Give yourself an at-home manicure

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Hands are probably the most used and often, the most neglected part of our body. You might be the poster boy for casual, boho-chic, but long, unkempt nails, skin peeling off your palms and hangnails (oh, the horror) are simply unpardonable. Here’s a step-by-step guide to sporting a spruced up pair of hands:

Clip them
Neatly trim your nails straight across. Ideally, you should leave a thin white strip on the end of each nail rather than cutting it too close to the nail bed. Not only is that painful it also makes your finger look bald. It’s important to clip your nails before you soak them, since they become too soft after a soak and you might cut straight into the nail bed which is very painful.

File them
After you clip your nails, the tips are too sharp akin to splinters in wood and hence, there should be no shame in filing your nails. Sharp, jagged ends must be filed so that your nails do not get caught in fabric or leave scratches on your own skin or other’s. Do not use a metal filer. Use a glass file and don’t go back and forth around the edge. File in one direction to prevent the nail from peeling off in layers.

Soak up
Your hands are now ready for a soak. Prep your hands for a clean-up by soaking them in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes. The water must be pleasantly warm; not too hot, not too cold. Do not skip this step or rush through the soak. It helps in making cuticles pliable as crop2_240x240_31stoct14well as loosening the grime on and under your nails.

Clean up
Use the attachment in your nail cutter that has a sharp end to clean under your each nail. Be thorough in taking out the grime that’s crammed under every nail. Use an old toothbrush and scrub each nail to get rid of the yellow tone on the nail bed (smokers take note). Grab a cuticle pusher (it’s wooden and looks like the fatter version of a toothpick albeit without the pointy end) and push back your cuticles (the tissue where the nail meets your skin on all three sides) gently; gently being the keyword. Pushing it back too much will lead to painful, sore skin and an irritated nail bed that’s susceptible to infections.

Slap on some moisture
Hydration is the key to younger looking hands and it’s absolutely imperative to moisturise your hands after the long soak that they have had. Apart from this, you must slap on a hand cream daily. We use our hands so much through the day it’s inevitable that the cream get washed off. Hence, applying a thicker cream before you go to bed must be a nightly ritual.

This article was originally published in The Label: Give yourself an at-home manicure

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