Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Natural Mani

I paint my nails often but if there is one thing that is a MUST for any nail nerd its the ability to do a weekly manicure. Healthy nails are pretty nails! In upcoming posts I will detail techniques and tricks on nail trends, designs, and painting, but first things first we have to tackle the basic manicure that will leave you with natural beautiful nails, in the buff (pun intended)...

Remember to clean your nail tools often (alcohol is great for metals) and store them in a clean dry place. Also most people (even nail enthusiast) do not realize that you can wash your files, I swear by Ms Manicure's on the goes, they can be rinsed with water and gentle soap, I let them dry back out for a day before using them again.

A basic nail kit is a good place to begin, the products I have found best for my dry skin and nails are:
  •  Nail Cutters-I rarely use these because I file almost every other day, but included it anyway.
  • Sally Hansen Gel Cuticle Remover-Removes cuticles so well I rarely have to use trimmers.
  • e.l.f. conditioning cuticle almond oil-I keep this in my purse and try to use it daily to keep my nails healthy and moisturized.
  • True Blue Spa "Aren't You Cuticle" -I only use this in the winter months in place of the e.l.f. but figured I'd include it.
  • Plastic nail stick-I prefer this to the traditional orange stick because it can be sanitized and cleaned after each use.
  •  A metal cuticle pusher-I use this after the cuticle remover has been rinsed off to remove any dead skin that didn't get sloughed off, search around and find what best fits your nail, me and a friend believe the ideal metal pusher is roughly the shape of your own thumb.
  • Cuticle cutters-To trim hang nails if necessary. 
  • Ms Manicure nail file boards-I prefer travel size because I have small hands and find these easier to grip.
  • A double sided buffer-When polishing only buff, but in a natural manicure like this one you'll want to buff to a high shine.
  • Eucerin Calming Cream-Where to begin! this is my favorite hand moisturizer, and is always in my bag.
  • Shown below is a dish for soaking (I use an old corn cob holder because it fits both hands at the same time) And a gentle soap. I always use lavender or peppermint soap-I will post later about why I switched to all natural soaps, more specifically this South Austin Brand, but for now believe me it is GREAT for hands/nails.     
Starting with washed hands (clip them first if needed) clean out underneath the nail bed with the plastic nail stick:
 Apply Cuticle remover and allow to sit for about 45 seconds to one minute (but not longer):
 Rinse and soak for a few minutes in lavender or peppermint soapy water.

Remove any dead skin remaining by gently sloughing the nail while pushing cuticle back with metal cuticle pusher, and if necessary clip any hang nails with clean cuticle cutters:

 File the nail (Always in one direction to not fray your nail edge). I like to keep my nails short with a rounded squared edge, but try to shape based on the natural shape of your nail.
Buff your nails. At this point if your going to be painting (we will get into that next week) stop. 
 If you are going to be keeping your nails natural then buff to a high shine on the second side of your buffer.
Remember to moisturize your hands, it will keep them looking and feeling healthy.
There you have it your Easy Peazy natural manicure:

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Thanks for sharing!