The curette is a great tool to use when prepping nails.

The curette is a great tool to use when prepping nails.

The curette is an underappreciated tool, according to CND education ambassador Vanessa McCullough. “Many techs don’t know what this tool is or why they should use it,” she says. So what is it?

“A curette is a long metal tool that has a small spoon (usually 1-2mm in diameter) on each end resembling a very tiny melon baller,” explains McCullough. “It can be used to clean under the fingernails and toenails or, even better, it can be used to remove cuticle from the nail plate.” To use the curette, after lifting and loosening the cuticle with a cuticle pusher, glide the curette spoon on its side along the cuticle line using a circular or c-shaped motion. This will detach the cuticle without the use of a nipper.

The curette is a great alternative to using a cuticle nipper. “Many clients are adamant about the fact that they do not want their cuticles cut with a nipper,” says McCullough. “Even though I still use a nipper when needed, my clients appreciate the fact that I use that tool as a last resort. When I do use the nipper, I always educate my clients a bit. I explain that I am only trimming what is needed and I also explain the difference between the cuticle and the eponychium. They usually realize right away that it’s not the cuticle that they don’t want cut, it’s the eponychium.”