When I first started caring for my nails, I didn't know how take care of my cuticles, paint very well or barely file, but one thing I did do, which completely (in my opinion) changed my nail beds, was push back and massage my cuticles. I had very short wide nail beds that were pretty triangular in shape. I wish I had a before picture. The best I can do is a scanned image from 5th grade, but it would be so blurry it would be pointless. So, just close your eyes and think hobbit fingers.
Alas, I do have pictures to show you. Maybe I can convince you of getting into the habit. It's addicting!
Here is a before and after shot of pushing back the cuticle area. How can you not love gaining some nail bed??!!
I admit at this point my nail bed revelation is not as dramatic or permanent, but still useful. I will push back cuticles right before I paint them to get closer to the cuticle without flooding it. Although I say this trick is not permanent per say it was at one point. Compared to what they looked like before I started doing this on a regular bases till now, I have seen a complete change in my nail shape and nail bed length. At this point this seems to be the maximum to where I can take the cuticle.
Here is a before and after of my pinky.
Massaging this area as you push them back will stimulate an important part of the nail where the nail grows out. Massage stimulates more blood flow to the area and promotes healthy growth. Your nail tips and toes are the farthest away from your heart so the more you can help them out the better. It may even promote faster nail growth, but I have absolutely no scientific proof of this, I just like to believe it.
I massage and push my cuticles back a couple times a day. I know a bit obsessive. You don't need anything special and can do it pretty much any time. If you are new to this, I would suggesting being gentle since your cuticle area may be sensitive. The best time to push them back is after a shower. They are soft and pliable. You can use either just the pad of your finger or place a towel between the cuticle area and the pad of your massaging finger. The towel will create some friction to help push back the eponychium and may help remove some of the true cuticle. You can also do this with or without cuticle moisturizer through out the day. Again, I caution being gentle if you are new to pushing back cuticles. Massage the area in circular motions, C motions following the shape of your cuticle or up and down the nail shaft. Go WILD! Until you are comfortable with this skip the implements to avoid poking yourself unnecessarily or injuring the nail matrix. The more often you do this the less they will move each time and the more permanent the revealed nail bed will be.
Do you want the opposite of longer nail beds? Crazy right? Why would you want that? Find out why and how in this post.