Clean, manicured hands and feet are part of a groomed appearance. If you suffer from rather brittle nails (like I used to), then please read this tip for a nail strengthening manicure.
Look out for the hand symbol on the LWTM life-style calendar as these are days that are especially efficient for manicures, but of course do use other days as well to maintain your nails.
What you will need to hand
- A bowl of warm water and add a bit of washing up liquid to it, so it makes a soapy mixture.
- a hand towel
- A cuticle cream or hand cream
- A pair of nail scissors
- An emerald board and/or nail clippers
- An orange stick
- New undercoat, chosen nail varnish and nail varnish remover
Before you can start you must take off your current nail varnish. I find it is a good idea to watch TV or read a book whilst doing your manicure, as there are times when you need to soak your hands in water or need to wait until your nail varnish has dried and I can get easily bored without any extra entertainment.
Step One: Take an emery board and file your nails into shape. You can make them oval
(the preferred shape), round, pointed or square. Always shape with the coarse side from the side
towards the centre. Never see-saw you file on your nail as it will cause it to split. Then tilt the board
and with the fine side smooth the rough edges and file the edges of the nail downwards. If your nail are very long you might find it easier to trim them with nail clippers first, but always finish with the emery board.
Step Two: Once the nail is in shape, soak both hands for about 5 -10 minutes in a bowl with warm water with a dash of washing up liquid and soak your hands until the water has cooled down.
Step Three: Dry your nails off with the hand towel. Then take an orange stick (manicure tool) and add some cuticle remover cream to its tip and start to push your cuticles back. If your cuticles are very long or have grown over your nails, you may have to cut them off with a nail/cuticle scissor. But this should be your last resort, as normally it should be enough to just push them back.
If you have neglected your hands for quite some time, then my tip would be to get a professionals manicure done. Afterwards you can maintain your hands with this technique.
Step Four: Massage a good hand cream into both hands and wait until it has absorbed into the hands and nails.
Step Five: If you don’t wear nail varnish, then you have finished. But most nail look nicer with a varnish on. With a tissue or damp cotton remove any excess of the hand cream from your nails and finally wash your hands with soapy water. Now you are ready for the base coat.
Always apply nail varnish in 3 strokes. The first is in the centre, from the base to the nail tip, the other two on either side. If you go for a deep red or darker colour, it is vital to choose a clear base coat underneath, otherwise the varnish will stain your nails. Once the base coat has dried, apply the relevant colour, making sure that each coat has dried in-between. For longer lasting effect, finish off with a clear top coat.
French manicure: Put on a base coat, then colour the tip of your nail in half-moon shape with a white nail varnish. A good trick is to put your thumb over your nail and follow the line. Finish with clear or light pink topcoat.
To strengthen brittle nails:
If you suffer from thin and brittle nails, here is the recipe for this completely natural nail strengthener that will help to condition and strengthen your nails. This would replace the hand cream in step four and I would then use a clear nail strengthening calcium gel instead of a normal nail varnish. Over time done consistently, this technique can improve your nails a lot.
You will need:
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp. castor oil
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 drops of rosemary oil
To Make This Fingernail Care Nail Strengthener: Mix ingredients thoroughly and pour into a lidded container. Shake before using. To use: Rub a small amount onto your nails and let set for 5 minutes.