"I would love to be Apple's hand," Amanda George says. "Their whole commercial is hands!" George has the thin fingers, long nail beds, immaculate skin, and even the ideal glove size — 7 — for a female hand model. Making $1,000 for eight hours of work seems enviable, but it's actually a 24-hour job.

George can't risk altering the appearance of her hands, so she alters her life. She pushes elevator buttons with her knuckles, opens her car door slowly, puts her key in the ignition slowly. "I move at half the pace of everyone else," she says. She opens drawers with her thumbs and swaps out metal utensils for plastic ones to avoid cuts and dry skin from doing dishes. She wears wrist-length gloves most days, elbow-length if a jewelry or watch campaign is coming up. When the gloves are off, she applies lotion to her hands every couple of hours, as well as after any water contact. At home, she puts on nail strengthener and cuticle oil, and soaks her hands in a sandwich bag filled with olive oil. On set, she has to hold her arm still, above her heart (to reduce the appearance of veins), which makes it go numb.

Unless she's on a shoot, George doesn't wear bright color on her nails for fear of stains. "I see girls in public with designs, a nice purple. I'm so jealous," she says. And she notifies her agent any time she breaks a nail and has to file down the rest; she won't get nail-polish bookings until they grow back out. She can't afford to be out of commission for long because the competition runs high in L.A., where George lives: At a recent casting, she was 76th in line.