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Nail Care & Manicure Tips

Thursday, 4 March 2010 | Tags:

Our hands and feet are some of the most abused parts of our bodies, and that's just regular everyday use! We talked to the nail experts at Absolute Spa to find out what we should all be doing (yes, men, we're talking to you too) to take better care of our digits.

Preparation

Before you have a manicure or pedicure done, whether professionally or at home, follow these steps to prepare your hands and feet and help make your hard work last a little longer.

Clean

Use nail polish remover, whether your nails are painted or not, to remove dirt, oil, and soap or lotion reside.

Remember that removers have a drying effect, so keep that moisturizer handy.

Exfoliate!

We’ve all heard about exfoliating our faces, but don’t forget to treat your hands and feet to a little buff up too. What this does is remove dead skin cells, which helps all other products you’re using penetrate into your skin.

Trim

Trim your nails straight across with clippers. Avoid any angled cuts or sharp edges.

File

Using a file, smooth out the cuts and round out the top corners of your nails.

File in one direction only, which will give you a clean edge. Going back and forth can cause your nails to split or break.

If you have short nails, add a bit more roundness to your nail shape by filing the outer edges a bit more.

Cuticle care

Soak your hands for about five minutes in warm water with a bit of bath oil to help soften cuticles.

Use a cuticle oil to help moisturize and hydrate your skin and nails.

To push back or cut? Our expert at Absolute Spa says to push backcuticles only occasionally (not every manicure) and if there is a lot ofskin coming up when you do this, then you may need to trim off theexcess. Overdoing it can cause your cuticles to thicken over time and possibly weaken the nail bed. If you do it wrong, you may cause an infection.

Buff

Bring out your nails’ natural shine with a buffing tool. Buffing helps increase circulation in the nail bed, which makes your nails grow longer or faster. Be careful not to buff more than once a week, however, since it can actually weaken the nail bed if done too much. 

Application 

Base coat

A base coats help create a neutral colour and surface on which to apply your top coats of polish. It also gives polish a little extra to adhere to, and protects your nails from the chemicals in the polish.

Colour coat

Instead of shaking the bottle, which creates air bubbles, roll it between your palms to mix up the polish.

Open the polish and sweep the brush at the bottle opening to remove excess polish. Thin coats are best, and dry faster.

Apply one stroke up the middle of the nail starting just above the cuticle, then one on either side. Avoid doing any extra strokes halfway up your nail as this can cause streaks and unevenness.

Top coat

Apply a clear top coat to protect polish and maintain shine. Re-apply every few days to save your colour.

Avoid fast-drying top coats since they’re more prone to chipping. 

 

 

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