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The six steps of creating manicure

Image:© john lee / Fotolia


Step 1

Traditional manicures begin with removing all remnants of old nail polish. In order to do that, soak a cotton ball with some nail polish remover and wipe your nails individually starting at the cuticles and moving outward. Do not rub too hard. If there are some areas where the old polish it too resilient, leave the cotton ball over them for a while and then wipe. When you have removed the old nail polish from all your nails, rinse your hands with cool water.

Step 2

Next you have to give your nails the desired shape, making them all smooth and even.  If your nails have grown too long, you have to cut them first with nail clippers or manicure scissors and then shape them with a file. Do not perform this procedure if your nails are wet or moist, because it increases the risk or splitting.

Nail shape can be either round, oval, square or peaked. The oval shape is the most popular and convenient for everyday wear, at home as well as at work. It also has the added benefit of optically elongating the nail and the whole finger. The square shape has a rigid, conservative look. Square-shaped nails are usually not very long – only reaching to the tip of the finger. If your nails are prone to splitting, try giving them a hybrid shape between oval and square. This is done by cutting your nails into the square shape and rounding off the edges with a file. The peaked shape looks good on long fingers only. Avoid this shape if your fingers are short or stubby.

Step 3

After you have given your nails the desired shape, dip your fingers in special solution for 10 or 15 minutes. This procedure will calm and relax the skin on your hands and make the cuticles easier to remove. The solution can be herbal brew, soapy water or warm water with sea salt. Use whichever works best for you. If you wish, you can add a few ingredients of your own to make the solution more effective.

Step 4

Towel-dry your hands and then give them a few minutes to air-dry completely before you begin the cuticle removal procedure. There are several ways this procedure can be done.

The European way is to soften the cuticle with some moisturizing lotion and push it back with a wooden spatula. This is an easy way to deal with cuticles, but it needs to be done regularly. The benefit is that it doesn’t harm or traumatize healthy skin.

The other way is to cut the cuticle out with manicure scissors or a special cuticle remover tool. This is a bit more risky, since there is a chance of infection, so make sure all your tools are clean and sterile.

Step 5

Polish your nails with a paper nail file in order to make the nail plate smooth and even, thus making it also a better base for the nail polish of step 6.

Step 6

Now we come to the fun part – applying nail polish. Before you apply the colored coats however, you will need to protect the nail with a coat of clear nail polish or special base. Then add two coats of your favorite polish color waiting for each of them to dry completely before applying the next. Finish off with another coat of clear polish to make your manicure last longer.

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