Nail Care




Here is a shot of the basic things you'll need to care for your nails. I should preface this by saying that not everybody will get the desired result out of this, but if you care for your nails weekly they should be better off for it.

Buffer: I use the buffer block to lightly buff my nail between polishes. It gets the stain from the old polish out (although if you have a good base coat you shouldn't have that problem) and prepares the surface for the new polish. There is also a side that will buff your nails to a high shine without polish. (But who doesn't wear polish?!)

Clipper: I have to have a pair of clippers to snip my nails because they grow so fast! Otherwise I would be filing all day.  I clip my nails to about the length I want them and then file them into shape.

File: Always file toward the middle. It is not a myth. I learned it again in Nail Tech school. Sawing on the nail will weaken it, and it will eventually break. I use a higher grit file if I have a lot to file and then finish with a glass/crystal file.

Cuticle Nipper: I don't cut my cuticles, I just push them back. I think once you have cut them you will always have to. I do use them for the occasional hangnail. Some people do though. Do you?

Wooden Pusher: These are handy little instruments! I use mine to push back my cuticles, to clean under the free-edge of my nail, and to produce a straight line down the side of my nail when I'm polishing.

Cuticle Oil: This shouldn't be put on the cuticles once a week...everyday would be ideal, but at least some lotion that is good for the cuticles. I have a little cuticle conditioner in a tube that fits in my purse that I carry around with me. Do what you can to keep your cuticles happy!

Base Coat: Use a good base coat. Base coats should do two things: (1) keep the polish from staining your nails, and (2) help the polish stick better. If it doesn't do both of these then throw it out and move on. I currently use OPI Natural Nail Base Coat because I like the way it gets polish to stick to the nail.

Top Coat: I use Dazzle Dry Top Coat right now because it doesn't smear my nail art and it is really shiney. Top Coat should protect your manicure and make it last longer. It shouldn't chip prematurely.

Right now I am into Gelish because it lasts longer for me and I can be in water and acetone without ruining my manicure.


DIY Manicure


Manicure Tips


  • Drink lots of water. Keep your body hydrated everyday to maintain healthy nails.
  • Fortify your diet with FDA approved vitamins or supplements. Your fingernails count on you to be responsible with your health and your diet. Unless instructed otherwise by your physician, increase your daily doses of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, folic acid, protein, Vitamin B12, and zinc.
  • Touch up your manicure on a daily basis to prevent chips and cracks.
  • Your nails depend on you to maintain a healthy diet. Take in lots. 

 DIY Manicure

  1. Remove old nail polish.
  2. Soak your hands. Use warm (not hot) water to soak your hands, and be sure to pat dry before the next step.
  3. Shape nails.
  4. Tackle your cuticles. Apply cuticle oil and rub it into your cuticles. Use either a wooden orange stick or a metal cuticle pusher to push overgrown cuticles back into place.
  5. Trim cuticles. If you choose to trim your cuticles, you'll need a cuticle nipper to help you remove dead, rough skin from all around your nails. Be careful - these tools are sharp!
  6. Moisturize. Slather on a coat of rich moisturizer and give your hands and arms a mini-massage. Wipe any lotion off your nails before applying polish.
  7. Polish. Choose a fab nail color and apply two even coats a base coat and a top coat to each nail.

DIY Pedicure


Pedicure Tips


  • When soaking your feet, add a few drops of tea tree oil to the water to fight athlete’s foot and reduce itchiness.
  • Ask your partner to do the massaging for total relaxation.
  • If you don’t have cuticle oil, olive oil works just as well
  • Finger and toe nail polish don’t have to match. Sometimes it’s fun to do different shades of the same color. If you do that go lighter on your hands and darker on feet.

DIY Pedicure

  1. Remove old nail polish.
  2. Soak your feet. Use warm (not hot) water to soak your feet, and be sure to pat dry before the next step.
  3. Remove dead skin.Use both a foot scrubber (such as a pumice stone) and an exfoliating rub. Pay special attention to rough heels and rinse away sloughed-off skin when done.
  4. Clip and shape nails.
  5. Tackle your cuticles. Apply cuticle oil and rub it into your cuticles. Use either a wooden orange stick or a metal cuticle pusher to push overgrown cuticles back into place.
  6. Moisturize. Slather on a coat of rich moisturizer and give your feet and leg a mini-massage. Wipe any lotion off your nails before applying polish.
  7. Polish. Choose a fab nail color and apply two even coats a base coat and a top coat to each nail.


What Nail Shape is Best for your Manicure? (<<< click here)

Disorders and Diseases of the Nail


Disorders of the Nail
Signs or Symptoms
Discolored Nails
Nails turn a variety of colors; may indicate surface staining, a systemic disorder, or poor circulation.
Bruised Nails
Dark purplish spots, usually due to physically injury.
Ridged Nails
Lengthwise, wavy ridges seen in normal aging.
Eggshell Nails
Noticeably thin, white plate, more flexible than normal; usually caused by improper diet, hereditary factors, internal disease, or medication.
Beau’s Lines
Depressions running across the width of the nail plate; a result of serious illness or injury.
Hangnail
Living skin around the nail plate (often the eponychium) becomes split or torn.
Infected Finger
Redness, pain, swelling, or pus.
Leukonychia Spots
Whitish discoloration of the nails; usually caused by minor injury to the nail matrix. Not related to the body’s health or vitamin deficiencies.
Melanonychia
Significant darkening of the fingernails of toenails.
Onychophagy
Bitten nails.
Onychorrhexis
Abnormal surface roughness on the nail plate.
Plicatured Nails
Sharp bend in one corner of the nail plate creating increased curvature.
Nail Pterygium
Abnormal stretching of skin around the nail plate; usually from serious injury or an allergic skin reaction.
Nail Psoriasis
Nail surface pitting, roughness, onycholysis, and bed discolorations.
Pincer/Trumpet Nails
A form of dramatically increased nail curvature.

Diseases of the Nail
Signs or Symptoms
Onychia
Inflammation of the matrix and shedding of the nail.
Onychocyrtosis
Ingrown nails.
Onychomadesis
Separation and falling off of a nail from the nail bed.
Onychomycosis
Fungal infection of the natural nail plate.
Paronychia
Bacterial inflammation of the tissues around the nail plate, causing pus, swelling, and redness.
Pyrogenic Granuloma
Severe inflammation of the nail in which a lump of red tissue grows up from the nail bed to the nail plate.
Tinea Pedis
Red itchy patches of skin on the bottom of feet and/or between the toes.
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