How To Give Yourself A Quick Manicure

It is important to keep our hands and nails in good shape. Learn how to give yourself a simple weekly manicure.

Our hands are on display every moment of the day. A person can tell a lot about you by looking at your hands and nails. If they are not well cared for, not only are they unattractive to ourselves and others, they can become quite uncomfortable as well. Dry, chapped skin and torn, chipped nails are unsightly, but can be painfully unpleasant. However, with a little time and minimal effort, these can be repaired and healed, and further incidents prevented. Good hand and nail care should become habitual with a little practice. Remember, never use your nails as tools. Always wear gloves when washing dishes, gardening, or when exposing yourself to cold climates. Moisturize your hands well after washing them. Just as you apply moisturizer with sun block to your face to prevent wrinkles and premature aging, you should routinely apply it to your hands as well.

The first step is to carefully wash and dry your hands well. Next, clip away any torn or ragged edges. Then file them using a gentle stroke, in one direction, avoiding the corners to prevent weakening of the nail. After obtaining your desired shape, check your work by rubbing your nails over an old pair of pantyhose. If the nails are smooth enough, they should not snag the hose.

Apply cuticle oil or softener to the cuticle areas. After gently working this into your cuticles, allow it to remain on your hands for a minute or so. Then soak your hands in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes. Take the time for yourself, you deserve it.

Next, gently push back your cuticles and clip away any hangnails. Be careful not to clip your skin or be too harsh with your cuticles. This can lead to infection and a great deal of discomfort. Apply some hand lotion, and begin to prepare your nails for color. To help the polish stick longer and to provide for a more polishable surface, buff your nails lightly with a white block buffer or an extra fine emery board. But avoid excess buffing, as this will weaken your nails. The idea is to provide a smooth surface that the polish may glide easily onto and adhere well to the nail.

After you select your color, apply a small amount of polish to your brush. Paint one stroke down the center of your nail. Then, use one stroke down each of the two sides of your nail. The entire nail should be completely covered in three strokes. This base coat should be allowed to dry for a minute or so, just long enough to make the nail tacky for the next layer of polish to adhere to. Next, apply the polish again, in the same manner. A topcoat will help to protect your nails. Allow to dry thoroughly before using your hands for anything. Reapply your topcoat every two or three days to refresh your nail's color and help to provide good protection and strength for them. This will only take minutes, and always try to allow to dry completely to prevent nicks in your work.

Never change your polish more than once a week, because the nail polish remover dries the skin. Always clean all of your equipment with alcohol when you are finished. Good items to keep onhand for your weekly manicure include nail clippers, cuticle scissors, cotton balls, orange sticks, emory boards, buff block, and nail polish remover packets.

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