Let’s Give Our Nails a Hand!

Psalm 90:17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.

beautybuzz1As the months are warming up, thoughts tend to go toward the newness of spring. And what better way to celebrate the approach of this warm season than with a manicure! But who wants to––or can––shell out $40 for a half-hour at the salon, when you can give yourself a manicure in the comfort of your own home? So, grab your mom, sister, or best friend, or spend an quiet evening alone, and give your nails a hand.

There are two ways you can do an at-home manicure: slap on some polish and call it a day, or spend some time pampering your hands and nails. Since we’ve probably been doing the first approach all winter, let’s opt for the pampering. But, since we all tend to be pretty busy, I will offer simple tips for your tips. Before you start, gather all the products and tools you’ll need. A simple, quick trip to just about any store––from Walmart to Kroger to CVS––will provide you with most, if not all, of your manicure supplies. This will include the following items:

  • nail file
  • nail clippers
  • hand lotion or exfoliating scrub
  • bowl of warm water
  • cotton balls
  • cotton swabs (Q-tips)
  • nail polish remover
  • nail strengthening polish or clear polish
  • nail polish––definitely something soft and pastel or bright and cheery (leave the deep, dark colors for winter!)

    Steps for a simply perfect manicure:

    1. Completely remove old nail polish. If it’s dark, you may need to work a little at this to get it off your nails and fingertips. Your pretty pastels won’t look quite as attractive next to berry-stained nail beds.
    2. Soak your hands for 10–15 minutes in the bowl of warm water. This will soften the cuticles (that little part of skin that tends to grow up and cover your nails).
    3. Clip your fingernails to the desired length. I like my nails a little shorter, but don’t cut them too short; leave some extending beyond your nail bed (meaning, don’t clip right down to the skin––ouch!).
    4. File your nails to smooth out and round the edges. File in one direction; a sawing motion will weaken and break your nails.
    5. Push back your cuticles. This should be relatively easy after the warm hand soak.
    6. beautybuzz2Use the hand lotion to massage and soften your hands. If they are really dry after the winter, use an exfoliating lotion or scrub to loosen and remove dry, rough skin.
    7. Apply a coat of clear polish to keep your colored polish from staining your nails, and to allow for a smoother color application. Allow time to dry.
    8. Apply your colored nail polish. If you get any on your fingers, carefully wipe any excess with a cotton swab dipped in nail polish remover. (This works best with cotton swabs that have a pointed tip.)
    9. Depending on the color, you may want to add a second coat of nail polish.
    10. Finish with a top coat of strengthening polish or clear polish to guard against chipping and peeling, and to add a nice shine.

    Tips for your Tips

    • If your nail polish is sticky or separating, toss it. It’s too old, has probably gotten too warm, and will just make a mess.
    • Keep your polishing simple. Do not go over and over the same nail, or you will have a goopy mess.
    • Move the brush from the cuticle to the tip of your nail in straight, even strokes.
    • Until you find a color that works well with your skin tone, don’t spend a lot of money on expensive brands. The cheaper stuff will work too.
    • In a hurry? Dip your polished nails into a bowl or (clean) sink of cold water for a minute. This will set the nails.
    • DO NOT polish your nails on the carpet or bed––or anywhere else that spills could ruin. Use an old towel or cloth to place under your hands as you paint.

    Sometimes the occasion calls for a classier look. In this case, I recommend the classic look of the simple French manicure. To learn how to give yourself a great, and simple, at-home French manicure, visit ehow’s tutorial.

    Whether you decide to go simple or elegant for this fresh, new season, enjoy the time to relax and pamper yourself––and your nails!

    By Lisa Grimenstein


  1. Thank you for this wonderful informational article on the ‘Perfect Manicure’ procedures! My Daughters and I are going to certainly put this into action this weekend. It will be fun also to help one another as the role of manicurist. Hey, this is a savings of $$$ in these girley tough times. We are trying to cut back on many things. This is the # 1 in our house of three teen girls, and their Mom. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Speak Your Mind