We all know the wonders a manicure can do for your hands and nails. Its purpose is to prevent nail damage, and keep them clean and well-shaped. Simply put, it enables regular nail care and helps keep them healthy. Further, with a massage after the manicure, the blood circulation to the nails and hands is improved, that keeps them soft and moisturized. With the knowledge of the right manicure tools, you can give yourself a wonderful manicure and save a visit to the salon for another purpose.
Types of Manicure Tools
Use the following tools in the order mentioned here, to get beautiful looking hands and nails. If you have any nail polish on your nails before you begin your manicure, then remove it with the help of a cotton swab soaked in a nail polish remover.
- Nail Clipper: Use these to clip your nails to the desired length. It is not always great to have long nails, as they get dirty very easily. Clip your nails to keep them clean and healthy.
- Nail Brush: A nail brush is used to keep the fingernails clean on a daily basis. Any dirt collected under or around the nails can be cleaned by a nail brush.
- Nail File: After you cut your nails, use a nail file to shape them well. Not all of us have nails that grow beautifully. If you file them immediately after cutting them, they will look neater as they grow. Hold the nail file in one hand, and place it on the edge of the nail on the other hand. Keep the nail file at a slight slant while using it, so that the inner edge of the nail has maximum contact with the nail file. Start by rubbing the nail file back and forth on the free edge nail, towards the center, till the edges are rounded. Repeat this process for all your nails.
- Orange Wood Stick: Use this orange colored stick to clean your nails from within, and to push back your cuticles. This tool may also be made of metal. Use the flat side of the stick to gently push back the cuticle, as this is a very sensitive area. Always remember to keep your nails damp, by soaking them in a mild, soapy solution, while using the orange stick to reduce the chances of damage. Do not use the orange wood stick more than twice, so that you are protected from the germs that might build up on it by using it too often.
- Cuticle Clipper: Use this tool only if your cuticle is tearing, or if it is sticking out. In any other case, cutting your cuticles can cause bleeding, or an infection. A cuticle clipper is used just like you would use a scissor. Trim just enough to avoid a cut. As is the case with the orange stick, use a cuticle remover only after soaking your hands in a mild soapy solution for a while. After using the cuticle clipper, use some cuticle oil to moisturize the cuticles.
- Nail Buffer: Use a nail buffer to add gloss to your nails. A nail buffer has a fine grit, that helps in getting rid of nail ridges, and jagged edges. It makes the nails appear like a fresh coat of nail gloss has been applied. Use the nail buffer by rubbing your nails with the roughest side of the buffer. This will get rid of the scratches on the surface. Using the medium grit nail buffer will help in shaping your nails, and the finest grit will give your nails a clear sheen or gloss.
How to Clean?
The above tools should be cleaned and sterilized immediately after you use them, so as to avoid the chances of an infection. Just washing them is not enough, because even that provides a suitable environment for bacteria and fungi to thrive. Use these methods only for the metallic tools, and not the plastic ones. To clean plastic ones, soak them in an anti-bacterial soap solution for about 15 minutes and then wash them thoroughly. Dry them with a paper towel, and store them in a sealed bag. For metallic tools, follow these sterilizing methods.
- In a pot, put some water and place it on the stove. Bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, clean your tools with soap and water. Now put the tools in the boiling hot water, and allow them to simmer for about fifteen to twenty minutes. Use a pair of clean tongs to remove the tools from the water, and place them on several layers of paper towels. Don't touch the tools, as the bacteria from your hands will get transferred to the tools and render the whole process useless. Now again with the tongs, place the tools in a sealable plastic bag, until you use them next.
- Another way of sterilizing manicure tools is in the oven. Preheat the oven to a temperature of 375ºF. Wash the tools with soap and water, and allow them to dry on paper towels. Use a pair of sterilized tongs to lift them and place them on a clean cookie sheet, slightly away from each other. Let them remain in the oven for about fifteen minutes. Remove them from the oven and using tongs, put them in a sealable plastic bag.
- For a quick clean method, rub your tools with rubbing alcohol and store them. Else, you can soak your manicure tools in rubbing alcohol for about twenty-five minutes, and then dry and store them in a sealable plastic bag.