A new manicure can go a long way towards feeling great and ready to step out for a night out or a business meeting. With well-cleaned cuticles, properly shaped nails, and a fresh coat of nail polish, what more can you ask for? These are enough to help build your confidence and conquer the world.
On the other hand, nothing can pull down your self-esteem other than chipping and peeling nail polish. Can you imagine going around the grocery store with your nails looking like that? How would you hand over your card or money to the cashier when you’re about to pay? You’d probably just go to a self-checkout machine to avoid further interactions with other people.
As exaggerating as it may sound, women [and men] could understand how horrifying it can be to be in the mentioned situations. Your nails can reflect how you are as a person. Well-maintained nails signify that you care about yourself. It mirrors how diligently you subscribe to personal hygiene practices.
Therefore, you must know how to maintain your nails. You must get a nice manicure treatment from time to time.
A good manicure does not necessarily mean that you need to have your nails painted with bright-colored nail polish. It also does not mean you need to get full-blown nail extensions and have them bedazzled.
After every manicure session, your main aim should be to have clean, properly cut, filed, and shaped nails. The cuticles should also be pushed back and tidied. Regardless of whether you decide to have them painted, the important thing is that they’re in good condition.
However, it’s not always that you have the luxury of time and money to afford to go to a nail spa, right? Especially when you need to attend an event in the afternoon but were only able to receive the invitation in the morning or when you’re so busy for the holidays that you forgot to book an appointment with your nail technician.
So for emergencies like this, it is important that you know what to do and that you have the right manicure tools with you to do your own manicured nails. Keep your calm because we’ll help you with this by sharing top manicure tips [not steps] with you!
1. Have your complete set of manicure tools ready.
One way to ensure you can do your manicure successfully is to have the complete set of essential manicure tools ready. Before you sit down and start, gather all these tools and properly organize them near you.
You won’t want to be interrupted while you’re in the middle of cleaning your nails just to get the missing tools you need. Here’s what you will need to complete your manicure set.
Nail cutters, known as nail clippers, are believed to be the most important tool in a manicure set. Want to know why?
Remember when we’re taught as early as preschool not to put our hands in our mouths as it is a breeding ground for harmful bacteria? This goes the same with our nails.
Longer nails also usually serve as a breeding ground for said harmful bacteria. They are considered to be one of the dirtiest parts of our body. Hence, the need to keep them clean or, better yet, trim them from time to time to help maintain overall health.
Cuticle pushers help tidy up the appearance of your nail by pushing the clear cuticle skin away from your nails and into your nail roots. They also make your nails appear longer and smoother.
If you have soft cuticles, use the wooden variety of cuticle pushers. Meanwhile, if you have hard and/or tough cuticles, you can choose the one made of steel.
A cuticle nipper looks like a smaller version of pliers for your nails. However, unlike pliers, they have sharp and pointed blades that are used to deal with hangnails, dry cuticles, and the dry skin build-up around your nails.
The sharp and pointed blade allows for easier and more precise trimming of ingrown nails.
Nail buffers are rectangular-shaped manicure tool that helps get rid of the dullness of your nails. It also helps smoothen out the dry ridges and peeling on your nails.
A nail file is used to give your nails the perfect shape. Filing is done by gently grinding down the edges of the nail to make them look smoother. Common types of nail files are emery boards and plain metal files.
Nail brushes are important to ensure thorough cleanliness on your nails. They are also useful in removing stubborn dirt and stains on the nails. If you want to maintain the cleanliness of your nails, we suggest you brush them daily.
Orangewood sticks are multipurpose sticks that can be an alternative to cuticle pushers, clean nails by removing dry skin or remove dirt under your nails. They can also remove nail polish smudges around your skin by dipping them into a nail polish remover.
Other Essential Tools
Nail polish, cuticle cream, lotion, cotton balls, cuticle oil, and a small paintbrush.
2. Moisturize hands and nails before a manicure.
Applying a moisturizing lotion on your hands and cuticle oil on your nails before a manicure is important to make your job much easier. The cuticles will be soft and easily removed when they’re already softened.
However, do note that moisturizers and oils should be removed from your nails before you apply nail polish (in case you want to), as they may keep the polish from sticking.
3. Remove old nail polish before the manicure.
Well, we believe that this is already understandable. It’s always good to start your manicure with a clean and unpolished canvas. That way, you can clearly see what needs to be done and proceed with the manicure properly.
4. Avoid filing your nails back and forth.
Did you know that filing your nails in a back-and-forth motion creates micro-tears that can result in nail breakage? If you’re used to doing this, you better stop now to save your nails from further damage. What you should do instead is to consistently do the nail filing in one direction at a time. That way, you could shape your nails better and more effectively.
5. Buff your nails only if the need arises.
Buffing is the procedure done to scrape off the top layer of the nail for the nail polish to stick on. While it is beneficial for nail polish application, consistent buffing damages your nail.
The top layer of the nail is the most keratin-rich. Scraping that layer off could result in the loss of keratin in your nails. Keratin is a significant component in forming and keeping your nails healthy.
To avoid your nails from damaging and getting brittle, buff only when there is visible peeling and flaking. And do it in one direction at a time.
6. Apply one thin layer of base coat before applying nail polish.
As we all know, our nails have natural oils in them. Once these oils build up, they can result in the staining of our nail polish and yellowing of our nails.
One solution to ensure long-lasting nail polish is the application of a base coat. The base coat creates a layer of protection between your nail polish and nails to avoid staining and yellowing. It also strengthens the stick of the polish on the nails.
There you go! These are the top manicure tips to keep in mind the next time you want to do your nails.
Remember that healthy and well-maintained nails are signs of an overall healthy being. They might be small in size but remember that they are attached to our hands, which are one of the most used body parts. They are exposed to fairly harsh environments and experiences daily. Regular manicures are the only way to ensure that our nails are always in good condition.