Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Manicuring 101 - Beveling

Hey guys!

Today I have another instalment of my Manicuring 101 Series! This is going to be a shorter post, but its still an important one!

I've already discussed how to properly file your nails and how to achieve three of the most common nail shapes. Today's discussion is about beveling, which is a process that should be completed after the filing process.

So, what is beveling? Simply put, beveling is a method of removing excess nail shavings and smoothing out the edges of your nails after filing them. It's a simple process and I've included step-by-step photos in this post so that you're able to understand it fully.

First we'll be starting out with nails that need to be taken down in length, as well as a nail file. Remember, I covered the types of nail files in this post, so read that to ensure that the type of file you're using is appropriate.

I usually start filing my pinky nail and work my way out to my thumb, but I'll demonstrate with my index nail in this post. I'm going to be filing my nails in a mainly square shape, so I'll be following the guidelines I laid out in this post for how I'll file my nails.

After filing my nail down to the length I desire, this is what I'm left with:

You see all the shavings on the underside of my nail? We want to get rid of those, and that's what the beveling process will do. It will also smooth/seal the edge so that it's not uneven and won't get caught on fabrics and the like.

If you don't bevel the edges, you won't have a smooth edge to your nail, which can lead to breakage/chips. Also, your polish job won't be as clean because of the little flakes/shavings that remain stuck at the end of your nail.

So, in order to bevel the edge, you want to hold your file at a 45 degree angle and gently file upwards. Do this a few times to make sure that all the shavings are gone and that the edge of your nail is smooth.

When you've finished beveling, your nail should now look clean, smooth and free of any excess filings.

Finish filing and beveling the rest of your nails and then you're ready to move on to the next step in your manicure!

I hope this post has cleared up some questions about the filing process and how to achieve a really clean, smooth filed nail.

P.S. On a completely unrelated note, I'm one of the finalists in the Bundle Monster nail art contest! Thanks so much to everyone who voted for me! You can see all of the other finalists designs here.


  1. Thanks for the tip! Those edges are the worst part about filing my nails, I can never get them! So next time I will use this method, thanks!! :)

  2. That's really helpful! I also seem to end up with a sort of edge sticking up on top of the nail, so I also file gently (with the finest grit) from the top edge at about a 30 degree angle to smooth it out. Kind of like the opposite of what you did, and a narrower angle. Some people have said they don't encounter this problem, so maybe I just file my nails weird or something :)

  3. Thanks so much for these posts. They are very helpful!!!

  4. I am loving this manicuring 101 series.. it is so helpful!! :) And congrats on being a finalist in the contest, good luck!

  5. Seriously, thank you so much for posting this. This is SO simple yet it will help out a lot with my peeling problem!!

  6. I usually get rid of all those shavings by running a buffing block along the edge of my nails.

  7. Thank you Kayla for doing this series! I've referred people to this page several times. You are a valuable asset to the nail community! ~Ana


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