How to Give yourself a Manicure

Giving yourself a manicure is easy enough.  It takes a bit of time and a bit of practise, but for those who are short on time or cash and do not want to visit a professional, a home manicure is the answer to beautiful nails.

You will need: cotton wool, nail polish remover, a nail file, a buffer, an orange stick or cuticle pusher, a dish with soapy water, nail polish, base coat, top coat, hand cream, cuticle oil.

Start off by filing your nails, working from the corner to the centre.  Do not slide the file back and forth, the friction will cause your nails to break.  Never file wet or damp nails.  Just as hair is at its most fragile when wet, so are nails.

The most popular shape is rounded, although a lot of people prefer the square shape as it makes nail less prone to breakage.  People who work a lot with their hands will obviously want to keep their nails short.

When you are happy with the shape of your nails, soak fingers and thumbs for at least five minutes in warm soapy water.  This will soften the cuticles.

Dry hands and gently push back the cuticle of each nail with an orangewood stick or cuticle pusher.   Never cut cuticles.  Loose skin can be cut with a fingernail clipper.  Use the orangewood stick to remove dirt from under the nails.

Next it’s time to buffer the nails.  A nail buffer is rectangular tool that fits exactly between the thumb and middle finger and is made of very fine sandpaper.  Vigorously rub the sandpaper over the entire nail and edges.  This will make nails smooth.

Apply hand cream and massage the cream along both sides of the hand, fingers and nails.  Grab each finger with the free hand and pull in a downward motion.  Driving blood flow to the nail will make the nail strong and grow faster.  Also massage the cream between fingers. 

Remove hand cream from nails with small amount of nail polish remover.  Nails should be completely grease-free in order for nail polish to stick. 

In preparation of the nail polish, apply a clear base coat.  A base coat serves two purposes.  It will keep the nail polish stick to the nail for longer, and will prevent discoloring the nail with the use of bright colors.  Next apply two coats of colored nail polish, followed by a top coat.  The top coat will ensure that colored nail polish lasts longer and will remain shiny.

As a personal favorite I would recommend O.P.I. nail polish.  It dries and hardens very quickly, is long lasting and keeps its shine.