More than 50% of your daily work is done by your hands than any other part of your body. How much thought do we really put into taking care of these frequently used organs? Especially for us ladies, who do all the housework from washing the dishes to scrubbing the floor where our fingers get into regular contact with different chemicals which may or may not be skin friendly. A good manicure is really important in terms of your appearance.
Going to a salon to get your nails done is one of those luxuries very few want to do without. Whether you’re on a new budget for the year or simply don’t have the time to visit a nail salon, there are a few ways you can get quality looking nails in your own home. Here are a few ways you can get that perfect manicure:
Soften skin by soaking hands in warm, soapy water. A little body wash works nicely. Try adding a few drops of essential oil as a special treat, or olive oil which strengthens your nails.
Moisturize Your Hands
You can use your favourite moisturizer or oil and rub it thoroughly into your hands and around the nails. Give your hands a quickie massage – squeezing the palms and massaging each finger – to improve circulation and relieve fatigue.
If you would like to try making your own natural moisturiser, see our recipes, or try some of these:
- Nail Hardening Oil Treatment: Ingredients: 1/4 olive oil,1 capsule of Vitamin E; Method: Heat the oil but let it cool down until it is warm to the touch, then add the Vitamin E and gently rub the cuticles, nails and hands. Olive oil enhances the strength and flexibility, while Vitamin E oil nourishes the nails.
- Nail Hardening Milk Treatment: Ingredients: Warm milk; Method: Dip fingertips in warm milk for 5-10 minutes. Milk is full of calcium and potassium, like honey, which fortifies the nails.
- Avocado Hand Treatment: Ingredients: 1/4 to 1/2 mashed fresh avocado, 1 egg yolk, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon rice bran, and 10 drops of oil of evening primrose; Method: Mix all ingredients together and gently massage this treatment onto your hands and feet, and leave for 20 minutes, then rinse off.
Nail Polish Removing
Firstly, take out as many cotton balls as needed one at a time, and safely douse each fingernail with nail polish remover, until your whole fingernail is your natural true color. It is available now at the stores in bottle or sponge form in a bottle. For the sponge type, you have to dip your finger into the container, usually a plastic one, and swish your finger around frequently checking it to make sure your fingernail polish is coming off. For the fingernail polish in the bottle without a sponge embedded in it, you have to carefully tip it about a fourth of the way over using the cotton ball at the top to stop up the top from spilling out all over, and If you need to, you can have some paper towel handy to wipe off any excess fingernail polish remover that spills over as a result. Whichever fingernail polish remover you choose, swab your fingernails one by one until they are your natural color.
If you frequently use fingernail polish, your natural nail can become tinted a little of a yellowing color, not to be confused with bold yellow, and not red or green, or swollen. If your fingernails or fingers start to become red, green, or swollen, seek medical attention immediately.
Filing your nails with an emery board
Next, you should have what is called an emery board. An emery board is usually a very inexpensive fingernail board used for filing down rough nail surfaces that is rough on the surface at least on one side. An emery board should not be used to scrape your natural nail surface at all. It will make your smooth fingernails rough.
You can use the emery board quite effectively on the end of your nail, in order to give it a consistent shape and make the tip of your nail smooth, not rough. Emery board comes in all shapes and sizes, and you can even look for one to fit your personality or wardrobe color-wise.
A fingernail trimmer is used in your home nail process when you want to reshape or shorten your nails more efficiently than with an emery board. You can make your fingernails shorter using fingernail clippers, which are clippers that are small in size designed to fit your nail shape and be able to cut your fingernail tip surface, without having enough force in them to really do massive cutting damage, but still use safety.
You should trim your nails at least once a month if they are healthy. Never trim unhealthy, discolored or brittle fingernails. Never trim your nails to the quick, which is the place where your fingernail cartilage meets your skin.
Be mindful of safety, even at this stage of the process. If you have hypoglycemia, or any other disease such as Parkinson’s or nerves, do not clip your own fingernails if you might have an issue of safety. Some fingernails are hard, and take some sharper fingernail cutters to cut through them. If this is the case with yours, you may want to consider going to a salon or a simple medical visit and have a professional trim them. However, if not, trim away.
You need to use your cuticle remover to remove your cuticle, or actually push it down. Your cuticle is that soft skin that forms at the bottom of your fingernail at the place where your fingernail cartilage and your skin meet. It is just like a foreskin. Its job is to cover the place where your nail cartilage meets your skin, and make a smooth transition for that to happen. As your fingernails grow, your cuticle skin stretches, and this process of removing your cuticle pushes back that excess to promote your nail growth and health.
Again, you would want to check your cuticle area for rashes, redness, swelling, discoloration of any kind, and if any of those issues are present in your cuticle, seek the advice of a medical professional before pushing it back.
If you find that it looks pretty much like your fingernail and finger color, but with a different smoother and softer texture, go ahead and push the cuticle back with the cuticle remover, which is a little stick like device with a softer but firm tip made especially for the cuticle. It is not a cutting type tool. It looks a little shorter than a chopstick, but has a necessary soft tipped end to make sure that your cuticle does not get damaged.
Push back your cuticles one at a time using the cuticle removing tool. These are available from nearly any beauty supply store, or store that carries fingernail accessories of any kind. These are also relatively inexpensive.
It is important to note that if at any time in your process for any reason, if your nails start to bleed mildly or a lot, stop this procedure at once. This is not likely to happen in a normal fingernail manicure, but it may be a nice way of warning you of a problem with your own nails that you may need to get medical attention for.
Pick a Color
Now you are ready to pick out a nail polish color from your own home nail polish collection. Pick out a color that matches your skin coloring, outfit styles that you wear, or shade of lipstick. If you polish your nails frequently, make sure that you give them one or two days to air out and breathe naturally to promote healthy nails in between polishes.
Each bottle of nail polish comes with it’s own applicator inside the bottle, attached to the handle of the fingernail polish bottle. Just unscrew the fingernail polish bottle, and scrape off the excess fingernail polish on the fingernail polish brush applicator on the side of the bottle itself. You can use a paper towel for this process, but you may end up with paper towel residue mixed into your color, so I would not recommend it. Also, you need to make sure that you have a steady hand for this in order to get your finger nail polish on your fingernail area only, not on your skin. Skin always needs to breathe, and cannot with polish on it.
When you are ready, take the applicator holding non-dripping color to your nails, brushing from the base of your fingernails upward towards the top tip of your nail. Make sure you coat your whole nail evenly. Starting at the base of the nail and applying polish in an upward motion helps you evenly coat your nail.
Correcting Polish Mistakes
If you make a mistake, take a paper towel and douse it with nail polish remover as you did with the cotton ball in step one, and try to get the excess polish off your skin using the flat edge of the paper towel. Then, if you need to re-coat that fingernail, go ahead. If not, great. Just move on to the next fingernail until you are done.
Second Coats of Nail Polish
Wait at least ten minutes before applying a second coat. You should not paint over your nails another time unless your nail polish is dry the first time. Without air, or low to medium speed fans blowing on them, it will take about five minutes for your fingernails to dry. Using high-speed fans near your wet nail polish can move your fingernail polish around your fingernail and mess its even coat up.
You can buy the quick drying kind of nail polish at the stores, or a quick drying sealer that is clear over the color of your nail polish to quicken drying if you are in a hurry. As a reminder, do not attempt to polish your fingernails in an area that does not have proper ventilation. And do not polish your nails around the face of infants.