Home Manicure: How To Do a DIY Hand Pampering Session

Chewed fingernails, chapped hands and ragged cuticles are never a terribly good look. Most of us do not have the time or the money for regular professional manicures. But learning to do a home manicure will vastly improve how your hands look, giving you a lovely groomed appearance. Ideally, you should give yourself an at home manicure once a week – just fifteen minutes will have your hands looking great.

What You Will Need In Your Manicure Kit

You can pick up the following items at a good supermarket or visit your local chemist.

  • Nail Polish Remover and cotton balls
  • A nail file or emery board
  • A basin of warm water
  • Olive oil/sweet almond oil
  • Cuticle cream or a rich hand cream
  • Hand scrub (store bought or home made)
  • Cuticle stick
  • Base coat
  • Nail polish
  • Top coat

How to Home Manicure

Begin by removing any polish on your nails using a cotton ball soaked in polish remover. File your nails to your desired length – file in one direction only rather than “sawing” the file backwards and forwards which will damage the nail and cause splitting. Go for either a square or rounded shape, whichever suits your nails the best.

Soak hands in a basin of warm, soapy water for ten minutes. You can put a few drops of olive or sweet almond oil into the water, both of which are beneficial to nails. Make sure the water is not too hot or it will dry out your skin.

Next rub some cuticle oil or a rich hand cream into your nails, concentrating on the cuticle area. Take a cuticle stick and gently ease your cuticles back to give a neat appearance. It is best not to trim your cuticles (its too easy to cut yourself), push them back instead.

A hand scrub/exfoliator will keep your skin soft and makes hand cream easier to absorb. You can use a store bought scrub or make one yourself (sugar mixed with sweet almond oil/olive oil is very effective). Gently scrub the mixture all over the hands in circular motions. Rinse and apply a rich hand cream and rub in well.

Once your hand cream is well absorbed, apply a base coat to give your nail polish extra staying power. If you are using a strong nail color like red, a base coat will prevent the red from staining your nails. When the base is dry, apply a color of your choice. Nail polish should go on in three easy strokes – one down the centre of the nail and one either side of the centre. If you get some on your cuticles, dip a cotton bud in nail polish remover and wipe away mistakes. Once your polish has had time to dry, apply a topcoat to prevent chipping.

Top Tips For Groomed Hands

Pick up small tubes of hand cream and leave them in your car, by the sink, in your handbag. This way you will get into the habit of keeping your hands moisturised throughout the day.

Rub sweet almond oil into your cuticles every night before going to bed to give your nails some nourishment.

Always wear rubber gloves when washing the dishes and using harsh detergents.

Keeping your nails polished will help prevent splitting. If you have weak nails, try and always keep a layer of clear polish on them as added protection.

For seriously soft hands, apply lashings of hand cream and wrap hands in cling film for 30 minutes.

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