DIY manicure or pedicure is not that hard and the cost of getting what you need is about the price of or even less than a manicure or pedicure anyway.
For a manicure you will need:
A nail file
Hand soak or even just a dab of soap in warm water
Nail clippers (optional – only if you have long nails and want to cut instead of file. If so cut your nails after removing any polish)
An orange stick/cuticle pusher
Nail polish remover
Hand scrub (not pictured, I just mix a bit of olive oil and sugar together for mine)
Cuticle cream (optional)
For a pedicure, there are a couple of differences – as well as everything you need for a manicure, aside from hand cream, although you could use it, you will need:
A pedipaddle/foot file
A stronger moisturizer/cream
I generally use Manicare because it is easy to get and works well. I had planned on doing a post on manicures and pedicures, so asked them if they would be interested in being involved since I already use their products and Manicare are the ones providing 2 awesome prizes I’ll be giving away further down the post.
Here are my nails before
As you can see they are kind of dull, there are slight ridges on the nails themselves so they are not smooth and my hands look dull. The cuticles need to be pushed back as well.
Step 1: For a manicure start with removing any nail polish you might already have on with a cotton ball and nail polish remover.
Step 2: Next file the nails into the shape you want. Be sure to file towards the center, so from one side of the nail to the center, then do the same thing on the other side of the nail. Do not file back and forth. Filing back and forth can actually weaken your nail. Once you have done the sides do the center in either a left or right direction to even it off.
Step 3: Using the 4 way buffer, buff your nails, following the directions. That is 1 is for filing the top of the nail, 2 removes ridges, 3 buffs and 4 is for shine. If you have or do nothing else I highly recommend getting a Manicare 4 way buffer. They are thick an last a long time and if you are not a real manicure type person you can keep it in your hand bag and just buff your nails every now and then if you are waiting for something and it will make them look nice and shiny.
Here’s my nails after only filing and buffing
While it might not seem like a huge difference the nails are more even, smooth and shiny.
Step 4: After filing and buffing, soak your nails in warm water and either a bath soak or even just hand soap will do. You can use a bowl or just your sink. You soak to softe the cuticles and make it easier to push them back.
Step 5: Using the orange stick clean any gunk out from underneath your nails. Use the really pointy end for this. Next, if you have sensitive hands wrap a tiny amount of cotton wool around the rounder bit of the orange stick to soften it when you push the cuticles back. Using the orange stick gently push back the cuticles on each finger.
Step 6: Next wet your hands again and use the hand scrub. As I said I just mix some olive oil and sugar together. You can add essential oil too if you want it to smell pretty. Rinse the scrub off.
Step 7: Place a drop of cuticle oil at the base of each nail and massage into the cuticles. Next massage hand cream into your hands.
Step 8: Place a dab of nail polish remover on a cotton ball and swipe the nail with it to remove any traces of cream or oil. Wipe your nail with a dry cotton ball then apply nail polish. This step is important because it helps your nail polish to stick properly, evenly and dry better.
Step 9: You can use a base coat if you like before applying nail polish. This is especially good if you are using bright or dark colours as it stops you nail from staining. After the base coat apply 2 layers of nail polish of your choice then finish with a top coat, making sure the nails are dry between each application. The top coat by many is deemed unnecessary but this is what sets and protects your nails making your manicure last longer.
Here are my nails after the manicure
I am a real natural girl, so used a barely visible polish, but you can see my nails are better shaped, shiny and look healthier. In the picture up the top I have a Manicare French Nail set which I was going to use, but ran out of time. I will definitely be using it for my brothers wedding next week though. I have friends who have used it for years and love it.
Also, if you love the fake nails look but can’t afford it I have had friends use the Manicare fake nails and no one could tell the difference. One friend even got told she is crazy for spending so much on her nails when she is a mum of 4 and likely to break them. She just smiled knowing she spent virtually nothing on them, but loved that people thought they were real.
As for DIY pedicure, I have posted previously about it here if you want to check it out. It is essentially the same steps except you file your heels when you have soaked and scrubbed your feet. There are also products like this one to help remove corns and things.
Now for the giveaway part…
I have 2 of these packs worth over $60ea to give away thanks to Manicare!
It includes a massage/scrub brush, loofah mits, cucumber sooting eye pads, an eye lash curler, tweezers, nail file and disposable mascara brushes.
So to be in the draw to win one of these packs you need:
- To be an Australian resident
- Be following me either by RSS, Facebook, twitter or email/newsletter
- Answer the following question in 30 words or less
“What is your must have beauty item (even if it is a natural alternative) and why.” Fill out the form below to submit your answer. Answer longer than 30 words will be disqualified.
Giveaway opens May 29th 2012 and closes 12th June 2012. Judges decision is final. Winners will be notified by email and must reply within 3 days or a new winner will be chosen.