August 11, 2014

DIY: Perfecting the @-Home Mani/Pedi in 10 Easy Steps


10 Steps to Mastering the Perfect @-Home Mani/Pedi Routine

Preface: 

We all know how easy it is to grab those old nail clippers that have been sitting in your bathroom drawer since the 80's. No matter the ease of this scenario, never ever use old nail clippers. Once you purchase a new set be sure to keep them clean and sharpened and you will never have to purchase new trimmers again. Be sure to use appropriate trimmers on your hands and feet.  And remember the old saying "the right tool for the right job," isn't only said by your local car mechanic.  Larger clippers are meant for the toes, and their smaller counterparts work on the 10 fingers.   Always be sure to keep any nail clippers and other mani/pedi tools you use disinfected (clean them with rubbing alcohol after every use). If you feel your clippers have become dull, you can sharpen them yourself using a sharpening stone.

Before we start lets gather the essentials first. You will need:
Acetone free nail polish
Nail File
Buffing Block
Both nail and toenail clippers
Nail stick for cuticles
Exfoliating hand and foot scrub
Thick moisturizing hand and foot cream
Nail Polish (White for the base coat, desired color, clear top coat, quick dry polish or drops to seal)

Now let’s get to it:

1.      Clean your nails using an acetone free nail polish remover.  Start by soaking a cotton ball or cotton round in the nail polish remover then swipe over each nail until all polish and/or dirt is removed.
2.      Trim any hangnails and push back your cuticles.Do not trim your cuticles, instead use a nail stick to push them back.
3.      Next clip or trim your nails to your desired length.
Note: Trimming your toenails may seem simple enough, but it isn't something to be done carelessly.  You depend on your feet so be sure you treat them with the respect they deserve. Before you start trimming away, you need to understand why it is so important to cut your nails the right way. By cutting the right way, you can avoid an ingrown nail or infection. Did you know that ingrown nails, nails that become stuck in the skin instead of growing normally, are the number one reason for foot pain, not to mention infections?

How to trim your toenails:

·         Cut straight across the nail of each toe and avoid cutting into a curved shape.
·         The nails should never dig down on the sides
·         Leave nails a little long.  Cutting them too short can lead to ingrown nails and infections.
·         Never cut your nails when wet.  They are softer when they are wet.  Cutting dry nails will lead to a cleaner, smoother cut.
·         Make a few small cuts across each nail, instead of trying to cut the nail in one shot.

4.      File with an emery board to shape and smooth rough edges out.

·         Be sure to move the file in one direction across the top until it is smooth and has reached your desired length.  Never file nails in a back and forth motion.

5.      Buff the top of the nail to smooth and polish the surface.
6.      Exfoliate your hands and feet to slough off dead skin.
7.      Moisturize with a thick, hydrating hand and foot cream.
8.      Prep your nails with rubbing alcohol to remove any excess oils.
9.      Apply the base coat. If you really want your nails to pop, use a white nail polish for the base coat. Use a clear, nail strengthening polish under the white polish and over the last coat to seal in the polish. If you are like me and find it impossible to wait for your nails to dry, you can purchase quick drying nail polish or quick drying nail drops.  This will dramatically speed up the drying process.

·         Polish your nails in three strokes: One down the middle and then along each side.
·         Be sure each coat is fully dry before applying the next.

10.  Next and final step is to clean up any polish that has wandered around the nail bed. A small makeup or paint brush dipped in nail polish remover is the best way to erase any mistakes.

Clean, well-cared for, and neatly trimmed hand and toe nails means comfortable, healthy hands and feet. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  Please comment in the section below and don't forget to include a picture of your best mani/pedi.  I will be giving out a mani/pedi beauty kit to the reader with the best nails.

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