Home Manicure

In times of economic difficulties, trips to a nail salon may be seen as a non-essential luxury.  But just because someone else isn’t doing your manicure, doesn’t mean your nails need fall into disrepair. Giving yourself a home manicure is simple to do. With the right tools and a little time each week, you’ll save money and keep your nails in perfect condition. Even if you’ve never had a manicure, it’s not too late to start.

Essential Manicure Materials

First of all, be prepared. Make sure you have all the essential items necessary for creating your perfect manicure. You’ll find a myriad of implements, lotions and potions in the nail care section of your pharmacy, but you really only need a few basic items:

*  Nail polish remover and cotton wool balls and an old towel. Most nail polish removers are made from acetone but this can be quite harsh for your nails. Acetone-free polish removers are kinder to nails;

*  A metal nail file with pointed end and an emery board. If possible, try finding a nail file made from glass. These are long lasting and less likely to cause nail splitting;  

*  An orange stick or a hoof stick for pushing cuticles back;

*  Cuticle cream or oil; Hand cream;

*  Bowl of warm, soapy water;

*  Nail polish.

Step 1: Preparation

Place the towel onto a flat surface and set out all your manicure materials so they’re easy to reach. If your nails already have a coating of old polish, soak a cotton wool ball with the polish remover and gently remove the old nail polish.

Step 2: Filing and Shaping

Take the metal nail file with a pointed end and gently clean under your nails. Next, take your favorite nail file and gently file nails to your desired shape. It’s always best to file nails in one direction rather than using a sawing action. Doing this means your nails are less likely to split.

Step 3: Cuticle Care

Gently rub your cuticle oil or cream to each of your cuticles then take the hoof stick or orange stick and gently push back any excess skin. Keeping your cuticles well moisturised is the best method of ensuring strong nails.

Step 4: Soaking

Now you should soak your nails in the bowl of warm water. You need to do this to remove traces of nail polish remover as well as any excess cuticle cream left on the nails. If you don’t do this and are planning to apply nail polish later, the polish won’t adhere properly to your nails.

Step 5: Polishing and Moisturizing

Carefully dry your nails. Now, if you’re planning on applying nail polish, this is the time to do it. If not, then finish off your manicure by applying a rich hand cream and rub well into your nails and cuticles as well as your hands. Well moisturised nails will help prevent them drying out and breaking.

If you’re applying nail polish, apply one or two coats, allowing enough time to dry in between. When the polish is completely dry, apply a rich, moisturising hand cream.

Try giving yourself a manicure once a week to help keep your nails in tip top condition.  If your nail polish has chipped or worn off earlier, then you may need to manicure more than once a week. And in between, remember to apply hand cream as often as possible and always at night before you go to bed.

By having regular manicures, wearing gloves when cleaning, not using nails as implements and moisturizing your hands and nails often, you’ll soon have the beautiful nails you’ve always wanted.