Hands are important. We shake with them, gesture with them and they’re often one of the first things people will notice about your appearance. With that in mind – let’s talk nail hygiene!
If you’re uncomfortable going out to get a manicure (which you really shouldn’t be, even most barbers now offer manicures!) – here’s a quick guide to giving your nails a quick tune-up at home. You’ll soon find that this becomes as much a ritual as shaving or (if you have any) trimming your facial hair….
1. Trim/file. It’s better to file your nails rather than trim but – let’s be honest – trimming is far easier. Little tip: don’t trim too far! Your nails should end at your fingertips, not before or after that. Best thing to do is trim first and then file them smooth afterwards.
2. Soak. Ideally, you’ll need to soak your nails in warm water for around 10 minutes to soften up the skin. Do it whilst watching TV! If – like me – you don’t have the time for that, just take a nice steamy shower and stay in there for a while.
3. Scrub/Clean. Next up, scrub your nails with a soft nail brush to dislodge any loose skin or grime. If you went for a shower over soaking them, scrub your nails directly after the shower. Clean underneath your nails with a manicure stick.
4. Push cuticles. Your cuticle is the dead skin that grows over the bottom of each nail. Next, push back your cuticles using the corner of a towel or a rubber-ended manicure stick. In fact, it’s best just to buy a pack of manicure sticks – most are double ended so you can scrape grime with one end and push cuticles back with the other. This bit’s important because it makes the nail bed look very clean and healthy.
5. Trim cuticles. Using a cuticle trimmer, carefully snip away any excess bits of cuticle that you pushed up. Be gentle and only trim the excess – this shouldn’t hurt at all! Take this time to trim away any excess bits of skin and hang nails too.
6. Buff. Rinse your hands, apply a bit of hand cream and finish by buffing your nails to a nice shine using a nail buffer. You can buy a handy 4-step nail brick from most stores, two sides file, two sides buff.
That’s it, you’re done! Now, marvel at your well groomed nails and shake everyone’s hands tomorrow. If you didn’t catch all of that, here’s a handy video – slightly different to my method but good nonetheless!