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Please please educate me on how to make my fingernails look nice?

(16 Posts)
WherewasHonahLee Fri 12-Jul-13 20:02:04

I don't bite them. The cuticles are always uneven/too long. The whites of my nails aren't a nice consistent white. And what's the best way of shaping them? I'm a manicure dunce. Can you give me easy, practical tips on making them look nice?

CoteDAzur Fri 12-Jul-13 20:21:41

Wash your hands. Keep them in warm water for a few minutes if possible. Then massage fingertips with a thick cream, and push cuticles back (with a wooden or soft cuticle tool, or possibly even with nails of the other hand). Cut the pushed/raised cuticles with a cuticle cutter. Last but not least, file the top of your nails with a fine file (not too much, just so they will be smooth).

File the tips of your nails flat, then softly file the edges. Sharp claw nails have not been in fashion for at least 20 years.

Always put a base coat on before the nail varnish, so that your nails don't turn a yellowish dark color in time.

Et voila smile

WherewasHonahLee Fri 12-Jul-13 20:25:57

I'm almost embarrassed to ask, but, will a scalpel do instead of cuticle cutter (which I had never heard of before)?

CoteDAzur Fri 12-Jul-13 21:44:48

Scalpel sounds... dangerous.

Vibbe Fri 12-Jul-13 21:52:07

I've heard from several people that you should never cut cuticles as it can lead to infections and irritation, and can cause nail problems like ridges and white spots/lines. And it can cause the cuticles to go hard and horrible.

Instead, push them back with a wooden orange stick and use a good hand cream.

CoteDAzur Fri 12-Jul-13 22:10:50

Sorry but I don't see how you can give your nails white spots by cutting cuticles.

I'm not sure how you can get an infection unless you draw blood, but if you are worried, disinfect your cutter before every use.

WherewasHonahLee Fri 12-Jul-13 22:32:05

But how can you not trim cuticles? Once you've pushed them back, you surely have to neaten them?

Also, can you apply base cost just to strengthen nails, without following up with varnish?

Also is there anything I can use to whiten the white bits without doing the french manicure thing?

Vibbe Fri 12-Jul-13 22:50:56

If you just push them back and moisturise well, it should actually be fine. If there's dead skin (which cuticles aren't), you can trim it off.
I've had infections in my cuticles because I cut them - and there was no blood when they were cut.

And the white spots on the nail are usually caused by damage to the nail bed, which again can be down to vigorous manicures (and just hitting that area). It's mentioned here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leukonychia

You can use base coat alone, or you can use a nail strengthener.

My granny used to use a white pencil (for nails), which I personally don't think works. Some people use lemon. Other can just get away with a really good clean. There are nail brighteners as well, but I've not found a good one myself.

FattyMcChubster Fri 12-Jul-13 22:59:52

After a shower use your towel to gently push back cuticles. Any long bits will eventually disappear.
Moisturise as often as possible. Keep hand cream everywhere. Bedside table, bag, car door, beside kitchen sink etc.
Use rimmels pale pink (think its part of the French manicure set, the pink bit) two coats makes nails look lovely white and groomed.

WetDog Sat 13-Jul-13 00:49:26

White nail pencil does work - until you wash your hands smile

A good ridge filler (if you have ridges) is also worth investing in.

WherewasHonahLee Sat 13-Jul-13 07:19:24

Thanks all. It seems liberal amounts of hand cream is key. I'll also try some of the other things suggested.

Sleepwhenidie Sat 13-Jul-13 07:26:02

If you can get a cuticle oil (or several) and apply that at least once a day too, this will make a big difference. You can get it as a pen to keep in your bag or a bottle like varnish.

If you fancy investing, Dior Nail Glow is amazing varnish, looks clear in the bottle and super easy to apply but two quick coats give an incredibly healthy, almost French mani (but more subtle) finish. I was sceptical it was just a natural polish but it is gorgeous, I haven't had a mani since I bought some 6 weeks ago...will link in separate post (am on phone).

Sleepwhenidie Sat 13-Jul-13 07:29:16

Nail Glow

I predict a MN loves on this one!

CoteDAzur Sat 13-Jul-13 07:41:24

If you had infections, you must have been cutting too deeply into your cuticles. Cutting only the raised cuticles, without pushing into the base of the nail, should not (and really, cannot) result in an infection.

"Damage to nail bed", again, sounds like a strange thing to happen while cutting skin. Don't scrape your nail bed with metal objects, push back the cuticles with soft tools, and you shouldn't be able to damage your nail bed even if you want to.

I use Lush's Lemony Flutter massaged into my nails. I keep it on my desk at work so I can do this at least once a day. And I also think those long cuboid shaped filers and polishers make a difference (the surfaces are different sized grains for filing, buffing etc)

HellonHeels Sat 13-Jul-13 08:20:29

Love the look of that Nail Glow! Thanks for the tip.

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