Just do it yourself! =)

People are always asking me

“Don’t your nails dry out from all the nail polish remover?”

“Don’t your nails peel?”

“How do you keep your hands so manicured?”

My answers:

Yes.

Not as much as they used to.

It’s not as hard as you think.

I don’t pretend that I have the most perfect nails. Here is a picture of my cuticles after I removed my nail polish, took a shower, and washed the dog. You should see them after work. yuck.

So instead of spending $20 a visit to a salon, I grab all my tools and sit in front of the TV and go to work. Here are the steps for an easy at home manicure.

1. Remove old nail polish with your choice of nail polish remover. This step is pretty important because not only are you removing your old nail polish but you are taking away excess oils and dirt. These elements can prevent a good nail lacquer from adhering to the nail’s surface and cause premature polish chipping. Then wash your hands.

2. Cut and file your nails at the desired length and shape. Remember to always file your nails in one direction. Filing your nails in a back and forth motion induces nail peeling (!) so watch out. Be sure to wash your hands again to get rid of your nail dust.

For this next step these are the tools you will need to push back and remove your cuticles. I have seen some websites saying you should not use metal tools to push back your cuticles because they can cause more damage to your nails if you are not careful. Unfortunately, the metal cuticle pusher came in my manicure set and it’s the only one i’m used to using. So if you’ve never used a metal cuticle pusher, I would recommend an orange stick wrapped with cotton or a hoof stick that you could find at your nearest beauty supply.

3. Squeeze a small amount of cuticle remover onto the cuticle and let sit for ~15 seconds. The ingredients in cuticle remover are designed to soften the cuticles and break down any dead skin around the nail bed.

4. Using your cuticle pusher, gently, but firmly, push your cuticles back. Be very careful because you don’t want to push to far or cut your cuticles because they can easily become infected. You can push your cuticles back in a rounded square shape or oval shape, however you desire.

After washing my hands I also like to squeeze cuticle remover under the tips of my nails. This helps to remove any dead skin and dirt from under the nail.

5. This step I try to avoid because of the risk of infection. But if you are very careful, using cuticle nippers can make quite the difference. If you notice I had a bit of extra cuticle skin. If this was left on my cuticle, the skin would dry and peel and could cause tearing of the skin eventually. Use of the cuticle nipper helps to remove the unwanted skin for a cleaner, healthier cuticle.

6. This step is my favorite step, not only because it is the last step, but this is the point where you can sit back and relax to figure out what you are going to do with that extra $20 in your wallet. MOISTURIZE! I use Sally Hansen VitaSurge cuticle gel. It has a citrus scent and it leaves my nails moisturized while providing Vit E and botanical extracts that condition my freshly manicured cuticles.

On occasion I do use NutraNail Olive Oil cuticle treatment. When I don’t do a full manicure on my hands I always swipe NutraNail on my cuticles and my nail bed for moisture. Not treating your nails after using nail polish remover causes your nails to dry out severely which could lead to chipping, breaking, and peeling.

That’s it! Happy Thursday everyone! We made it over humpday.

Happy polishing.

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Stay Healthy and Strong.

I have been asked how to keep your nails healthy and strong.  At first my answer was “I dunno.” But I have spent some time walking up and down the nail care aisle at the drug store. And then I went to Sally’s Beauty Supply and found nothing more than base coats with nail strengtheners.  I returned home with nothing, but found websites like Reader’s Digest and Good Housekeeping, that had great tips to keeping your nails healthy and strong.

My nails were always peeling.  I never knew why, but If you think about it, nails are hard extensions of your skin.  If your skin gets dry and peels, then so will your nails. This brings us to our first tip, hydration.  A little lotion never hurt anyone.  Reader’s Digest suggests using petroleum jelly on your cuticles and nails whenever they feel dry.

Tip #2: Buffing your nails.  Buffing nails helps to increase blood circulation to the nail allowing your nails to grow through stimulation. So if you have time during Real Housewives of Orange County (or whatever your guilty pleasure), start buffing.

Tip #3: Milk does a body good…and so does a hard boiled egg apparently.  Both are rich in zinc that are essential for your nails.  If you have white spots it might mean you have a zinc deficiency, so drink up!

Tip #4:  If you want nails as hard as horses hooves or tiger claws (ok not really), biotin is your answer.  At Walmart I purchased a bottle of Hair, Skin, Nails which has 28 key ingredients including 3,000 mcg (or 3mg) of biotin per serving.  

Those are just some quick tips I found scattered around the internet. Hope this helps!

Happy polishing!