Not all of us has the time/money to spend on getting manicures all the time, but we still want to have nice nails. While getting pampered at a salon is nice, you can get great results from home for a fraction of the price!
♥ Bowl of soapy hot water
♥ Cuticle trimmers
♥ Nail cutters
♥ Nail file (non-metals work best)
♥ Nail buffer
♥ Cuticle Oil
♥ Cotton Balls
♥ Clear base coat on nail polic
♥ Colored nail polish and topcoat (optional)
Start by soaking your hands in the hot soapy water (ordinary liquid hand soap is just fine, we don't need fancy stuff) for about 5 minutes. This softens the cuticles and makes it easier to manipulate. Once you are done soaking, push the cuticle back as far as it will go (you will see a semi-circle shape. That is entirely fine). Trim off any dead cuticle (hard/dry and white in color). DO NOT cut living cuticle skin as it will hurt and can cause infection!
Now, trim nails to desired length (making sure to cut off any damaged nail (if your nail is chipping/spitting into small sheets) and file them into shape. Note while filing: make sure to only go one way, not back and forth, as this could damage your nail and this is about taking care of damaged nails! Once your nails are at desired length/shape, get out your buffer and have at it! You can find a buffer at any beauty supply place. I like the buffer blocks because they look fun!
Now that all the trimming is done, we move onto the easy stuff! The next time we do is apply cuticle oil to all the fingers. You only need a small amount of this to be effective. Take a cotton ball and message the oil into the cuticle area and the nails. Here is a guide to make your own cuticle oil, otherwise, I found it for about $6 just by doing a Google search (Ulta has the $6 cuticle pen which seems like it would offer high quality).
After you messaged the oil into your nails, apply a lotion to your hands. Any lotion seems like it would be effective, but if your collect lotions, you probably have a collection of both hand and body lotions. After the lotion, apply the clear base coat. This will chip and take damage so your nails won't! You also have the option of appling all the color in the world to your nails at this step (or what colors of nail polish you own).
Pro Tip: This process also works well on your feet! For particularly stubborn dryness in your feet, use a pumice stone in the shower on calluses then, while feet still have some water on them, apply a lotion and put socks on. The socks take up some of the lotion so your feet get the lotion applied all over for hours! You will have softer feet in just a day!
This entire process takes about 15-ish minutes and after doing it just once, you see amazing results. Plus, all you are purchasing is supplies (which will last for a long time) so it is ultimately much cheaper. In the eyes of a poor college student, this is amazing news!
I hope after doing this you have happy and healthy nails!