We all know this – taking good care of ourselves is important. Not only should we keep tabs on our fitness levels, diet and health, being well-groomed is also an essential part of self-care. While our nails take up a seemingly small part of most of our grooming routines, they certainly should not be neglected. Not only will neat nails boost your confidence, they will help you look more professional too. Yes, men, that applies to you as well!

We find out how to put our best nails forward from Ruby, an instructor at the recent nail care workshop organised by SingHealth Worklife.


Shape up

Like body-types, our fingers also take on different silhouettes. And like clothes, our nail shape can accentuate our fingers. Here's a handy guide to help you pick the best nail shape for yourself:

1)      Oval shape

Perfect for: Those with "meaty" fingers.

Why? This long, soft shape will elongate your hands.

FYI: The curved oval edge generally looks good on anyone, but it requires longer nails to create, hence not recommended for those with brittle nails.


2)      Rounded shape

Perfect for: Those with boney fingers and a wide nail bed.

Why? The rounded edge of this shape will balance the edges of skinny fingers.

FYI: Massively popular, this classic shape is the easiest to recreate at home.

3)      Square shape

Perfect for: Those with long and slim fingers.

Why? The squared top will add a little width to your fingers so that they will not look too spindly long.

FYI: These nails are super low maintenance owing to their blunt, straight edges.


Men, take note:

The general rule of thumb is to keep your nails trimmed short Go the extra step to file your nails after using a nail cutter. This will smooth the borders, preventing sharp edges that may snag on clothing or hurt your skin. The rounded nails are most recommended, but feel free to use which ever shape that's most natural for you.


File in!

Is there a correct way to shape your nail with a file, you ask? The answer is YES! This is important to prevent your nail from splitting, peeling or breaking. Here are some dos and don'ts to ensure we give our nails the care they deserve.

Don't file in a sawing motion.
This will weaken your nail. Instead, file in one direction while working towards the centre of your nail to achieve your desired shape.

File in one direction towards the centre of the nail.

Do use light strokes.
There is no need to use brute force when filing your nails. If your nails are long, then trim them down with a nail cutter before filing them.

Don't file your nails right after a shower.
Wet nails are weak nails. Filing them right after a shower will almost certainly cause them to break.

Do invest in a good nail file.
Spending a little more on a good nail file means lesser harm done to your nails, and acquiring a product that could last you for years. Using a file with higher grit will prevent tearing. The 180 grit is most common, but if you are new to filing, go for a 240 grit. Look out for the grit number on the nail file's packaging, where it is most often found.


Remember, always keep your nails clean and dry to prevent bacteria and fungi from being trapped in your nail bed. Do also keep them neatly trimmed and filed (never bite on them!) so that you are always ready to make the best first impression.


Want to learn more grooming tips? Let us know at joyatwork@singhealth.com.sg.

Images credit: freepik.com