Jessica Designs ~ Heathy Nails (2)



Jessica Guyton has graciously agreed to write a short series of “nail health” posts, complete with product recommendations for strengthening, growing and maintaining healthier nails. This is her second installment.

When it comes to the most basic of manicures, filing is key.  And no matter what shape you embrace (round, square, pointy), it’s all about the tools you use.


There are a lot of nail files out there….  Here’s a guide to help you choose the right one.

metal_files_badBut Wait

If you are using a metal nail file, STOP.

Constant use of a metal file can lead to splitting nails.  Only use a metal file if it’s a “nail emergency.”  Then go back and use a cushioned nail file to smooth the nail.

The Nitty Gritty

If you have natural nails it’s best to start by using a nail file that has grit range of 240-600.  This will be used to smooth out bumps and ridges, to even out discoloration and for shaping your nails.

If you have thin nails, use a file that has a higher grit number to decrease the chance that you could weaken or damage your nails.

For acrylic nails, go for lower grits of 80-100 to shape your nail.

If you are giving yourself a pedicure, try a 180 grit on your toes to shape the thicker nails.

3_way_nail_bufferNext, use a 600-2400 grit to buff and shine your nails.  The 3-way buffers are a great tool to smooth, buff and shine your nails. But the grit number is usually not specified.  So make sure not to over-use it.

If you have thin nails, be conservative when buffing the main surface.  Too much buffing could result in even thinner nails.

Go with a 240-2400 to buff and shine acrylic nails.

crystal_nail_file_OPIGlass and crystal nail files are great for everyday use.  They fit well in your purse, too.  But if you are planning on shaping your nails, you might need extra grit.

beauty_secrets_nail_fileSally’s Beauty Supply has a wall full of nail files.  I personally like the Beauty Secret products.  It’s a good brand with a large selection of grit range.

Remember to clean and replace files regularly.  Soak glass and crystal files in hot water with antibacterial soap, rinse well and allow time to air dry.  Or disinfect with rubbing alcohol.  I would suggest replacing other nail files every 3 to 6 weeks or when the file is showing signs of wear.

I hope the next time you choose a new file for your kit you can use this guide.




Congratulations to GABRIELLE, ANGEL and SUSAN ~ little blog’s lucky winners!

Many thanks to all who posted, liked and shared.

Please visit again soon.  And bring your friends!  Because little blog has more great prizes and giveaways ~ just around the corner!

Jessica Guyton, Makeup Artist and Enthusiast

Jessica Guyton loves her country ~ and makeup, too!

After 8 years of honorable service, she left the US Air Force (January, 2012) to realize her dream of becoming a Cosmetologist and Makeup Artist.

Jessica has been working with makeup for a little over four years and plans to attend school for her Cosmetology and Business licenses. Her goal is to open her own full-service salon.

In her spare time, Jessica enjoys practicing nail art and makeup with friends and family.

If you would like to see more of Jessica’s nail and make up designs, visit her on Facebook HERE.

If you have a specific question, a special request ~ or if you would like Jessica to do your makeup or nails, e-mail her at jessica.guyton84@gmail.comJessica does not charge for her services; but donations are always appreciated.

Watch for more from Jessica Guyton on little blog!


  1. Gabrielle says

    I guess I better get a new file… been hanging on to my metal one for far too long. Wait! Does this mean I can buy some polish too?!!??!

    Great post!

  2. Jessica Guyton says

    Now you have a reason to go and purchase new products and if you happen to find a new color, then all the better, haha!

    My new nail design will have this seasons hottest’s colors. Grey, Blue, Burgundy, Green and metallic colors. Try one of them out!

  3. Gabrielle says

    I just tried “Thistle or That” in the new Flower (by Drew Barrymore) line. It’s a soft mint teal color that I am currently addicted to. (As in new top, bracelet, eyeshadow…) I was quite impressed in its staying power and coverage!

  4. Cat says

    Those Revlon Crazy Shine buffers are awesome. I always have a few on hand for myself and give them as gifts, as well. I’ve never had much luck with crystal or glass files (I guess I require more grit) but I’d love to try Revlon’s! And you ain’t lying about metal files. Those things chew up my nails and spit them out. I use a four-sided filing block from Earth Therapeutics.

  5. I am definitely due for a new file as I have been hanging on to my curved metal one for years (years I tell you!) and occasionally bring home one of the fine bufferish ones from the salon but they never last long.

  6. Pam says

    I really like soft colors and straight lines. Any way you can do a light plaid design in nudes and creams? PS I LOVED your Sugar Plum Fairy design!

  7. Angel says

    Wow! Thanks for the heads up! I only carry a metal file…I am running to the store!

  8. Yvette Robinson says

    Thanks for the information. I didn’t know you was suppose to change your file every 3 to 6 weeks.

  9. Jessica Guyton says

    I meant to write 3-6 MONTHS, haha! Basically you want to change them when they are losing their grit. I guess depending on how often you use them it could be weeks.

  10. Jessica Guyton says

    @ Pam-
    I really like your idea. A plaid design would be super cute for Spring.

  11. Susan says

    Oh what awesome information. Love the gift idea. Will definately hunt these up. Thank you!

  12. Alice says

    I have nails that look awful because of their wide, spatulate shape. Any suggestion for camouflage for this? I don’t paint my nails as a rule. Acrylic nails are off the table because of the work I do. Help? (PS: Thanks for your service. I’m a Navy vet myself.)

  13. wassamatta_u says

    Ready to be your Spokesmodel, if I win! I look wonderful on a runway, right up until the plane runs me over.

  14. Jennifer says

    Oh, how I hope your number comes up for the win, Wassa!


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