Saturday, November 9, 2013

Can we love on crystal nail files?

I own several crystal nail files, some are good, some are atrocious. Most, if not all, of the terribly made crystal nail files are made in China; the best come from the Czech Republic. One terrific option is made by Mont Bleu.

Here are two size options:

Mont Bleu Crystal Nail Files
The top file is your typical standard size and the lower one is a mini file. I know they make a larger one, which I did not receive to show, but I own several and they look something like this:

No Name Brand Czech Crystal Nail File
These big boys are great for sanding the feet area.


Mont Bleu Crystal Nail Files
These two particular files are embellished with Swarovski crystals. The crystals are nice, but I was more concerned with whether the files are able to perform the job.

Durability
In terms of durability, my cardboard files are pretty heavy duty and I find myself throwing them around haphazardly. Of the crystal glass files I own, I never worry either. I have bought several Nail Tek glass files and each came in a protective, tight fitting, plastic case, while my OPI crystal file came in a plastic tube.   Unfortunately, I had to be somewhat cognizant of the Mont Bleu files because they came tucked in a simple soft felt protector. Thus initially, I did not reach for them often. I guess it was too much trouble to worry about them. To give them a fair review, I decided I had to place them in a safe yet easily accessible place. I put one file in a desk drawer I frequent several times a day and the smaller one in a random purse unprotected.  I must mention that this company carries a line of files that includes a protective case, it just wasn't the one I received.

Performance
After over a year of use, I can honestly say the Mont Bleu files are of very high quality. They rival the other decent files I own made by OPI, Nail Tek and non-branded files from the Czech Republic. I was thoroughly impressed with not only the performance I experienced, but by the crash test shown in this video:


The file is particularly impressive on the hard tile (at 0:54). Now I wouldn't go throwing my good files at hard surfaces, but I enjoyed the video none the less. 

Intent
I mainly used these Mont Bleu files to finish or touch up my nail shape, just like I would with the 400/600 grit Tropical Shine files. I still prefer a lower grit strength (like 220/320 by Tropical Shine) for taking down nail length, but it would do well for people with patience or people with nails that are weak, thin or problematic.

Mont Bleu Crystal Nail Files

How about an example of how I used, and will continue to use, these and my other crystal files? Let's say you are going for a square shape. Over the course of a week, the nail corners can get a bit rounded. This can be remedied by filing straight across until your desired shape is achieved. Sometimes this type of filing can create "nail shavings". What's that you say? See picture below:

Loodie nail shavings

nail shavings

The nail shavings can then be eliminated by dragging your nail down the length of the file. This is the exact same technique I showed in previous posts/videos.



Nail shavings eliminated! Nail sealed!
Please don't be alarmed by my excessive nail meat. I can't help it.

Longevity
I am repeating myself here, but these files are on par with my other high quality crystal nail files. They have continued to stay sharp, requiring only an occasional washing. I posted on that topic here!

In Summary
The take home message is, if you are in the market for a glass nail file, I recommend you demand they be made in the Czech Republic.  However, I can not guarantee this wont happen...

OPI Crystal Nail File Sadness
Life lesson: Don't leave a glass nail file to hang out on the carpet, while you go get a bowl of ice cream. Your heel will be sure to make direct contact sooner rather than later.

If you are interested in Mont Bleu specific nail files, their website is: www.design-glassware.com They have many options that may suit your needs.

*Mont Bleu files sent for review*

35 comments:

  1. Funny, goes to show how closely I was reading or not reading your post...I was thinking a file by Mont Blanc? My friend, Dr. Loodie has lost her mind. They want at least $360 for a pen, how much do they want for a crystal file...LOL! OK, Mont Bleu...gotcha! LOL! Hey Girly!

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    1. Ha, yea no way, primarily because you know how many Nail Tek crystal files I can buy with $360!?

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  2. Poor OPI file!!
    I own a couple of glass files: one from China (became smooth after a couple uses), one from Mont Bleu, but I still have to start using it as the other one (a Kiko) is still perfectly working, so I don't feel like neglecting it...
    I use it for the finishing phase, too (I need a rougher file to reduce lenght), but I will try it also for the "dragging your nail": it's a thing I always do (on a cardboard fine file) since I saw it on your blog :) it's good for my nails and also cheers me up, I feel like a cat scratching a tree :-P

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    1. Yea, the ones I have from China are sad. At least they were only a dollar.

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  3. I have one glass file that I got from a giveaway and love it. This is going to sound stupid but glass files don't last forever either right? What I mean is you can use it up to the point that it doesn't do a good job anymore like a nail file...right? I've always wondered about this aspect. I don't use it enough to know since I only have one and what's all over my home and work are those cardboard nail files.

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    1. I don't think they will last forever (as in a million years). But I think that as long as they are cleaned, they will stay relatively sharp. It's probably more likely they will be stepped on or dropped rather than become dull and useless. That's a great advantage over traditional cardboard files. However, just as important as longevity to me is, cardboard files provide (flexibility), which are essential to specific filing techniques. Both files have their strengths.

