How to Prep Your Nails
HOW TO GIVE YOURSELF A MANICURE
The best time to perform a manicure is right after you get out of the shower when your cuticles are soft. This will make it easier to push them back from the nail plate. If the nail strip is placed on the cuticle it will cause it to lift sooner and not last as long.
1. First, use a metal cuticle pusher or the flat side of the provided wood cuticle stick to press the cuticle along the surface of the nail back towards the base of the nail. The softer the cuticles are the easier it will be to push them back. If they don’t seem soft enough you can soak them for a couple minutes in warm water.
*Important fact that most people do not know*
The skin at the base of your nail bed is NOT the cuticle. This is called the eponychium(ep-uh-nik-ee-uh m) which is a fold of skin that prevents bacteria from entering the matrix(where the nail cells are formed). If this skin gets cut it can become infected. The cuticle is actually a thin layer of dead tissue that grows along the nail plate that acts as double sided tape for the eponychium to stick to the nail plate.
2. Next, if you have manicure scissors or a cuticle remover tool you can remove the cuticle that is loose and sticking up. Remember not to cut the live skin, only the tissue that you pushed from the surface of the nail plate. Removing cuticles should not be painful!
3. Lastly, use a nail file to then shape your nails to your desired length and shape. It is best to start with the end of your nail and file straight across until the desired length. Then depending on the shape you would like, start with one corner of the nail. File in one direction from the side of your nail towards the end. This is easiest to do if you face the nail towards you and place your thumb against the finger you are filing(as shown below). This stabilizes your finger as you file. Make sure you hold your finger still and only move the file. If you move both at the same time it will be harder to file your nail evenly. If you want square nails you will file slightly just to smooth out the corners while keeping the straight edge. For round nails file the corner until it looks evenly rounded with the end. For oval nails you would file the corner even more to create a more pointy nail.