We Know: How To Give Yourself a Manicure

What is a manicure?

A manicure is a beauty treatment for the hands. The term is most often used to refer to the filing, shaping, polishing and trimming of fingernails. Oftentimes, a manicure includes conditioning of the hands as well with lotions.

What supplies are necessary to give yourself a manicure?

Many people give themselves manicures at home with a simple nail file and their favorite shade of nail polish. However, to really experience a salon-quality manicure at home, you should invest in the following tools:

  • Cuticle pusher: A tool used to push back the cuticle of the nail.
  • Cuticle scissors: A tool used to trim dead skin from the nail and cuticle.
  • Cuticle nippers: A tool used to trim the cuticle.
  • Cuticle oil: A substance that softens the cuticle, making it easier to push, shape and trim.
  • Nail clippers: For trimming the length of nails.
  • Nail file: For shaping nails.
  • Emery board: A tool used for shaping the nails that comes in various gradients.
  • Buffer: A white block used to buff and roughen the nail's surface for the better adhesion of nail polish.
  • Nail polish: Color paint applied to nails.
  • Base coat polish: A nail polish that is applied before the color coat.
  • Top coat polish: A nail polish that is applied after the color coat and acts as a sealant.

How can I give myself a manicure?

Giving yourself a manicure isn't all that difficult as long as you follow the instructions and don't rush.

  • File & Shape: After washing your hands thoroughly, file your nails to the shape you desire. A rounded, almond shape is typically best. File the nail from the outer edge to the center. Never vigorously file back and forth, as this damages the nail.
  • Soak & Push: After wiping off excess nail dust, soak your hands in some warm water until the fingers begin to prune. Dry your hands thoroughly, then use the cuticle pusher to push back the cuticle. Any excess skin may be trimmed with the cuticle scissors, just be sure not to cut into living skin.
  • Buff, Base, Polish & Seal: Now that your nails are shaped and trimmed, use a buffer to roughen up the surface of each nail. Next, apply a thin base coat of polish. After this coat dries, apply two coats of your favorite color of nail polish. Remember to use three strokes per nail. Over-brushing will leave streaks and clumps in the nail surface. Once the nail polish dries, apply a top coat. This coat acts as a sealant and prevents chipping of the color polish beneath.

How much will it cost to give myself a manicure?

The cost of giving yourself a manicure at home is really just equal to how much the supplies cost. A good manicure kit costs around $30.

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