manicure tools image by cico from Fotolia.com

Whether they're store-bought or professionally applied, artificial nails still require effort to maintain. However, the effort is worth it for women who desire a polished appearance without the worry of breaking natural nails. If you apply your own nails at home, you will likely have to cut and file them for a more finished appearance. As long as you take your time to ensure the nails are uniformly shaped, you will have professional-quality artificial nails when you’re finished.

Attach your nails to your nail bed according to package directions before you try to cut them. You should be wearing all of the nails when you cut them so that you can ensure each one is even with the others.

Use the toenail clippers to cut each nail. Make two cuts to avoid an uneven fingernail. Cut once from the left toward the center and again from the right toward the center. You may also use artificial nail tip clippers for this purpose. Regular finger nail clippers will not be strong enough.

Compare each fingernail to the others around it to make sure that each one is even and of equal length.

File each nail with an emery board into to desired shape.

Remove any excess glue on your nail or skin. You can use a soft sandpaper to buff out any glue on the nail itself.