Aggressive whittling with coarse emery boards can take a toll on brittle or fragile nails, so always opt for a soft, fine-grit file for hands, and reserve tougher boards for durable toes. Roxanne Valinoti, education training manager for Creative Nail Design predicts that the trend for finders is moving away from squarish style to a more feminine almond shape, which CND artists created for the Fall 2011 runways of Ruffian and Jason Wu. “Shapes are rounder today than in seasons past, and there is a little more length to nails,” she says. The extra length also allows for more creative designs, like tips with crescents of contrasting colour. To fortify delicate nails as they grow, taking vitamin B-100 supplements (which provide 100 mg of all or most B vitamins) or biotin can be helpful, says Dr. Benjamin Barankin, founder of the Toronto Dermatology Centre.
FLARE picks: Sally Hansen Handle Me With Care Fine Nail Board, $4.50 and Nail Shaper, $2.50, at drugstores