How To Give A Manicure In 10 Easy Steps

Learn how to manicure at home! Here are 10 easy steps for giving a manicure--from filing to polishing--these simple hints will give you great-looking nails.

It's always a treat to have a professional manicure, but if you can't always spend the extra cash, or can't find time to get to the salon, here are some easy instructions to give yourself nice-looking nails. Just follow these steps and you'll be a pro in no time!

1. The first thing to is to exfoliate your hands. To do this, use a mixture of salt and hand soap or a commercial exfoliant hand lotion. Wash and dry hands.

2. Next, moisturize using hand cream or even a little olive oil. Let cream or oil sit for a few minutes and then wipe off excess.

3. Soak your fingers in a bowl of warm water to soak and soften the cuticles. Do not soak for too long as they will become too soft. You may also opt for simply using a cuticle softener and skip the soaking process.

4. Next, gently push back the cuticles using a cuticle stick. Do not cut them. If you have hangnails, cut them carefully with nail scissors or cutters.

5. Follow this with a shaping of the nails using a double-sided emery board, and shape them depending on your personal preference. Filing them in an oval shape is generally the most preferred. Make sure you file in one direction to avoid rough edges.

6. Shine the nails with a buffer. Most often these have three different parts--follow the package's instructions on how to use the different sides and in what order.

7. Next you'll want to make sure the nails are free of any old polish. Use a polish remover and cotton balls or a q-tip dipped in remover. Be sure to remove all traces of polish.

8. Apply a thin clear base coat. This will help protect the nails and allow for longer polish wear.

9. Once this is completely dry, choose your polish color. Dip the brush into the bottle and pick up only a small amount. Beginning at the bottom of your nail, paint one upward stroke to the top of your nail, gently flattening the brush against your nail to spread the color. Then, do the same stroke on either side of the first stroke, thus completing the nail's coloring in three strokes. Move on to the next finger and continue until both hands are done. Allow this coat to dry and then apply a second coat if desired.

10. Once the second coat is dry, apply a top coat shine. These are generally quick drying, although you should be careful for the next 30 minutes to avoid easy dents or chipping before all the layers set.

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