Monday, May 19, 2008

DIY: At Home Nail Care

I love getting a pedicure, but I don't always have time to get to the spa to get one done professionally. Because I'm hard on my fingernails, I rarely invest in a manicure and instead settle for doing one at home.

If you want to save some money and get your nails looking beautiful in time for the warm weather, here are some tips for giving yourself a pedicure or manicure at home:

FOR BOTH A MANICURE OR PEDICURE:
  1. Get everything you need set up in one place before you start. The last thing you need is to be running around looking for a nail clipper when you're trying to give yourself a relaxing at-home spa beauty session!
  2. Remove any old nail polish. (Click here for my Battle of the Nail Polish Removers!)
FOR A PEDICURE:
  1. Soak your feet in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes. If you have a foot soak, go ahead and use it. If not, try some Epsom salts. Even if you use water and nothing else, do NOT skip this step!
  2. Clip your toenails straight across with toenail clippers. Doing so will help prevent ingrown nails or nail infections. Also, don't clip your toenails too short!
  3. Using cuticle cream and an orange stick, gently push back your cuticles. Never, ever, ever cut your cuticles. Doing so could result in an infection! Not pretty.
  4. Use a pumice to exfoliate your feet, paying particular attention to your heels and the balls of your feet. You may have a lot of cracked and flaky skin that needs tending to. Take your time exfoliating and don't be too rough on your feet. Avoid "cheese grater" style foot stones--they may take off a little too much!
  5. Massage your feet with a foot lotion. Try something with peppermint in it to make your skin feel rejuvenated and to cut down on foot odor.
  6. Make sure your nails are not covered in lotion.
  7. Use cotton balls or a specially designed toe spreader to spread out each toe.
  8. Apply a base coat to each nail. Doing so will help your polish last longer and will prevent the color from leaching into the nail which results in your nails looking yellow when not polished.
  9. After allowing the base coat to dry, apply two coats of your nail color.
  10. Allow nail color to dry and then apply a top coat.
  11. Give your toes enough time to dry before putting on shoes/socks or becoming overly active.
  12. Check out Earth Theraputics. They sell a nice pedicure set that contains all the tools you need to give yourself a great pedi! They also have a decent foot cream.
  13. Between pedis, try these Tea Tree Oil Foot Wipes--they are easy to use and make your feet feel refreshed, clean, and cool in a matter of seconds. Plus you can stash them in your purse or beach bag--they're great for the summertime!
FOR A MANICURE
  1. Like with a pedicure, take 10 to 15 minutes to soak your hands. Dry when done.
  2. Trim nails if they are very long.
  3. File nails in one direction. Do not go back and forth across your nails in a see-saw fashion!
  4. Use cuticle cream and an orange stick to gently push back your cuticles. Again, DO NOT CUT YOUR CUTICLES!
  5. Massage your hands. If you have an at-home microdermabrasion kit, you can use it on your hands to soften them up. If not, use any exfoliating cream you have on hand, or just massage your skin with your favorite hand cream.
  6. Make sure your nails do not have lotion on them!
  7. Apply a base coat and allow to dry.
  8. Apply two coats of your nail polish and allow to dry.
  9. Apply your top coat.
  10. Give yourself plenty of time to let your nail color dry before using your hands for heavy duty work!
  11. Pick up this manicure kit the next time you go to your local CVS!

2 comments:

Jennifer said...

I love these little kits! They're money savers and easy to do!

Gel-Nails said...

Good information.

I came across many queries in several forums where people have been asking for advice on the best glue that can be used on nails and that is not only strong but also safe on nails. This was the same question I had sometime back when I used to apply nail gel myself. Initially the glue I got would never hold on the way it used to when done in the salon. I then came across the nail glue being sold on gel-nails which lasts very long and is pretty easy to apply. It provides a strong bonding for my nails and also does a great job in repairing the nail tips.

Most important of all is that this is strong glue I was actually looking out for and this is used by nail salons and nail artists for professional applications. It is available at a cheap price at gel-nails and I remember seeing it at a discount of 74% which is great. Maybe this can help if you also face problems relating to poor glue quality as I did earlier.