10 Steps to Beautiful Nails

By: Maggie Lowe

Great news! You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars a month to keep lovely nails. Why not gather a group of friends and do a simple manicure on each other in the comfort of your own home? 

But first of all, invest in quality materials. You may need to spend a little bit, but these materials should last for many years:

·        nail clippers

·        nail polish remover

·        finest-grain emery board

·        small bowl of warm water

·        cuticle cream or oil

·        essential oil like lavender oil

·        soft towel

·        cotton wool or cotton pads

·        orange stick

·        hand/nail cream

·        base coat

·        nude or clear polish

Now you’re set to enjoy the perfect manicure!

STEP 1: Clip nails with the nail clipper to a length you prefer.  Never soak your nails in water first because this will soften the nail and cause it to split when you clip them.

STEP 2: Remove old nail polish using nail-polish remover. Use acetone-free nail polish remover, which will help reduce the chances of your nails becoming brittle. It will also help keep cuticles from dehydrating. Don’t forget to wash your hands after using the nail-polish remover.

STEP 3: Shape nails. Use an emery board instead of a metal nail file as this will cause much less damage to the nail. When you file, use a sweeping action in an angle and file in one direction. Never ‘saw’ at the poor nail and avoid over-filing the edges as this will weaken the nail and cause them to break easily.

STEP 4: Massage a generous amount of cuticle cream or oil around the cuticle areas.

STEP 5: Add two or three drops of lavender oil to a bowl of warm water and soak nails for about five minutes.

STEP 6: Dry hands thoroughly with a soft towel. 

STEP 7: Push cuticles back with an orange stick. First, wrap the tip with a small amount of cotton, and while the cuticles are still soft, gently push them back.  There are cuticle trimmers available as well, but leave these to the nail technicians as cuticles trimmers are very sharp, or if you cut the cuticle too low it may become infected.

STEP 8: Massage hands with oil or hand cream.

STEP 9: Wash hands with warm soapy water and dry them again with the fluffy towel. Make sure they are super dry.

STEP 10: Time to apply the nail polish! If school or home doesn’t approve of nail polish, you can get a very good result from buffing nails to a perfect natural glow. If you are allowed to use nail polish, apply a base coat and let it dry thoroughly before applying a clear or nude coloured nail polish.

Try not to wear nail polish all the time so that your nails have time to breathe. After using your materials make sure you disinfect them in hot, soapy water. Boil anything that is metal so that germs are eliminated, place your materials on a towel to dry, and pack them in an airtight container ready for next time. Take good care of them and they will last you a long time!