Pamper your nails the DIY way

Pamper_your_nails_the_DIY_wayWished you had a set of healthy and manicured nails all the time, but can’t seem to find the time or you do not wish to spend the money on regular visits to the nail salon? What about learning some simple steps to do your own nails at home then?

In the midst of our hectic schedules we may forget about the little things that make us feel good. And one of them would be pretty and clean nails. Be it your fingernails or toenails, taking proper care of them will give you that bit of feel good morale boost and give others a good impression too – important when you attend a job interview.

There are always some hiring managers or employers who would be on the look out for how neat or unkempt you are, besides having the skills and knowledge for the position you applied for. Especially for those in the sales line, employers will expect you to look presentable for you are the representative of the company.

But while we all have the option of heading to a salon to get our manicure and pedicure done, each visit could cost you around $20 or more. Express manicures and pedicures could cost you around $10 to $12 for each service, if you know where to look.

Though these nail beauticians could give you pretty looking nails as you leave the salon, the cumulative amount spent can be staggering, especially when you find out that the services they provide could be what you could do for yourself at home!

So, check out these simple steps, with tools and items required that could be found around your home or at the convenience store nearby to give your hands and feet the simple pleasures in life. Do note that these are good steps to care for your nails whether or not you use nail polish.

Items needed:
•    A bowl big enough to hold both hands
•    2 hand towels
•    2 sandwich or Ziploc bags (Optional)
•    2 rubber bands
•    A basic manicure kit – consisting of nail clipper, nail file, cuticle pusher or orange stick, nail brush
•    Exfoliating cream for hands or body
•    Bath powder or liquid soap of choice
•    Hand lotion or moisturizer of choice

Manicure steps:
1.    Clip and file your nails to the desirable shape. The two main options are square or rounded, and neither will chip more than the other.
2.    Fill the bowl up with warm water, add a couple of drops of bath power or liquid soap, just enough to make it slightly bubbly.
3.    Dampen the hand towels with warm water, wring it until it is still slightly damp and place it for easy access. Alternatively, you may microwave your towels for around 30 minutes.
4.    Soak your hands in the warm water inside the bowl for 5 to 7 minutes.
5.    Take your hands out, and use the nail brush to brush under your nails, getting dirt out.
6.    Get your cuticle pusher or orange stick, push your cuticles back gently. By now your skin should be softened, so don’t be too rough. Nip away excess nail cuticle and pat dry.
7.    Use your nail file to touch up on your nail’s shape. Always remember to file in only one direction to prevent them from splitting.
8.    Put the exfoliating cream to cover your entire hand, in order to remove the dead skin. A homemade exfoliating cream can be made by mixing olive oil and raw sugar together.
9.     Your hand towels still need to be warm by this time. Wrap each hand with one hand towel, and tie the rubber around the wrist area to hold the towel in place. For optimum exfoliation, put the sandwich or Ziploc bag over the towel, and then tie the rubber band.
10.     Let your hand sit for around 3 minutes.
11.     Remove sandwich bag and towel from your hands, then rinse off exfoliating agent.
12.     Put on a hand lotion or moisturizer of your choice.
13.     You are now ready to put on your favourite colour of nail polish! Or, if you prefer the natural look, admire them just the way they are!

What about my feet?Pampering your feet is not much different from taking care of your hands. The main difference to note is that your feet are larger and, hence, would naturally have more dead skin than your hands. Here are the slight changes to the above item list suited for a DIY pedicure:
•    Use a bigger bowl, different from the one you use for your manicure
•    Use a bigger towel instead of 2 hand towels
•    Getting your favourite scented oil if you prefer
•    A pumice pad or stone

And here are the steps for a DIY pedicure, almost similar to getting a manicure:
1.    Soak your feet in warm water for about 10 minutes, adding scented oil or Epsom salt if you’d like that extra luxurious experience. Use tea tree oil to get rid of athlete’s foot or itchiness.
2.    Dry your feet with a clean towel.
3.    Use the pumice pad on your feet in any direction, but avoid being too harsh with the top area of your foot, as the skin is the thinnest. Focus on using the pumice pad at your heels, the ball of your foot and the big toe.
4.    Again, exfoliate your feet with your exfoliating cream, or the homemade mixture from olive oil and raw sugar. Use a scrub to scrub your feet in an upward direction, up to around 3 minutes.
5.    Rinse off the mixture in your foot bath and dry your feet.
6.    Clip and file your toenails to a desirable shape.
7.    Use the cuticle pusher or orange stick to push back cuticles gently.
8.    Massage your feet with the moisturiser of your choice.

Simple manicure kits can be purchased from most shops that retail beauty products like Guardian, Watson’s, SaSa, The Body Shop, and even NTUC Fairprice. The basic manicure kit usually costs below $20, and you can purchase the nail files and moisturizers separately. Places like The Body Shop may package it with their own skincare products. SaSa provides a variety of manicure kits, nail files, and even pumice stone, which are relatively low-cost at $2 or less.

Now that you have the steps for a DIY manicure and pedicure, it is time to give your hands and feet some pampering. Save yourself some money and spruce up your beautician skills. You might find the process somewhat therapeutic and a break away from constantly staring at the computer screen all day. Besides, if you enjoy it, you can always start doing manicures and pedicures for your friends and family as well!
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