Friday, May 30, 2014

Best Nail File, How to File Nails and Best Nail Shapes

There is a right way to file your natural nails and a wrong way. Filing your natural nails the right way can help them be stronger. Filing them the wrong way will increase the chance for nail breakage, peeling and layering. The shape of your nails matters too. Certain nail shapes are stronger than others.
nail file

The first thing you need to do is start with the right nail file. You can use an old fashioned cardboard emery board but there are better, more comfortable nail file options you can use to file your nails.

Use the Best Nail File for Natural Nails

The nail files I like best for filing natural nails in the salon are cushion files. They are about 1/8" thick and they have a cushiony layer between their gritty sides. 

They feel more comfortable than the old fashioned emery board and they are less likely to give you that nails-on-a-chalkboard sensation.

They are disposable or some brands make disinfectable, reusable versions. Cushion files come in a variety of textures or grits.

Grit Numbers
Nail files, as well as sand paper, have grit numbers. The higher the grit number, the finer the abrasive surface is. A 240 grit file is smoother than a 180 grit file. 

Extra coarse files, 60-80 grit, are used to file acrylic nails. The extra coarse grit file will tear and fray natural nails.

Coarse grit files, 90, 100, and 150 grit, are used to file acrylic and other fake nails. The coarse grit file will tear and fray natural nails.

Medium grit files, 180, 220, and 240 grit, can be used for fake nails and most natural nails.

Fine grit files, 320 and 400 grit, can be used for all nails, especially fragile nails.

Extra fine files, 400, 600, and 900 grit, are used for smoothing the surface of all nails.

Cushion nail files can have 2 different grits on one file each side such as a 100/180 file. One side is 100 grit and the other side is 180 grit.  The are lots of common combinations of grits so there are tons of options. Here are a few combos:


The file I like best for shaping natural nails is a 180 grit cushion file.

Shop for cushion nail files on Amazon

Crystal Nail Files 
Crystal, aka glass, nail files work well too, plus they are pretty! 

I sometimes use these with clients but am more likely to use them at home. Glass files are breakable. Store them in a protective case. There are a number of advantages to using a glass nail file.

Their fine grit surface is gentle on the nails and helps prevent peeling nails. 

Another advantage with a glass file is that they last a long time. One file can last a year or more.

They clean easily with soap and water plus can cleaned with disinfectant.
Apply only light pressure while filing since the crystal surface doesn't have any give.

crystal file

Metal Nail Files
Avoid those rough ridgy metal nail files. They cause the nails to fray and peel. 

The metal nail files that have a fine grit resembling the grit on a cushion nail file, are okay to use while applying light pressure only. The thin metal files do flex but they are not a gentle as a cushion file.

Metal files can last for years plus are easy to clean and sanitize. 

There is a brand called Diamancel that I have used. These metal files have a nice smooth grit and will flex.
diamancel metal nail file
These file aren't made with diamonds but the brand claims to have a long lasting diamond like abrasive grit. 

find them especially good for filing toe nails.

How to use your Nail file

Now that you know which nail file to use, you need to know the right way to use it. 

The way you actually file your nails can weaken nails causing side splits, fraying and peeling by separating the layers of nail. 

Use long, one direction strokes with the file to shape your nails, like playing the violin as they say. File from the side towards the middle of the nail in a fluid motion.

Avoid a sawing back and forth motion which will fray up the nails and create stressful movement of the nails. The back and forth moving of the nail can cause stress cracks on the sides of the nails leading to nasty breaks.
broken nail

The Best Nail Shape

Now that you know what file to use and how to use it, you need to know what shape to file your nails into!

Avoid filing the sides of the nail to keep the nail as strong as possible. Let the sides be straight just filing the tip of the nail to create a shape.

Nail shapes that are not filed on the sides include square, square with rounded corners and squoval. 

Squoval, a combo of square and oval, and square with rounded corners are the strongest shapes. 

Nails that are filed in a squarish shape with rounded corners break less because the sides of the nails are not filed and there are no sharp corners to catch and break off as in a square shape.

