Polished nails and healthy cuticles aren’t the only things that make your fingernails beautiful. Keeping your nails trimmed and shaped properly helps to create a glamorous look to your hands. Every hand is different, but there are few common shapes and sizes to hands that can help you to determine how you should shape your nails. The way your cuticle is shaped will also help
* For cuticles that are oval at the base, square shaped nails are appropriate
* For cuticles that are pointed, oval shaped nails might be better suited
* For small hands and fingers, try almond shaped nails
* Short and plump fingers look best with squared-off, oval nails
* Thicker hands or fingers with a wide nail bed should have squared off ends.
* Longer nail beds look best with rounded nails.

It is recommended by experts that the free edge of your nails should only extend a few millimeters beyond the tip of your finger. To begin shaping your nails, start by trimming them with a quality clipper. If you use a clipper that is too hard to squeeze, you’ll end up breaking your nails or making inaccurate cuts. Once you have trimmed your nails into the desired shape for your hand type, you can begin to file your nails for smooth edges. Here are some filing tips to keep in mind:
* Don’t file your nails from side to side, it can weaken the stress points of the nail’s free edge
* Gently file from the corner of your nail to the center in one direction
* To make sure both hands are the same length or shape, hold the same finger from each hand up to one another
* Metal files can split your nails. Use a soft, flat emery board.

Tips for Beautifully Polished Fingernails

Beautifully polished nails aren’t just for hand models. Besides your face, your hands are another area that people first notice about you. Nail polish can help your hands look younger, smoother and even thinner. Polishing your nails may seem like a no-brainer, but here are some helpful tips you may not have been aware of before:
* If you are already wearing a polish or not, before you apply nail polish, always remove the excess oils from your nails with nail polish remover
* To avoid cotton ball fuzzies stuck to your nails, use a makeup sponge with polish remover
* To avoid yellowing nails after your polish is removed, try buffing the tops of your nails. This will also smooth out the roughness of your nails
* Always, always, always use a base coat! This also will help eliminate the discolorization of your nails
* Water-based nail enamels, hypoallergenic and unscented nail products are available if you have sensitive skin
* Choose a shade that enhances your fingers and toes
* Instead of shaking your polish, roll the bottle in the palm of your hand, your nail polish will last longer
* Don’t put too much polish on the brush
* When painting your nails, apply the polish to the tips of your nails and slightly underneath the tip of your nails
* Fast drying enamels are fabulous, but they also chip faster
* Nail polish takes a full hour to completely dry without smudging
* Once your nails have dried enough, usually 10 minutes, add a top coat
* To keep your nails looking glossy, apply a new coat every other day.

Barry A. S. Lycka is one of North America’s foremost authorities on cosmetic, skin cancer, reconstructive and laser surgery of the skin. You can find out more at htttp://www.barrylyckamd.com and http://www.restoringyouthonline.com . He is also founder of The Ethical Cosmetic Surgery Association (www.ecsaonline.com)

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