Your hands are as obvious as any part of your body; you use them to emphasize points in a conversation and to do daily tasks, therefore they should look as well groomed as the rest of you. A good manicure is important to your appearance. Whether or not you use polish, your nails should be conservative, healthy, and always well manicured. To keep your hands attractive give yourself a weekly manicure.
Set aside about a half hour and have the following items before you start: emery board, cuticle scissors, nail buffer, a bowl of warm water, polish remover, nail brush, orangewood stick, cotton balls, base coat or nail hardener, nail polish and top coat.
1. Remove old polish with a cotton ball dampened with nail polish remover. Press the cotton ball firmly to the nail and hold until for a few seconds. Pull the cotton ball down the centre so the polish doesn’t smear on the skin around the nail. Use a clean cotton ball to remove any stubborn polish.
2. Holding it on a slant, use an emery board to shape nails. Use long strokes in one direction toward the center of the nail (don’t go back and forth). Don’t file the nails away at the corners because it weakens the nails. Make the curve blunt and don’t file your nails into sharp points.
3. In a rotating motion use your thumb to massage cuticle cream into the rough skin at the sides and base of the nails.
4. Soak your nails in warm water for a few minutes to soften the cuticle. Clean your nails thoroughly using a nailbrush.
5. Wrap the end of the orangewood stick in cotton and apply cuticle remover to the blunt end. Use it to loosen dead skin from around the nails.
6. Use scissors on hangnails only. Never cut cuticles.
7. Make sure your nails are free from polish and are clean and dry. If you don’t wear polish, simply buff your nails lightly lengthwise from the base to the tip and you’re finished. 8. Wipe nails again with polish remover to make sure you get rid of any traces of oil moisture or soap.
9. For normal nails apply a clear base coat to the entire surface of each nail. If you have problem nails use nail hardener instead.
10. Apply nail polish using 3 strokes, one from the center base to the tip and one on each side. Use only enough polish to do one nail at a time. Don’t redo while wet.
11. When the first coat is completely dry (about ten minutes) apply a second coat.
12. Finish with a coat of sealer for added protection and allow to dry for at least 30 minutes. Avoid contact with water until nails are completely dry.
Sheila Dicks is an Image and Wardrobe consultant who helps women dress to suit their body type and look fabulous. Visit her at http://www.womeninstyle.ca to download a copy of her ebook "Image Makeover" and get "How to Build a Wardrobe: free.
Photo. Stuart Miles