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  4. Yes, we can! (Love on crystal nail files.) After decades of ignoring them, I started to do my nails again this summer. And discovered nail blogs. And crystal files. Big love! I seem to do a little touch up shaping with each manicure and haven't needed a coarser grit to bring my nail length down.

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  5. Hi, what brand and color is that gorgeous blue polish you are wearing, if you don't mind sharing? Thank you!

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    1. OH! That is a franken. This was made probably circa 2011 so I'm not sure what I did, but I probably mixed Color Club Worth The Risque with some blue jelly like Revlon Royal.... probably.

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  6. Thanks for the post. I enjoyed that video too.
    I only have one of those cheap Chinese glass files and it became smooth after only several uses. I was thinking of buying a Trind one because they claim that the grit isn't sprayed onto the file, but etched into the surface and it comes with hart protective case so I guess I could carry it in my bag.
    Would you recommend glass files for filing the sides of nails?

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    1. I have a blurb on filing the sides of the nails at the end of this post ... http://loodieloodieloodie.blogspot.com/2010/11/ready-set-file-square.html
      That is the technique I prefer. I consider glass files on the same grit level as the pink Tropical Shine files (400/600). So, yes I would use them with the above mentioned filing technique.

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  7. Very informative post!
    Well, I bought two glass files, but I don't liked them:
    a. They break easily. My first one broke in my backpack. The second one broke because I sat on it xD
    b. Nail Shavings. I'll try your hint.
    c. I was not able to file the edges when my nails are really short.
    d. My nails split. It doesn'T matter whether I use a nail file or a scissor they always split :-( My nails are quite hard.

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    1. Hmmm, if your nails are splitting it could be that they are not being sealed properly. Take a look at this post:
      http://loodieloodieloodie.blogspot.com/2010/11/ready-set-file-square.html
      and this video:
      http://loodieloodieloodie.blogspot.com/2010/12/ready-set-file-sealing-nail-plate.html
      Try those techniques. Maybe they will help the splitting. Otherwise, maybe try to moisturize more.

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    2. Thank you, I'll try. What about moisturing? Hand creme?!

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  8. I have broken many files by stepping on them! That's why I love my colorful Mont Blanc files... At least I can see them on the floor! Great post!

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  9. I have an Essie crystal file that I got for free in an Essie polish duo. It was really awesome at first, but now it has a lot of scratches in it. Is it really possible that my nails are tough enough to destroy the crystal file, wow! Blue polish is gorgeous.

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    1. Have you washed it lately? Maybe that is all it needs. I'll make a post about it. It's super easy. But it may be that essie is sub par. If it's easier to buy a file in a B&M store, try a Nail Tek or OPI glass file (I prefer Nail Tek though). I vouch for them completely.

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  10. That video is awesome! haha And I will make sure not to leave my files on the carpet :( RIP...Thanks for letting us know about the beautiful Czech files and I will look around for the rival files, too!

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    1. Absolutely. Find the best deal you can. I got my Nail Tek files during a great sale. They are FANTASTIC.

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  11. Nail meat twinsies! I sadly broke my beloved OPI crystal nail file lately too. It was a sad, sad day. Luckily I have two backups and also the Cult Nails crystal nail file but I still can't throw the broken OPI nail file away. We've been through so much. Long nails, short nails, square nails, squoval nails, polished nails, naked nails. *sobs*
    Maybe one day I'll try a Mont Blac file too when I am ready to move on. :D

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    1. LOL, I TOTALLY KEPT MY BROKEN OPI FILE TOO! I just thought, oh well now I can use it as a mini!

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  12. I have these Mont Bleu files as well and they ROCK! I also broke my OPI one and won't buy another from them. Yeah man you have some freaky nail meat!

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    1. I prefer Nail Tek over OPI. I just think Nail Tek has a better quality grit, sharper yet finer. It's tough to explain. But out of all the choices available, I would not purchase another OPI ... UNLESS it was around a dollar. Then I would stock up.... god I'm such a hoarder.

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  13. Mont Bleu crystal nail files are one of the best. I do have another brand but it doesn't state it is made in the Czech Republic, therefore, I am assuming another country. It isn't as smooth and fine as Mont Bleu and I feel like I am scraping my nails against a chalkboard. Mont Bleu is the nail file to have when it comes to the crystal files.

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    1. Oh yea, that other one sounds cruddy. Mont Bleu is VERY good. I like it immensely!

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  14. Ok, ya got me hooked - ordered one! I've been using a Nail Tek crystal file, (you mentioned them above), so I guess you use and like them? :)

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    1. I LOVE the Nail Tek files! If you had to twist my arm, I would say I like them the best.

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  15. After reading your post, I ordered 4 Mont Bleu files and got free shipping! They arrived the other day and are fantastic...I've retired my Sephora glass files (will probably wash and give them away) but I'm keeping my one Nail Tek glass file. It's very good. Love your blog!

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  16. Thank you for this! Very helpful :).

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  17. I have a crystal file that I am assuming is a cheap one...I can' t remember how much I paid...I'm assuming it was cheap because there are a few spots where the abrasive portion is gone. I didn't use it very many times...have you ever seen this happen?

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  18. 95andsunny.com have great crystal nail files and they aren't too terrible pricey.

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