How to Give Yourself a Manicure (or Pedicure)

How to Give Yourself a Manicure (or Pedicure)

Step 1: Remove any old nail polish, and clip your nails. If they’re long enough that they impede you from, say, holding a pencil, buttoning a shirt, or dialing a phone, then make haste. Not sure if yours qualify as Dragon Lady nails? Then they obviously do. Stop reading, go get your clippers, and trim them now. You’ll feel so liberated (and you’ll be able to wear darker colors without looking like a dominatrix).

Step 2: File the sides straight, and then round the corners so the curve of your nails matches the curve of your cuticles.

Step 3: Rub some lotion into your cuticles, and then gently push them back, using a soft towel.

Step 4: Clean your nails with nail polish remover, whether or not they’re painted. It’ll help your polish last longer.

Step 5: Apply a base coat. The key for a smooth shine: Dip your brush once, then make a thick stripe in the center of your nail. Repeat on either side to finish the job in three quick brushes. Don’t double-dip for one nail; otherwise your polish may pool.
Step 6: Wait a few minutes and add a second coat. Repeat once more with a top coat.

Step 7: Refrain from rocking out on your Les Paul, shuffling cards, playing the washboard, or doing any other vigorous hand-centric activity for an hour.

More tips

  • If your cuticles are a mess, massage oil (olive, almond, Wesson, whatever you’ve got) into any trouble spots and then exfoliate them with a buffer. Skip the scissors; you may just make them worse.
  • Be bold in your color choices, especially on your toes. Nail polish isn’t permanent, so why not take a chance on Paint My Moji-Toes Red or Yoga-ta Get This Blue? And unless you live in flip-flops, no one will see it except your honey.

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