Let’s face it; we’re all missing nail bars and beauty salons right now. But, while we wait for these magical havens to reopen their doors, there are loads of ways to pamper yourself at home and still get a little bit of that spa feeling. While you may not have your nail technician’s years of experience under your belt you can still do your best to spoil yourself with a revitalising mani or pedi during lockdown.
If you’re unsure of how to go about doing your own nails, check out these expert tips from the therapists at Steenberg Spa. Your hands are no doubt in need of a pamper session with the change in weather coupled by all the additional hand washing we’ve all been doing. To give your hands a pick-me-up follow the 10 steps below for a rejuvenating hand treatment.
Rejuvenating hand treatment
To begin your at-home mani or pedi, you will need the following: non- acetone nail varnish remover, nail file, granular scrub, orange wood stick or cuticle pusher, moisturiser or oil, base coat, top coat and the nail varnish of your choice.
Step one: Begin by removing all the colour from the nails using the nail varnish remover.
Gel polish removal needs extra care (See gel removal instructions here.)
Step two: Clean the hands/feet with soap and water.
Step three: Trim the nails, making sure you leave a little extra length for filing into shape, taking care to file in one direction only to avoid breakages. The toenails are much stronger, however, and can be filed in both directions.
Step four: Using a granular scrub and concentrating on the hard areas of skin and the nail and cuticle area, begin to scrub away gently. Wash and rinse with warm water. If you don’t have a scrub you can make your own scrub using brown sugar and a little olive oil.
Step five: Using a towel or face cloth, while drying the hands and feet, apply pressure to the cuticles and push them back. Move over the cuticle area in circular movements with the towel to remove any dead skin cells. If you have a wooden manicure stick you may also use this to push back the cuticles.
Step six: Massage the oil or moisturiser into the hands or feet, concentrating on the cuticles and areas prone to develop hard skin. Any remaining cream can be used on the elbows or knees.
Step seven: Remove any cream or oil from the nails using a cotton disc soaked in warm water. The nails need to be clean and dry before applying any varnish. Watch out for any leftover cotton wool ‘fluff’.
Step eight: Apply a base coat to protect the nail from the varnish and any colour stains. It also ensures longer lasting varnish.
Step nine: Apply the colour as two thin coats instead of one thick coat to avoid smudging and a longer drying time. Apply up to three thin coats if necessary.
Step ten: Finally, apply the topcoat to seal in the colour for a lasting finish and for additional shine.
It may take up to 60 minutes for all the layers of the nail varnish to dry completely so sit back and relax with a good book or your favourite movie or series. The nails will be dry to the touch after 5 to 10 minutes, but the underlying layers will still be wet. For varnish that may have landed on the skin, don’t panic, wait two hours before washing with soap and water. Use a towel to gently rub away the excess varnish and reapply your moisturiser.