Removing the Bad Guys
Wash your hands thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap. Dry them with paper towels. We need our hands to be clean and free of most bacteria to lessen the risk of bacterial infection. Before we even think of trimming our nails we need to take the tip of a nail file and scrape the dirt and bacteria build up from under the nails. Don’t go back and forth with the file because this will just spread out the grossness; instead scrape in one direction, wiping the gunk off on a paper towel after each passing.
Soaking the Puppies
A lot of people soak their finger tips in milk to soften up the nails and cuticles, but we like to keep our dairy in our cereal. Soak those babies in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes. If we don’t soak our fingers we run the risk of tearing a cuticle increasing the possibility of an infection. Put on an episode of Friends or Top Gear while you sit with your hands in a bowl of warm water.
Cutting the Talons
When cutting our nails we need to make sure not to cut too close to the nail bed as this increases the risk of, you guessed it, infection. If a nail is too close to the bed don’t cut it. Keep an eye on the shape as you cut, as the curve you are clipping at should match that of your finger – you don’t want to end up with random clip patterns that don’t match the rest of your fingers. Keep it neat.
Trimming the Waning Crescent
Okay, so we tried to be creative and refer to the cuticle in the heading above to a moon cycle – because that is kind of what it looks like. But then we realised that most guys don’t know what a cuticle is, let alone a phase of the moon. So a cuticle is the dead skin at the base of your finger or toe nail. After you’ve soaked your hands in warm water, dry them off and apply a pea sized blob of moisturiser to each cuticle and push them back with an orange stick. Or skip this whole thing and just buy cuticle remover…
Sanding the Shields
After you’ve clipped the nails and played with the cuticles it’s time to bring out the heavy gun. With a nail file, file the rough edges of your nails in one direction – don’t move back and forth like a saw blade. The idea here is to shape the nails into smooth, fitting shapes. It’s fairly simple and self-explanatory. After this take a buffer and make those things shine.
Well done – you’ve just survived your first DIY manicure. We’re very proud of you – be sure to pass this on to your buddy with the mismanaged claws.
By Shawn Greyling