Cristina Masci – June 7 2005
Spending a fortune on manicures and pedicures will be a thing of the past when I show you how to take the time to indulge in giving yourself a full manicure or pedicure.
The following is a great system for creating the perfect manicure or pedicure at home:
You will need:
- 1 pack of cotton balls
- 1 polish remover
- 1 emery board
- 1 nail trimmer
- 1 cuticle remover
- 1 bottle of fingernail polish
- 2 toe separators
- A couple of paper towels
Nail polish removing
Firstly, take out as many cotton balls as needed and douse each fingernail with nail polish remover, until your whole fingernail is your natural true color.
Use as little nail polish remover as necessary to remove the polish. Never soak the nail in it! Nail-polish remover is extremely drying and damaging to the entire nail, especially the cuticle. Keeping contact with nail polish remover to a minimum is crucial for the well-being of the nail and cuticle.
Soaking & Removing Cuticles
Soaking the cuticle is necessary if you plan to remove a bit of excess cuticle. Soak the nails in plain warm water for no more than three minutes.
Next, 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.
Push back your cuticles one at a time using the cuticle removing tool.
Trimming your fingernails
Trim toenails carefully, using nail clippers. Use nail scissors on your finger nails when you want to reshape or shorten your nails more efficiently than with an emery board.
Nails are definitely easier to trim after bathing or soaking though if you have soft nails cut them before you soak the nails to prevent tearing or damage to the nail. Toenails should be trimmed straight across, slightly above the quick. Avoid cutting toenails too short because doing so increases the chance of developing ingrown toenails.
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. As soon as you are done smoothing the tips of your nails in a uniform manner, proceed to the next step.
Exfoliating & Moisturising Hands and Feet
Now is a great time for using a sugar scrub to massage your feet, legs, hands, and arms. Rinse your hands first and then take time to use a pumice stone to buff away calluses and rough areas on the bottoms of your feet. Then rinse the scrub off your feet and legs.
Lastly moisturize you hands and feet with a thick moisturising hand cream for a foot cream for your foot, in particular a peppermint based one that will act to soothe tired feet and heal cracked and rough dry skin.
Before polishing nails, be sure to remove the excess moisturizer with nail polish remove.
Polish your nails in layers, allowing them to dry between coats. A minimum of four coats is standard (including one base, two a colored polish, and one top coat).
If you have weak or brittle nails, place one or two coats of ridge-filling nail polish on the nail as the base coat; this is the best way to shore up the nail. Two coats of a colored nail polish are next, followed by a top coat to add shine and luster.
Use foam toe separators to help separate toes when applying polish to toe nails.
Allow plenty of time for the polish to dry.
Cristina is a make up artist who loves sharing tricks and secrets of the trade. Her online beauty boutique Absolutely Gorgeous is filled with unique and beautifully packaged beauty brands for all to share.