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Published on: 23 Jul 2009 by little_miss_sunshine
1. Dab some cuticle cream (lip balm or petroleum jelly will do just as well) on to your cuticles - these are the strips of skin at the base of your nails. Rub the cuticle cream in. Then soak your fingers in a bowl of warm, soapy water for 10 minutes to soften the skin and nails.
2. Rinse your hands and check that your nails are very clean. If necessary give them a scrub with a nailbrush or and old toothbrush. Remove and dirt under the nails with a cuticle stick. Dry you hands thorughly.
3. Very gently, push your cuticles back with the fat end of a cuticle stick, a clean lolly stick or with the nails of your other hand. This gets rid of dead skin and makes your cuticles look neater and rounder.
4. After washing and drying your hands again, trim your nails to the length that you like them at. Its best to cut straight across, so toenail clippers often work better that rounded nail scissors.
5. Next perfect the shape of your nails with a nail file. Smooth the edges to remove the points left by the clippers. Make sure you file in one direction only, not back and forth, as this can weaken the nails and make them split. Give your hands one last wash and dry them.
6. Now its time to apply some nail varnish. Clear polish looks subtle, classy and often lasts longer than bright colours. To avoid lumps put the bottle in the fridge for 5 mins before using it. This makes the nail varnish smoother to apply.
To avoid messy streaks, use only 3 strokes per nail when applying nail varnish and don't get too much on your brush when you dip it in. The first stroke should go down the middle of your nail, the second and third on the left and righthand sides.
Leave your nails to dry for about 15mins. Don't touch them to see if they are dry if the 15mins is not up as your nails may feel dry but the actually nail varnish hasn't hardened and so you might end up smudging them.