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DIY manicure: How to treat your talons at home

August 1, 2012
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Bright colours are de rigeur right now. But if you feel uncomfortable wearing them, preferring to opt instead for darker, more flattering shades, you can always give a nod to the trend by sporting bright and funky nails. And with so much variety out there, you can choose your favourites and change them as frequently as you wish.

However, even the most fashionable hues don't count if painted over unkempt talons. In order to keep your hands attractive, pamper yourself with a soothing, at-home manicure once a week. Experts from Max Factor share their advice on how to treat your nails at home. 1. First things first. Before beginning the beautifying process, prepare the proper tools and eliminate all traces of previous enamel with nail polish remover. Then proceed to cut the nails according to personal preference: squared; rounded; or pointed. 2. File the nails with the file tilted slightly upwards. Working from the outside to the centre, smooth over the jagged edges. Use a glass emery board, which is much sleeker than the metal ones. And be careful not to file the nails in contrasting directions since it could break off in layers.

3. Once the nails have been polished to perfection, soak your hands luxuriously for ten minutes in a bowl filled with warm water and a few drops of soap. When the skin is soft, thoroughly dry your hands with a towel and apply a cuticle softener all around the edge of the nail. Let about two minutes pass and tug them gently back with an orangewood cuticle pusher. Now with a cuticle clipper, cut off and trim the dead skin. 4. Next, apply moisturising cream with a gentle massage, paying special attention to the area around the nails. 5. Last but not least, the time has arrived for the fun paint job. Always apply the enamel with uniform strokes, brushing as close as possible to the edges without leaving any blank gaps. 6. For longer lasting results, apply a layer of clear enamel over the coloured nail polish for a shiny finish.