HANDS up who doesn't put nail files at the top of their beauty lust list. Guilty? Here's why you should think again.
The best nail files will keep your talons healthy, strong, split-free and breakage-resistant, as well as creating the best base for your manicure.
Gone are the days of those ugly brown emery boards you used to find at the bottom of your mum's handbag.
Nope, nail-shapers have upped their game with glass files, also known as crystal files, hitting the scene, pretty printed boards, and multitasking shape, buff, smooth and shine blocks.
Technique tip? File in one direction towards the centre for a smooth finish, and don't aggressively move the file back and forwards over the nail, as this may cause damage or peeling.
Keep scrolling for our roundup of the best nail files. Salon talons at your fingertips.
1. Best nail file: Star buy
- Tweezerman Neon Hot File, Buff, Smooth & Shine Block, £12 from Look Fantastic – buy here
Brighten up your beauty bag with a cool-looking file that also works wonders.
The cuboid block files, smooths, buffs and shines with the four techniques being handily highlighted with a different neon shade.
The best bit? Once you've buffed the block to oblivion you can simply peel off the pads and replace them with the extra ones included in the pack. Sweet.
2. Best crystal nail file
- Brushworks Crystal Glass File, £3.99 from Look Fantastic – buy here
You'll find a crystal nail file in most MUAs beauty bags.
Why? Because they're generally thought to be softer – coming with a gentler grit – and kinder to your nail. No shredding or ripping here.
It seals the keratin in your nails for a smooth edge and is this one is so robust you can also use it on false nails. Bonus.
3. Best drugstore nail file
- Superdrug 4 Way Nail Buffer, £1.99 from Superdrug – buy here
A salon-style four-way nail buffer for under £2? No, your eyes are not deceiving you.
You can use the different sides to shape, remove ridges, smooth out and polish the surface for a shiny, healthy-looking finish.
Creates the perfect base for your manicure at a crowd-pleasing price.
4. Best nail file for acrylic or gel nails
- Red Carpet Manicure Shaper File, £2.95 from Beauty Bay – buy here
Did you know that if you've got acrylic or gel nails, you can still shape them yourself?
This handy little file is a professional polisher developed specifically for shaping falsies.
Featuring a coarse grit and firm padding, it's perfectly designed to tackle acrylic and gel talons, reducing length or refining edges with ease.
Be your own nail technician right at home and maintain your manicure without leaving the sofa. Yes, please.
5. Best nail file for weak nails
- Deborah Lippmann Smooth Operator 4-Way Nail Buffer, £10 from Feel Unique – buy here
Tips prone to peeling and breakage? This little number is for you.
Made with micro-fibre material, it's extra-gentle on sensitive nails. What's more, it's easy to use, with the four different sections numbered for a simple guide on which part to use for filing, smoothing, shaping and getting that natural high-shine finish.
Great for when you're having a no-varnish nude-nail day, but also creates a great foundation for the perfect manicure.
Enjoyed our selection of the best nail files? We've rounded up the best gel nail polish kits to apply at home.
For more incredible beauty recommendations, head over to our dedicated Sun Selects Beauty page. Trust us – you won't regret it.
We’re all about helping you find the best products at the best prices, so be sure to check out more Sun Selects recommendations.
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