Since I worked with PURE Spa during a recent summer internship (which I have now finished - hello! I'm back to blogging duties!), I have become so much more aware of looking after my nails. Me and one of my workmates would regularly file away at our nails with the Leighton Denny Uno Nail File, keeping them in check whilst we tap away at the keyboard all day. It's really instilled in me the need to keep them looking neat and tidy - amongst other tips n' tricks which I have picked up along the way and will be providing you all with.. let's pretend I've been on a research trip, shall we..?
Just one simple cheap n' cheerful routine to add to your usual Sunday pamper day (get it scheduled!) will mean a week filled with elegant nails.. what's not to love?
1. Grab Your Tools & Prepare Your Mitts!
Apologies for the excitedly ripped-open sample here but, I had to include the Elemis Pro-Radiance Hand & Nail Cream (my bag is full of various tester samples..!). At a hefty £23, it might be one to give a miss if you're not in the mood for splashing out, but it's a nice wee product! The only hand cream I could otherwise recommend would be the Vaseline Intensive Rescue Soothing Hand Cream. I'm still on the hunt after a failed experience with a Garnier Maple Syrup hand cream (as terrible as it sounds, truly).
Start your prep after a long soak in a warm bath (or soaking your hands in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes). This will ensure your cuticles have softened enough to get to grips with them easily. Pat dry and smooth over your hand cream. Let it soak in fully before you move on to stage 2.
2. Condition & Soften Those Cuticles!
I bought the Superdrug Conditioning Cuticle Oil Pen a few months ago during a cuticle crisis (before a Shellac appointment).. Now, as much as I'd prefer a little more Leighton Denny Slick Tips in my life, this does the job no less at only £2.99, so is a good starting point for at-home-mani beginners. I mainly use this to soften and prep my cuticles prior to being pushed back into their rightful place. It also has a handy cuticle-pusher built on (but not a particularly effective one).
Slick on a tiny bit of oil to your cuticles and gently massage in.
Top Tip: You could use this as an intensive treatment by applying more oil and letting it soak into the cuticles overnight!
3. Push 'Em Back!
Now is the time I like to tackle those sneaky overgrown cuticles with my favourite weapon of choice! Like a mini spear ready for war, this extremely basic manicure stick is available in all your regular chemists or Boots/Superdrug stores, so there's no excuse for walking by and forgetting about them.. mine came in a pack from Boots for only £1.
Let's get crackin'!
Gently push back the softened cuticles using the pointy end of the manicure stick. If you've never bothered to tackle this area, you might be surprised with how much sudden space you have on your nail beds.. it's kind of amazing.
Top Tip: If it won't budge - don't force it - you'll damage your nails, ladies. Simply soften 'em up in warm water again and continue.
4. Give 'Em The Snip
I use a Cuticle Clipper myself (as I've had it lying around from a disused manicure gift box for a while), but the Tweezerman Cuticle Nipper is a good choice for really getting at those pesky little cuticles!
Very carefully snip at any cuticles which have been pushed back and fully remove them. It is very easy to accidentally nip at your skin here (as I discovered during a botched nail appointment earlier this year when I bled and the manicurist ignored it entirely). So, make sure you keep a close eye on proceedings!
Also snip away at any hangnails or peeling cuticle skin while you're at it for a really neat salon-worthy result! This is the bit that makes all the difference and shows your nails off to their full potential.
Top Tip: Snipping your cuticles will only need done every so often, so just keep an eye on them!
5. File N' Buff!
Time to polish up and deal with the nails themselves! I've had the 4-sided nail buffer for a long time (fairly obvious as you can tell) and wouldn't be without it (similar here) The Leighton Denny Uno Nail File is a new addition to my mani family and is the perfect tool for presenting perfect talons! Comes in a pack of 2, so you can keep one in your handbag & one on your bedside table. Easy peasy!
Firstly, file at those nails. Now, if you're anything like me, I cannot be dealing with long horrible looking nails and prefer to file them into the shape of my choice. Whether squouval, square or long oval shape, the choice is yours at this point! Be sure to think about what you'll be doing day-to-day (long nails + texting or writing = a big no-no!) and be practical as well as stylish.
Next, buff the ridges of your nails down to reveal a more even base to work on - this also helps your nail polish to last longer! Following this, use the 'smooth' side to finish.
Top Tip: Your Nail Buffer will have the option of 'Shine', which is perfect for a super-fast mani - you can stop here if you want! Otherwise, scrap it and follow stage 6.
6. Polish 'Em Up!
Now, your hard work will be revealed.. a good coat or 2 of clear gloss nail polish (with built in hardener like this Barry M Base Coat, Top Coat and Nail Hardener) will ensure your nails are well presented, ready for showing off.
Top Tip: Some people like to continue on and create a classic French Manicure or follow the normal nail painting routine - do as you wish! Personally, I got creative with a little bit of nail art..
The Finished Article
|Go show that at-home manicure off!|
What did you think of this easy at-home manicure tutorial? It's really just a brief introduction to some more beauty & skincare blog posts I'd like to write.. Thought I'd start with the basics! Coming Soon: The Sunday Pamper!
All tools available at your local Boots, Superdrug or chemists