Give yourself a manicure

               Well-groomed hands feel soft and beautiful, enhancing a woman’s finished, poised look. Why not take a few minutes and treat your hands today?

               1. Wash hands well. For excessive dirt under nails, soak hands in warm water, adding a dash of apple cider vinegar to the water for a tonic if desired.

               2. Trim nails to a uniform length (thumbnails can be a bit shorter). Use nail scissors or clippers to remove hangnails.

               3. Using a nail file, smooth the nails into rounded ends. They may be more or less oval depending on the length of your nails, but generally, a rounded rather than straight or pointed nail edge is most becoming.

               4. Optional: Push back cuticles, then use nail scissors to trim cuticles. Some may deem this an unnecessary step but I like the way it looks.

               5. Mix up a hand scrub of oil (olive or coconut) and sugar or salt, adding either lemon or lime juice. You can also add a few drops of essential oil such as frankincense, lavender, or tea tree. The proportions vary based on climate, so mix it to a consistency you prefer. Rub mixture into hands, especially around finger nails and nail beds to exfoliate rough skin. After scrubbing for a minute or so, let the mixture soak into hands for 5-10 minutes. The oil softens and nourishes.

               6. Rinse hands in warm water. If nail edges still seem rough, further filing may be necessary. I use inexpensive emery boards but they tend to be too rough, so extra care is needed when using them. Someday I plan to invest in something high-quality such as this crystal nail file.

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The unpolished manicure

               Well-groomed hands stand on their own, but polishing is chic and elegant. I prefer dramatic, sophisticated shades such as black, plum, or burgundy, and I fail at adding any kind of embellishment! However you choose to decorate your nails, a couple of tips will ensure a lovely, long-lasting polish. First, invest in quality polish, and avoid choosing the very cheapest product; better to have fewer high-quality colors than many inexpensive ones that do not wear well. My favorite line is the “Sally Hansen Diamond Strength No Chip Nail Color.” Next, swipe unpolished nails with a cotton ball of polish remover in order to remove any leftover oils from the hand scrub which would inhibit proper polish setting. Then, apply a clear bottom coat before applying the desired number of color coats, finishing with a clear top coat. To minimize bubbles, let each coat dry thoroughly before adding another, and mix polish by simply turning the bottle a few times instead of shaking. Thin coats of polish dry better than thick ones and minimize bubbling as well. To prevent chipping at the edges, slightly file the end of dried nails; this should not be noticeable. For cleaning up errors, a q-tip dipped in polish remover works easily; best to wait until everything has dried thoroughly before doing this. To maintain a polish, wear gloves while washing dishes and avoid overworking the hands. Do my readers have any tips for hand care, manicures, or nail painting? If you are talented enough to add designs to your nails, I applaud you (since envy is not becoming of a lady)! 🙂

Note: this is not a sponsored post; I merely speak from personal experience.

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4 thoughts on “Give yourself a manicure

  1. One tip I have is to use cuticle oil after removing the cuticles. You can also apply it daily for longer, stronger nails.

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  2. It’s so annoying when that happens. I use cuticle oil from Sally’s, it works well and is affordable. Another tip, when nails are dry but still a little tacky or sticky spray them with hairspray. It helps the polish set. Then, wash hands with cold water, also helping the polish set. It cuts down on post manicure nicks.

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