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The Home Manicure (step by step instructions)...


  1. Remove nail polish or other product from the nail plate.  Use a gentle, conditioning nail polish remover that will not dehydrate the nail on a pad of cotton wool.  If you have any slight cuts or sores in the skin surrounding the nail that would be difficult to avoid with the remover, cover with a small amount of petroleum jelly.


  1. Wash your hands using a good quality hand wash/gentle soap that minimises water loss from you hands & nails.  It is important that you remove any dirt and residues from your hands to reduce the risk of infection & prevent residues from acting as a barrier to the rest of the treatment.  Ensure you dry your hands & nails thoroughly.


  1. File your nails. 


    • Use a good quality fine emery board (avoid using metal files as they are too harsh & could cause damage)

    • File from side to centre only and avoid a ‘sawing’ action as this could cause the nail to split in layers

    • Do not apply too much pressure just allow the emery to do the work.  A long, cushion backed file (professional-style) is preferable

    • Hold the file at a 45° angle to the nail

    • Always bevel down after filing each nail to prevent splitting

    • Avoid filing the sides of the nails as this will weaken the structure

    • Give the nails a gentle file frequently to prevent snags forming that can eventually cause the nail to break


  1. Use an exfoliating scrub for the hands to remove dead skin cells, rejuvenate the appearance of the hands & improve blood circulation.  Use firm circular movements & remove by rinsing with lukewarm water.


  1. Using a cuticle or hoof stick, gently push back the cuticle using very small and gentle circular movements.  This will help free the cuticle from the nail plate that if done regularly, can help to prevent the cuticle from becoming overgrown and eventually splitting.  Also, by pushing back the cuticle the nail will appear longer.


  1. Massage a small amount of nail/cuticle cream or oil (an extra rich product designed specifically for the nail & cuticle area) to the base of the nail and the skin surrounding it using small circular movements to gently push back the cuticle and improve circulation (promoting healthy nail growth).


  1. Soak the fingertips in a small bowl containing a mixture of lukewarm water and a small amount of nail soak or mild hand cleanser for about 5 minutes & dry thoroughly.  This helps to soften the cuticles (skin at the base & sides of the nail) and gently remove dirt that has accumulated under the free edge of the nail. 


If there is any remaining dirt under the nail, you could use a soft

tipped cotton bud (never use a sharp edge) to remove it however this

method is best avoided as dirt could be forced further under the nail

and lead to infection.


  1. Push the cuticles back again using small circular movements.


  1. Apply a small amount of cuticle remover to the base of the nail only trying to avoid product coming in contact with the skin.  Remove dead skin cells and other debris from the base & sides of the nail plate using a manicure stick in small circles (you may notice a build up of debris on your manicure stick).  Rinse product with lukewarm water & dry thoroughly.


Alternatively you could use a specially shaped pumice stone to thoroughly remove dead cuticle with or without cuticle remover (providing you keep the stone wet).  These stones are also excellent at removing stubborn nail polish.


  1. Rinse fingertips and nails in lukewarm water & dry thoroughly. 


  1. Buff the nails using either a chamois buffer or a 3-way buffer (which can produce a high shine).  Buffing helps to smooth ridges & imperfections on the nail, improve blood circulation (improving the colour) and produce a natural shine.  If your nails are thin, keep buffing to a minimum.  When buffing, use only downward strokes, from base to tip.


  1. Apply a good quality, moisturising hand cream paying attention to the backs of the hands.  Use the pads of the thumbs to massage down the length of each finger using slow circular movements spending extra time around the base of nail.  Continue massaging until all the cream has been absorbed.


  1. Remove any traces of cream from the nails with nail polish remover until you feel a ‘squeak’ on the nail.  It is best not to use cotton wool because it tends to leave fibres on the nail.  Rather, use a lint-free type of cotton pad designed for this purpose.


  1. Apply relevant nail treatment (such as a treatment for fragile, brittle or splitting nails) according to manufacturers instructions.

Continue with application of nail polish...

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