

  • Shannon says:

    just got into nails recently, but what a fab idea! :O I like my rounded tips though instead of filing (which annoys me and takes too long) i’d just clip around in a circle and use the clipper to shape my nails. It comes out great but it leaves a flat nail tip. I might just try this clipping to triangle then file tip idea! and i should go grab an essie glass filer lol

  • Aksaiyo says:

    You know, a glass file is even faster at reducing length when used wet! Plus, it doesn’t really make much of a sound when used wet as well. I use the OPI one, it is supposedly thinner so it’s easier to get under your nails. However, for clumsy people like me, it snaps fast too, I broke two already :(

  • Dmitriy says:

    Hello, do you review submitted products? I would liek to send you a sample of our glass nail file.

  • Casey says:

    …..wait, what?
    You never thought of clipping and filing?
    That’s like saying you’ve never thought of towel-drying your hair before blow-drying it.
    I find that so shocking.
    It seems so obvious to me. I’ve always clipped then filed for as long as I can remember. Clipping takes of length quick and clean while filing smooths it out.

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