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What's the difference between a metal nail file and an emery board? Is there a reason to prefer one over the other?

To be honest, the only benefit might be that the metal nail file will last longer. But I'm not endorsing emery boards either. They are the equivalent of sandpaper that rips at your nail tips, increasing the potential for bacteria transfer and infections. Metal nail files run a lower risk, but the risk is still there.

I'd suggest trying out a glass nail file instead. They are much more gentle on the nail when filing, the surface of the file will never alter, they can be washed clean to avoid any bacterial transfer and they are relatively inexpensive at about $10 to $15 each. And if you take care of them properly, they can last forever.

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Bahar Niramwalla is a celebrity makeup artist. Have a beauty question? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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