How to Give Yourself a Professional-Looking Manicure at Home

Posted by Sandra Scott

It’s the thing people always notice…

But often the least taken care of.

Our hands are among the most hard-working body parts and always on display. So it’s worth making sure they look clean - with your nails neatly trimmed.

And even though we’re not shaking hands so much, keeping your hands feeling soft makes you feel good too.

Giving yourself a professional-looking manicure at home isn’t that difficult.

Just follow our step by step guide below.

 

Man clipping his fingernails as part of manicure with stainless steel clippers

Achieving healthy hands and nails at home is a fairly straightforward process

 

Running a nail brush under your nails each morning will ensure they look clean.

But once a week you deserve to give yourself a full at-home manicure - just to keep your hands and cuticles looking smooth and feeling soft, and your nails in good health.

And giving yourself a little TLC is always going to be good for your stress levels too.

 

A manicure is about more than just looking good 

The most important reasons for looking after your hands and nails are to do with health and hygiene.

A fresh manicure not only feels good it also cuts down on the spread of bacteria and prevents infections from occurring.

Your hands - Dry, cracked skin on your hands can let in bacteria and make them prone to infections – as well as feeling really painful!

Regularly using a moisturizing hand cream makes your hands feel soft and keeps your skin looking smooth.

Your nails - Proper cleaning and trimming of your nails is essential to nail health. And it stops problems like hang nails, irritated skin and painful inflammation of the nail bed.

And manicures are good for your overall health as well.

Massaging your hands, nails and cuticles boosts circulation, as well as helping you to de-stress.

Research shows that massaging your hands has real psychological benefits, reducing levels of depression and anxiety. 

And a fresh manicure is essential to looking well-groomed: “Grooming Guide: 7 Habits of Well-Groomed Men".

 

Man with beautifully manicured hands in a dark blue suit

People will always notice your hands. So you know to keep your them looking clean and your nails trimmed at all times.

 

Manicure Goals

A manicure doesn’t have to mean painting your nails (unless you want to).

Essentially you’re aiming for:

  • Clean, even fingernails
  • Soft, pushed back cuticles
  • Smooth nails with no ridges
  • Smooth, soft hands

 

How to give yourself a manicureA step by step guide 

Achieving healthy hands and nails at home is a fairly straightforward process.

We’ve listed nine steps below (because we want to make sure you get it right), but it should only take about 30 minutes to do.

You will need:

  • A soft nail brush
  • A metal manicure stick or a wooden orange stick
    This is a tool that cleans under your nails and pushes back your cuticles.  Use the pointed, sharper end to scrape dirt and debris from underneath the nail. And use the end that is flat to gently push the cuticles away from the nail bed.
  • Nail clippers
    A good quality stainless steel pair is the best option.
  • An emery board or a metal nail file
  • A nail buffer
    This is usually a two-sided block. With one side meant for buffing away ridges and smoothing your nails, and the other for buffing shine into your nails.
  • Hydrating hand cream

    Step 1: SOAK YOUR HANDS 

    Start by soaking your hands in a bowl of warm water. Do this for about 10 minutes so the skin, nails and cuticles all have time to soften.
    Following a hot shower also works.

     

    Step 2: SCRUB YOUR NAILS WITH A BRUSH 

    Use the soft nail brush to gently scrub the nails and surrounding skin to remove any dirt, grime, or loose skin.

     

    Step 3: CLEAN UNDER YOUR NAILS 

    With the pointed end of the metal manicure stick (or wooden orange stick) gently remove any dirt or grime that may be hiding underneath the tips of your nails.

     

    Step 4: RINSE AND DRY 

    Wash your hands with warm water and soap. Then pat dry with a clean towel.

     

    Step 5: TRIM YOUR NAILS 

    Use your nail clippers to trim your fingernails to the rough shape and length you want.

    Keep the shape quite square to avoid causing ingrown nails – and don’t cut them too short.

     

    Step 6: FILE YOUR NAILS

    Clipping your nails gets them to the right length, but it usually leaves a slightly rough edge. Use an emery board or nail file to smooth out the cut edge and create a perfect shape. 

