So you're still clipping your cuticles? It's a hard habit to quit, but we must be strong!
Our temptation to clip is purely vanity-based. Whereas picking our cuticles and biting our nails are part of the OCD spectrum, clipping our cuticles only clears away the ragged skin around our nail bed--some of which is called the cuticle and some of which is the eponychium--so that our nails look flawless when we leave the salon.
Ironically, there's a flaw in the plan.
Don't think of it as cuticle clipping, think of it as cutting. You are cutting away a part of your hand that protects your nails as they grow. You're also opening yourself up to disease, infection and future cuticle frustration.
Want beautiful hands? Leave them alone. Ask any hand model her secret to flawless nails and she'll say, "I leave them alone." (She might also say something about them being Olympic athletes, but you can ignore that.)
Of course, if you're a lady like me who loves a polish change, we're bound to have a few ragged edges. We're putting chemicals on our skin--it's going to have an effect! The best thing to do is gently push back your cuticles (in the shower with your other nails or after a soak in some moisturizing bubbles), try to keep the polish off your eponychium, and use lotion and cuticle oil regularly.
And now, class, a film strip: The Legend of Little Claw.