Giving a manicure, or manicuring as it is called professionally, was once considered only a luxury for the rich. More and more women (and men) now have regular manicures. Manicuring is derived from the Latin word manus which means hand and cura which means care. Manicuring improves the appearance of the hands and nails. Giving a manicure isn’t hard once you know the basic steps.
Remove the old polish. Moisten a cotton ball with nail polish remover. The type of polish remover depends on your personal preference. Press the cotton ball over the nail for a few seconds to soften the old polish. Wipe gently with the cotton ball on the nail starting at the base of the nail to the tip. This keeps old polish from smearing into the cuticle.
Shaping the nail is the next step. The fingernails should be filed into oval tips. Begin on the left hand with the little finger and work towards the thumb. Hold the finger between your thumb and the first two fingers of the left hand. Hold the fingernail file in the right hand. Slant the fingernail file so that the filing is done mostly to the under side of the nail. File each fingernail from the corner to the center, going from right to left and then from left to right. On each side of the fingernail, stroke in one direction only. Repeat the process on the right hand.
Softening the cuticles is accomplished by soaking the fingers in a small finger bowl filled with soapy water. A few drops of mild dish soap added to in the finger bowl works well. Carefully dry the hand by holding a small towel and place, the hand on the towel. Dry the hand while simultaneously pushing back the cuticle and skin on each fingernail. Be very gentle.
Apply cuticle remover by following the directions on the cuticle remover tube or bottle. Gently loosen the cuticle with an orangewood stick or cuticle pusher. Keep the cuticle moist while working. Wash gently and dry.
Clean under the free edge of the fingernail by dipping a cotton-tipped orangewood stick in soapy water and cleaning under the nail from the center outward to each side.
Sometimes it is necessary to remove dead cuticle or hangnails with small scissors or cuticle nippers. Be very careful when you do this.
Apply cuticle oil or cream at the base of the nail. Brush nails gently in a soapy water with a downward motion. Dry hands and nails thoroughly. Next use a very fine emery board. Buff nails giving them a smooth beveled edge. Wipe nails to remove any particles of cuticle or dead skin.
Apply base coat using long strokes. When the base coat is dry to a light touch apply polish. Apply polish lightly with strokes from the base to the tip. Excess polish on cuticle or nail can be easily removed with cotton tipped orangewood stick moistened with polish remover. Apply a top or seal coat. Brushing the top or seal coat around and under the tips of the nail will give the nail added protection.
The final step is to apply lotion. This can be done if time permits. Nails need to be completely dry. Start at the wrists moving down to the fingertips with light rubbing motion.