Weekly Maintenance

Basic self-manicuring should be done once a week and only takes 15-20 minutes. It is also commonly recommended (although I don't do it myself) to visit a professional manicurist every 4-6 weeks.

1) Remove old nail polish. Moisten a cottonball with nail polish remover and press over the nail for a few seconds to soften the polish. Firmly bring the cotton from the base of the nail to the tip. Repeat until all the polish is gone.

2) Shape the nail. Using an emery board, file each nail tip from corner to center. Do not file back and forth or in a "see-saw" motion over the nail since that can cause ridges and splitting.

3) Clean the fingers/nails. Soak the hands in warm soapy water for a few minutes to loosen dirt. Use an orange wood stick to clean under the free edge of each nail. You may want to use a toothbrush to gently scrub away stubborn dirt especially under the nails. (Tip: Don't use the same toothbrush you use for your teeth... that's just really disgusting... sometimes I wonder about you!)

4) Push back the cuticle. The cuticle is the skin that grows from the finger onto the base of the nail. Some professionals actually suggest that the cuticle be left in tact to help prevent infections. If you decide to work on them, do not cut the cuticles or push them back excessively.

5) Apply clear nail polish. There is no need to by items designed as a "base coat" or "top coat." Clear polish or a clear nail hardener does the trick. Let the polish completely dry before continuing.

6) Apply color nail polish if desired. Make sure the polish is dry before applying another coat (if needed). You may want to apply a top coat of clear polish to prevent chipping of the colored polish.

7) Moisturize the hands and cuticles. Apply a moisturizing cream or lotion to help prevent nail splitting and keep them flexible. Polish and hardeners can actually make the nail more try and susceptible to chips so don't assume you need hardener. I use a clear base coat more since it helps keep colored polish from staining my nails which sometimes happens.

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