Here are my nails files in the squoval shape. 
pink squoval nails
There are many other nail shapes to choose from both classic and avant garde. The more the side of the nails are filed into to create the shape, the weaker the nail will be.

The classic oval or round shape are not a bad choices for a strong nail shape since the sides of the nail are minimally filed. An almond shape starts to get into the sides too much.

The trendy and avante garde shapes such as stiletto, square stiletto, lipstick, pointed, cutout, edge, ballerina/coffin, and trapeze shapes are shapes that are more prone to breakage.

That's a lot of info, so in a nutshell:

The best nail file grit for natural nails is a 180 grit cushion nail file or a glass/crystal nail file.

File your nails in a long fluid one way direction.

The best nail shape for the strongest nails is a squoal or a square with rounded corners.

I hope this post helps you take the best care of your nails while you are home.

Stay Healthy and Beautiful!
Licensed Cosmetologist, Makeup Artist, Esthetician
See me at Styling Point in Media, Pa (when it is safe to re open!) for natural nail care, facials, spot massages, face and body waxing, pedicures and makeup 

Thanks for using my amazon links💋
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. That keeps my blog running and supports the care of animals in need!😸

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Q&A: Dark spots from Blemishes

Q. Whenever my skin breaks out, I am left with dark marks. What can I do about it?

 A. The skin is healing itself by trying to reduce inflammation by producing pigment. Try to calm the blemish as soon as it starts. Use a facial cleanser that contains salicylic acid followed by a spot treatment also containing salicylic acid. Don't pick and squeeze! It will only create more inflammation. You can also try applying ice to calm the inflammation. Apply the ice to the blemish 3 times a day for 10-20 minutes at a time.

The spots will eventually lighten. A spot lightening treatment may help lighten up the spots a little quicker. Use a concealer to hide the spots as they continue to heal.

It is important to use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to help prevent the spots from getting darker from the sun.  I always love Hawaiian Tropic sunscreens.

Check out my beauty videos on youtube!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lash Card Mascara Shields

One of my favorite mascara tips........

Here is a great little gadget for a more perfect mascara application. 
lash card mascara shielda
 Lash Cards are curved cards that you use as shields when applying your mascara. They help you stretch your lashes, remove clumps and separate your lashes without making a mascara mess on the skin above and below your eyes. 

The curved edge of the card is held against your upper lash line. Then, you apply your mascara using the card and your mascara wand to create long clump free lashes. Then use it on the bottom lashes. Toss it away when you are done.

 One pack contains 10 individually wrapped shields. 

Find them on Amazon.

Have a Beautiful Day!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Prom Makeup: A Fresh & Natural Look

It's Prom time! 
Here is one of my recent prom girls.

This beauty doesn't usually wear much makeup and wanted a fresh natural look. 

Concealer and foundation covered imperfections. 

A coral blush complimented her skin tone and luminizing finishing powder gave her skin a soft beautiful glow. 

Peachy gold and light warm brown shadow made her beautiful blue eyes pop. 

Black eyeliner and black mascara added definition and a little drama.

A soft shimmering pink defined her lips without making her look too made up. 

Her look was fresh and beautiful.

Have a Beautiful Day!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Brow Shaping and Taming with Makeup

I always pay special attention to the eyebrows when doing a makeup. Brows frame the eyes, give us character and expression, and can give away our age.
Young brows are thick in shape, the hairs are dense and can be a bit unruly. They need to be cleaned up and given a natural shape but left thick and full then, be tamed with a bit of brow gel.

Older brows are thin looking. The hairs have become sparse. There may be holes in the brows. They have become shorter from both ends and can have long wild stray hairs from time to time.

These brows need some TLC to look fuller and thicker like younger brows. Removal of stay hairs will define the shape then, a little makeup magic will fill in the spareness creating a younger looking brow. Wiry hairs must be tamed with trimming and brow gel.  

Here is the older brow groomed and defined with brow powder. Makeup Magic!

Check out my beauty videos on youtube!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Fraying Cuticles

peeling, frayed cuticles
You've probably heard that you should not cut your cuticles. Just push them back. Why is that?

