WHAT YOU GET - 20 PIECES FACTORY BAGGED OF DOUBLE ENDED 75MM ORANGE STICKS ALSO FOR NAIL ART
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Perfectly manicured hands can make you look more put-together and refined, but you don't have to spend a lot of money at the salon to have great nails! If you're giving yourself a manicure, take a few minutes to push back your cuticles, or the thin skin growing at the base of your nails. Your nail beds will look longer, giving your nails a more elegant appearance. However, you should never cut your cuticles, as this can leave you exposed to dangerous and painful infections.
Remove any existing nail polish with a non-acetone polish remover.
Apply a small amount of acetone-free nail polish remover to a cotton ball and gently smooth it over your nail until all traces of your old nail polish are gone. It's best to do this first, because after you push back your cuticles they may be a little tender, and nail polish remover might sting.
- In addition, if you leave old polish on your nails, small chips could get pushed into your nail beds as you're working on your cuticles, potentially leading to an infection.
Unless you have acrylic nails or a particular manicure that requires it, you should avoid using nail polish remover with acetone, which can dry out your nails and cuticles.
Soak your nails in warm water for 5-10 minutes.
The warm water will soften your cuticles, so you'll be able to push them back easily and with less discomfort. If you like, you can heat up jojoba or coconut oil and add it to the water for even more moisturized cuticles.
- A long shower might also soften your cuticles enough to push them back.
- Alternatively, you can put avocado oil or cuticle oil from a beauty supply store on your cuticles and leave for 2-3 minutes. Be sure to rub on in a circular motion and then soak your hands in a nail dish with warm soapy water. Make sure the cream or oil is still on your cuticles and continue to soak for 5-10 minutes.
Dry off your hands with a clean towel.
After you've finished soaking your nails, shake off any excess water, then use a clean, soft towel to pat your hands dry. This will ensure the moisturizer will be able to bond to your nails.
- Using a clean towel will help prevent the spread of bacteria to your hands, which could leave you more susceptible to infection once you have pushed back your cuticles.
Apply a small amount of oil to your cuticles let it soak in for 3-5 minutes.
Your cuticles will already be softened from soaking them, but you can add extra moisture by applying lotion, oil, or cuticle remover to your nails and letting it soak in. If you're using oil, like coconut oil or a special cuticle oil, you can leave it on for as long as you like.
- If you decide to use chemical cuticle remover, be sure to read the packaging so you know exactly how long you should leave it on. Otherwise, you risk damaging the nail beneath the cuticle.
- You can purchase cuticle oil or remover at any beauty supply store.
Choose a cuticle pusher made of wood to avoid damaging your cuticles.
Orange sticks (also called orangewood sticks) are small round pieces of wood with a round, slanted edge at both ends, and they're a great option for gently pushing back the delicate skin around your nails. You can find orange sticks at any drug store or beauty supply store.
- If you have especially sensitive skin, wrap the tip of the orange stick in cotton before you use it. You can pull apart a cotton ball or use cotton gauze if you have some on hand.
- You can also push back your cuticles with a soft cloth, a cotton swab, or even just your fingers, but you'll get a cleaner look by using the orange stick.
Rest your hand on a flat sturdy surface to steady yourself.
If you're trying to push back your cuticles while your hands are in the air, it will be harder to control the pressure you're applying with the orange stick. By resting your hand on a sturdy table or countertop, you'll be less likely to scrape or tear your cuticle.
Use the stick to gently push back the skin along the bottom of your nail.
Holding the stick at an angle, carefully push the cuticle all the way into the corner, and gently work your way up the sides of your nail. This will help loosen any dirt and prevent ingrown nails. It may help you have more control over the stick if you use circular motions as you move across the nail.
- Don't push too hard or scrape your nails with the orange stick.
Rub your cuticles gently with a warm, damp washcloth.
You may notice small pieces of excess skin at the base of your nail where you pushed back your cuticles. Do not cut or tear these, as it's easy to cut too deep and leave your nail bed exposed to the danger of infection. Instead, gently exfoliate the area with a clean washcloth dipped in warm water.
- When you're finished, your cuticles should make a smooth, thin line at the base of your nail.
- If you have more stubborn hangnails or pieces of skin, use a cuticle nipper to remove any final pieces. These tools are specifically designed to minimize cuticle damage. Be careful to only trim the translucent, dead skin, though. Don't cut the skin along the bottom of your nail.
Use a pair of nippers to trim any hangnails you might have.
Nippers are often used to trim cuticles, but their long pointed blades are perfect for trimming hangnails as well. Angle the trimmers to get as close as possible to the base of the torn skin, then snip the hangnail away in one smooth cut.
- Hangnails are pieces of skin or cuticle which have torn or split, and they are often found in the crease beside your nail or below the cuticle.
- If you don't trim your hangnails, they can tear more, leading to more pain and an increased risk of infection.
Wash your hands in warm soapy water when you're finished.
You may have residue from the cuticle oil left on your hands, or there may be small pieces of skin left from the exfoliation process. However, these should come off easily when you wash your hands.
Moisturize your cuticles daily. To keep your cuticles healthy, you should moisturize them every day. You can use moisturizing lotion, petroleum jelly, or your favorite oil, depending on what you prefer. Apply the moisturizer, then rub it so that your cuticles can absorb the moisture.
- Before you paint your nails, dry them thoroughly and make sure all traces of oil are gone. It may be helpful to wipe each nail with a cotton ball dipped in a non-acetone polish remover to help dry them out.
Push your cuticles back once a week. Over time, your cuticles won't need to be pushed back as much, but it's still a good idea to keep them touched up. Keep an orange stick near your hand cream and take a few minutes to moisturize and push back your cuticles about once a week after you take a shower.
- Dry cuticles are more susceptible to peeling or splitting. If this happens, it can be very painful and can lead to infection, and it can also cause your cuticles to grow back thicker than before.
Don't bite your nails or the skin around your nails. Biting your nails can irreparably damage your nail bed, and chewing on your cuticles, hangnails, or the skin around your nails can lead to dangerous infection. In addition, damaging your cuticles can cause them to grow back thicker, making them harder to push back.
Use a new orange stick each time you push back your cuticles. Wooden orange sticks are porous, meaning it's difficult to completely sanitize them. It's best to just toss out the stick after you're finished using it so you don't have to worry about spreading bacteria the next time you give yourself a manicure.
- Instead of biting your nails, use a nail file to smooth them out if they chip or split.
- Wooden orange sticks are meant to be disposable, which is why they're inexpensive and often come in packs of 10 or more.