    Always file your nails in the same direction - rather than going back and forth. This helps to round out the shape and doesn’t cause your nails to peel.

     

    Step 7: PUSH BACK YOUR CUTICLES

    The cuticle is the thin band of dead skin that grows up over the bottom of the nail to protect your nails from bacteria and keep them soft.

    But for your nails to grow healthily this skin needs to be gently pushed back.

    While it’s still soft, use the flat, rounded end of the manicure stick (or orange stick) to push the cuticle back into a nice, even, rounded shape.

    Use small circles to gently lift the skin from the nail.

    If your cuticles are particularly tough you can rub some cuticle remover over the bottom of your nails to soften the skin and make it easier to remove.

    NB: Never cut or snip your cuticles, as they can become infected.

    Even when done by a professional manicurist the cuticle skin will grow back rough and hard. Best avoided altogether.

    After pushing back the cuticles you can apply a small amount of cuticle oil. This will moisturize the skin, improving the health of your nails.

     

    Step 8: BUFF YOUR NAILS

    Buffing your nails will make them look brighter (and cleaner) as well as smoothing out any ridges.

    Use the special buffing block to gently buff them until they’re smooth and even.

     

    Step 9: MASSAGE YOUR HANDS WITH A HYDRATING HAND CREAM

    With your nails properly cleaned, filed and buffed, now is the time moisturize your hands, nails, and cuticles with a hydrating hand cream.

    Massage the hand cream into your skin with a circular motion, making sure to massage around your nails and into your cuticles.

    This also boosts circulation to your fingers and hands.

     

    Man with beautiful hands holding them against his face

    A full at-home manicure will keep your hands and cuticles looking smooth and feeling soft, and your nails in excellent health

     

    Professional Manicure/Pedicure 

    Once in a while it’s worth treating yourself to a professional manicure, just to keep your hands and cuticles looking really smooth.

    That goes for your feet and toenails too (especially in the summertime!)

    Try to trim your toenails at least once a week yourself – and a professional pedicure treatment is definitely worth it now and then.

     

    FAQ’s 

    Why does a guy need a manicure? 

    The most important reasons for looking after your hands and nails are to do with health and hygiene.

    A fresh manicure not only looks and feels good it also cuts down on some painful conditions and prevents infections from occurring too.

    Dry, cracked skin on your hands can let in bacteria and make them prone to infections – as well as feeling really painful!

    Regularly using a moisturizing hand cream makes your hands feel soft and keeps your skin looking smooth.

    And proper cleaning and trimming of your nails is essential to nail health. It prevents problems like hang nails, irritated skin and painful inflammation of the nail bed.

    Plus, manicures are great for your overall health too.

    Massaging your hands, nails and cuticles boosts circulation, as well as helping you to de-stress.

     

    How often do I need a manicure? 

    Running a nail brush under your nails each morning should be part of your daily grooming maintenance. This will ensure they always look clean and healthy.

    But once a week it’s worth giving yourself a full at-home manicure, just to keep your hands and cuticles looking smooth and feeling soft, and your nails in good health.

     

    The Takeaway 

    Achieving healthy hands and nails at home is a fairly straightforward process.

    Just follow these nine steps:

    Step 1: Soak your hands in a bowl of warm water to soften the skin, nails and cuticles.
    Step 2: Scrub with the soft nail brush to remove any dirt, grime, or loose skin.
    Step 3: Gently clean under your nails with the manicure stick (or wooden orange stick)
    Step 4: Rinse and pat dry
    Step 5: Use nail clippers to trim your fingernails to the rough shape and length you want.
    Step 6: Use an emery board or nail file to smooth out the cut edge and create a perfect shape.
    Step 7: Gently push back your cuticles using small circles to lift the skin from the nail.
    Step 8: Buff your nails to make them look brighter, smoother and cleaner.
    Step 9: Massage your hands with a hydrating hand cream - making sure to massage around your nails and into your cuticles.

     

    And to make sure you’re always looking your very best, check out our high-performance skincare products for men below.

     

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