open the menu

Easy Professional Nail Care Practices for Beginners

ネイル 女

Are you in trouble that you always care for your skin but left your nail as it is and do not even know how to care?
Don’t you give up getting your nail done because of your school or work?

Nail care is not limited to manicure or gel coloring. Even natural nail can give favorable and fresh impression to others if it is well treated! Keeping your nails nice will increase your motivation toward work and beauty which gives further benefits to you.

Today, I will introduce on how to do nail care from basic level which can give others favorable impression without coloring.

1.How much detail does people see my nails?

パソコン 女 手

Many of you might think that people do not see other’s nails, but it is actually eye-catching.

Women seem to be conscious of same gender’s nails than men.

Women who always have sparkling nail art are pretty indeed, but well treated nails give you fresh and favorable impression.

2.Basic nail care is anti-dry measure

A fingernail’s number one enemy is drying. You can start from avoiding your nails get dried.
Apply hand cream well on your hands to the finger tips. And you have to rub into the skin around the nails.

”Nail oil” or “Cuticle oil” is the one I want for persons who have desk work or a dry skin/nail type. There are many type of oil such as in bottle like nail polish and also pen type or with scene. You can choose your favorite type.

Here are bottle type and pen type.

3.Try it! How to do nail care

Let’s see how to shape the nails.


3-1.Tools to use

*File (Emery board)
=Shape the nails

*Nail cutter (if necessary)

*Cuticle remover
=Apply when you treat the cuticle

*Cuticle pusher
=Push up the cuticle


=Take off the cuticle

=Shave the surface of the nails

=Polish the nail to add luster

*Cuticle oil (nail oil)
=Apply it as finishing to prevent getting dried

I will explain how to choose the product later part.

3-2.How to care

Step 1) Shape the nails

I am introducing both ways of using a file and a nail cutter. The best way is shaping the nails with a file, but if you cannot take time for nail care, you may use a nail cutter. Please follow the following steps.

If you use a file

1)Fill hot water in a washbowl and soak your fingers for 3 minutes
You may also do this after taking a bath.

2)Shave your nail tips to the favorable length

ネイル ケア

*Tip: Apply the file at an angle of 45 to the nail when you see from side.
Repeat moving a file from left to right (from right to left if left-handed) but do not shave from both sides.

Picture of side angle


3. Shave the sides to make it to your favorite shape
Place the file at an angle of 45 and shave the corners.

ネイル ケア 削る

Shapes of the nail can be generally divided into following 5 kinds. You can find your favorite shape, but “Round” or “Oval” are recommended for beginners. It is easily shape and the nail hardly be broken or split.


If you use a nail cutter


Some people say we should not use a nail cutter, but it is no problem if you can properly use it.

The nail gets cracked due to the shock if you try to cut wide area at one time, so you should cut little by little like using a scissors. But if your nails are very thin or weak, then you should use a file even it takes time.

1)Fill hot water in a washbowl and soak your fingers for 3 minutes or take a bath
Same as a file.

2)Cut from the edge.

3)Cut little by little from the edge toward to the center.
Cut little by little divisionally about 6 times per nail.

4)Use a file for finishing
Corners are left if you cut only with a nail cutter, so fix the shape with a file to make a smooth curve.

* Tip: When the nail cutter’s edge becomes weak, replace it with new one.

Step 2) Cuticle care

Cuticle is soft skin between nail and skin.

Cuticle has a role that it prevents bacteria and foreign substance from entering between nail and skin. It is not removing the cuticle but just treat the growing part (called loose cuticle) which covers the nail.

Image of the nail is greatly changed by just treating unnecessary cuticle!

甘皮 前 後

However, it might give damage to the nail if a nonprofessional person does it wrong. If the root of the nail got damaged, rough nail will come out.

If you do this at home, do not peel it by force but just take off excess area.


1)Apply cuticle remover on the nail

2)Fill hot water in a washbowl and soak your fingers for 3 minutes

3)Wipe your fingers with a towel and apply cuticle remover again

4)Place a pusher on cuticle
甘皮 処理

Place the pusher at an angle of 45 and gently push toward to the root of the nail. If you have cuticle in wide area, you will see new surface of the nail.
Tip: Do not push too much. It might give damage to your nail.

5)Wipe off the came out cuticle with a wet gauze

甘皮 ガーゼ

Make gauze wet with lukewarm water and wrap around your index finger. Remove softened cuticle and cuticle oil done in 4 by rubbing with gauze.

