Monday, January 16, 2012
5 Essential Tools for a Perfect DIY Manicure
The “Great Recession” and a depressed economy has made “Do It Yourself” a household term. As a result the polish industry has seen a huge increase in sales from the regular consumer – you and me. We are now trying to replicate a salon quality manicure for less on our own. When doing your own manicure at home it is important to have the correct tools. So I created a list of 5 Essential Tools for a Perfect DIY Manicure.
1. Nail File
The nail file is probably the most important tool in your manicure arsenal. There are many different kinds of nail files to choose from such as padded cushion files, mylar, ceramic and my personal favorite, glass. Metal files should be avoided as they can be harsh and can even split nails. When shopping for a nail file make sure to look for one that is double-sided with a coarse grain for filing and a fine grain side for smoothing. It is also important to make sure the nail file you choose is comfortable to hold. To keep edges smooth, use a sweeping motion from center to end. Don’t seesaw back and forth!
2. Buffing Block
The Buffing Block is a four sided block used to buff nails, remove ridges and add shine. Each side of the block has a different grade of coarseness. When using the buffing block make sure to glide the block across the nails using a back and forth motion. The coarsest side of the block can be used to file and shape your nails. Use the the second coarsest grit to smooth the ridges out of your nails. The second smoothest side of the block aids in buffing out the imperfections on your nails. Shine up your nails using the smoothest side of the buffing block. Make sure not to overdo it as you can weaken the nails, doing more harm that good.
3. Cuticle Oil/Treatment
Keeping your hands and cuticles hydrated is key to extending the life of your manicure. Keep your cuticles looking their best by using a good quality cuticle oil or treatment on a regular basis. The purpose of cuticle oil is to deeply moisturize not only the cuticle, but also the skin and surrounding nail area. Cuticle oil helps increase circulation in the nail bed and is thought to stimulate nail growth.
4. Cuticle Pusher/Orange Sticks
Cuticle pushers and orangewood sticks are used for pushing the cuticle back from the nail bed. A cuticle pusher usually refers to the metal variety and the orangewood stick refers to the wooden stick usually made from orangewood. Working from the middle of the nail, gently push back the cuticle no farther than the skin will allow. Make sure to loosen the cuticle with cuticle oil or a warm water bath before using either of these tools so as not to cause damage and infection to the cuticle and nail skin.
5. Polish Remover
Nail polish remover is essential to removing polish, oil and dirt from the nails. All polish removers contain some amount of acetone in them, usually about 60%. Pure (100%) acetone, although quite effective in quick removal of polish and even acrylic nails, can be damaging to the nail and the surrounding skin. Remember to wash and thoroughly clean your nails before applying nail polish to rehydrate your hands and nails from the drying effects of the remover.
A salon quality manicure can be had by all by using the correct tools and a little bit of practice. Listed here are the basics needed for your at home manicure kit. The more you practice giving yourself at home manicures, you will want to add more tools to your manicure kit. There is nothing better than pampering yourself and saving a few dollars at the same time.