When we refer to the cuticle, we are talking about the skin at the base of the nail, but it is really more complicated than that. The skin at the base of the nail is called the eponychium. It's living skin. The cuticle is the dead cell part of the eponychium. The cuticle is the thin white looking piece of skin that sheds from underneath the eponychium. It is dead tissue that sticks on the nail and moves out on the nail as it grows forming a protective barrier between the nail plate and the living eponychium.

The "cuticles" (really the eponychium) are pushed back during a manicure revealing the thin skin that is stuck to the nail, the true cuticle. The true cuticle can be gently scraped and loosened from the nail using a cuticle pusher or an orangewood stick then trimmed. It can also be lightly file off with a gentle nail file.

The eponychium should not be cut. Cutting the results in rough, hard, fraying skin a few days after the cutting. Cuticle cutting is a key part of a Brazilian Manicure. I never recommend them.  

Keep the eponychium looking healthy and moist by pushing it back then applying oil and hand lotion. Using a scrub will also keep them looking good.

So maybe you did get a Brazilian manicure, your eponychium was cut and now you have frayed up skin that pulls and gets sore. It will take a while to get the skin looking smooth and healthy again. Start with no more cutting of the eponychium. You can gently push back but no eponychium cutting. Gently trim, don't pull, the frayed pieces of skin. Apply a thick moisturizer to the base of the nails a few times a day. Cuticle oil (such as Solar Oil), coconut oil and olive are also very healing. Petroleum jelly will work. Manicures will help repair and beautify the skin as it heals. It's going to take some perseverance, but the skin heal and be smooth again.

Have a Beautiful Day!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Peppermint Foot Soak Recipe

Our poor feet get over worked sometimes leaving them aching and tired. A good foot soaking can do wonders. Certain ingredients make the foot soak especially beneficial.

Peppermint is anti-inflammatory. It has decongestant properties and also helps get rid of foot odor. The sweet peppermint aroma gives you a lift relieving stress and mental exhaustion. 

Epsom Salt, which is Magnesium Sulfate, eases muscle aches, detoxifies the body and actually raises white blood cell counts. 

Add glass marbles to your foot soak. Roll your feet over them to massage sore foot muscles.

peppermint foot soak

Hot water
1/4 Cup Epsom Salt
4 Peppermint Tea Bags
Glass Marbles

Fill a large bowl or foot bath with hot water. Add Epsom salt and mix with your hand until it dissolves. Add marbles to the bath along with the peppermint tea bags.  Soak your feet and relax for 15-20 minutes. 

Have a Beautiful Day!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How to Whiten Yellow Nails

yellow nails
Why do nails get yellow or orange look?

Nails can get stained from wearing nail polish even when you use a base coat before the color. Lightly filing the nails will buff off the yellow stain, but the nails get thinner and weaker the more you file. 

How to Whiten Yellow Nails

To whiten nails up a bit, remove your polish, then use a tooth whitening toothpaste and a toothbrush to give them a good scrubbing.  Allow it to sit on your nails for 5 minutes then wash off.

Lemon Juice
You can also try soaking your bare nails in lemon juice for 10 minutes then rinse.

Denture Cleaner
Or soak them in denture cleaner. You know, denture cleaner tablets such as Polident. Dissolve the tablet in water, soak your nails for 10 minutes and wash off.

Baking Soda
Some people like baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Apply it to your bare nails, let it sit 5 minutes then, wash off.

I have also heard from my hair stylist friends, that you can soak your nails in blue shampoo that is used to get rid of the brassy yellow in blonde or gray hair. The blue tint helps to cancel out the yellow of the nails. Combine 1 tablespoon of blue shampoo with 1 cup of water in a small dish. Soak bare nails for 10 or 15 minutes. Scrub the nails with a toothbrush and rinse off. Some blue shampoos are Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo and Ion Cool Blonde Shampoo.

Stay Healthy and Beautiful!
Licensed Cosmetologist, Makeup Artist, Esthetician
See me at Styling Point in Media, Pa (when it is safe to re open!) for natural nail care, facials, spot massages, face and body waxing, pedicures and makeup 

Thanks for using my amazon links💋
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. That keeps my blog running and supports the care of animals in need!😸