Step 3) Polish the surface

If you polish the surface for finishing, your nails take luster even without color.

=How to polish

1)File gently surface with a buffer

爪 やすり

File softly as the nail will become thinner if you file too much.

2)Polish with a shiner


3)Apply cuticle oil and cover whole surface

甘皮 保護

3-3.Points / cautions on selecting tools

It is called as emery board in the specialty shop.

Cuticle remover
Caution :Do not mistake and buy “Nail polish remover” as it is used when you remove nail polish.

Cuticle pusher
Caution 1)There is a pen type pusher called “Ceramic pusher”, but it might shave your nail if not carefully use, so push slowly if you use it. Be careful that you might use force when it becomes fun.

Caution 2)
Most of the pushers have sharp edges on the opposite side, and the edge is used to remove the cuticle. But it might damage your nails if a beginner uses it and scratches, so I recommend not using this, but to use gauze instead.

You can use disposable type sold at drug store, or handkerchief type which can be repeatedly used.

There are numbers on the product like 100 or 220, and smaller numbers have rough surface. To avoid over-shave and your nails got thin, choose 180 or higher number at first.
When you get used to do it, choose one depending on rough degree of your nails.

Cuticle oil
Introduced in 1.

3-4.Online sites where you can purchase nail goods

If you cannot remember the names of the goods as they are hard to memorize or would like to purchase at cheapest price possible, I recommend you to purchase through online site specialized in nail goods.
You can easily find items you are looking for since it is catabolized, and you can also purchase at reasonable price.

However, some websites limit selling to nail school students, related staffs or licensed persons.

3-5.You can also have nail care at nail salon

Many nail salons serve not only nail color but also nail care. You may usually do nail care by yourself at home and go to salon for special occasion only. One of the ways is to have your nail care done at the salon and carefully look at how the specialist does and steal the techniques.
However, please be noted that some salons use machines for nail care and not all techniques you can use at home.

4.Emergency treatment for nail trouble


How to treat
When you find hangnail, cut with scissors and protect it with a liquid bandage.
You can easily cut with a scissors for eyebrow with a sharp edge. To avoid infection with bacteria, make sure to sterilize it with antiseptic solution or alcohol before use.

This is a “nipper”, a special tool for hangnail.


The greatest cause of hangnail is drying. As I mentioned in 1, regularly apply cuticle oil to avoid getting dried.

Cuticle treatment
If you notice many hangnails after self-nail care, it is caused by cuticle treatment. You damaged root of the nail when you treated cuticle. Carefully check again if you push the cuticle with a pusher too hard or use too much force when you wipe with gauze.

2. Peeling nail

Nail is made with 3 layers, and peeling nail is the one that top layer is peeled. You need to be careful not to give shock on it as it becomes breakable.


The greatest cause is drying. Regularly apply oil same like for hangnail. If you often have nail polish, nail polish remover might cause further drying, so try to moisturize well than usual after you use nail polish remover.

Do not use a nail cutter
There is no problem to use a nail cutter if your nails are healthy and use the nail cutter properly, but since you have to avoid giving any shock on the peeling nail, better to file it.

Take protein
Don’t you regularly eat outside or do too sever diet?
Let’s reconsider your eating habits.

3. If your nail splits

If only the nail tip splits, cut the whole split area. If you leave it as it is because you want to leave it long, it might be caught in and the split gets bigger. If you use a nail cutter, cut little by little to avoid the crack gets bigger.

If you cannot cut your nail, you can also have emergency treatment using nail glue.

How to treat

1) Apply nail glue on the split area and dry it well.

2) Tear off tissue of size of split area.

3)Place the piece of tissue on the split area, apply nail glue on that area again and make it dry.

4)File the hang out area.

5)Shape it with a buffer.

Apply glue and file the rough part until it becomes smooth.
Polish it with a shiner if you like for finishing.

*Go to nail salon if you are not confident to do by yourself.
*Visit dermatology if it is severe split. It might become worse if you try to treat the deep wound by yourself in your own way.

How was it? Fingers are actually looked at by other people, and indeed other’s fingers come into your view, don’t they? Enjoy dressing-up and be stylish to the fingertips!

This article contains information from March 29, 2016 (last update).
Further, please understand that the effects / results differ among individuals.