Tuesday Tip: Basic Manicure

Sarah Ryrie and Esthetician student Emily Holden.
Sarah Ryrie and Esthetician student Emily Holden.

(Windsor, Ontario) – Think you have to go to the salon to maintain your nails in a professional way? Think again.

While giving yourself a manicure seems like a daunting task to many, it doesn't have to be, says Esthetician student Emily Holden. It's actually quite simple, she says.

Firstly, you want to file your nails to the shape you'd like.

"When filing, be sure not to file too quickly. If you do, it's called ring of fire and is an amateur mistake," explains Holden. "Filing really fast can burn the skin or the thin layers of the nail. So just go lightly and gently and smoothly, like playing a violin, I like to say."

Holden files Ryrie's nails.
Holden files Ryrie's nails.

Next, apply cuticle oil all over the nail. Cuticle oil can be picked up at any local beauty supply store or drug store, like Shoppers Drug Mart or Rexall, says Holden.

"Rub in the cuticle oil to condition the cuticles and make them softer," says Holden. "It's an intense moisturizer so this also helps prevent cracking."

Next, use a cuticle pusher to very lightly push into the base of the nail, pushing the cuticle (extra skin) back, says Holden. Then take the cuticle nippers and clip off the excess skin (cuticles).

"Be very careful because cuticle nippers are very sharp," warns Holden. "You don't want to cut actual skin, because it will pierce and bleed."

And Holden says a cuticle pusher and cuticle nippers can be purchased at same places you choose to purchase cuticle oil.

"Keep in mind that every step should be done gently and lightly," says Holden. "It should never hurt."

You want to keep your cuticles maintained because when the excess skin grown goes over the nail, you're not able to put nail polish there, so you're not able to get as close of a nail polish coverage and it won't look as good and professional, states Holden.

"Many people shy away from cleaning up their cuticles and think it's hard to do, but it really isn't," says Holden. "With a few easy steps, you can give yourself a quick basic manicure."

Holden clips Ryrie's cuticles.
Holden clips Ryrie's cuticles.