Posted in Beauty on May 30, 2012

Every woman has the right to beautiful nails. But trips to the nail salon can be time consuming and costly. Thankfully, sitting in a crowded nail salon is not the only way to get a manicure. With the right nail supplies, you can get a professional looking manicure without leaving the house. Here are some essential nail supplies for the perfect do-it-yourself manicure.

 

Disposable Nail Supplies

 

A beautiful manicure starts with maintaining the health of your nails and cuticles. So cuticle remover, nail hardener, polish remover, and nail color are all must-have nail supplies for DIY manicures. Cuticle remover softens the cuticles so dead skin can be easily removed. Polish remover removes old nail polish fromĀ  your fingernails. Nail hardener strengthens and protects the nails. And polish gives the nails a salon-finished look.

 

Portable Nail Station

 

No more shuffling through a cluttered cabinet to find misplaced nail supplies. A portable nail station offers you a convenient and organized place to store your nail polish, cotton balls, and polish remover.Some nail stations even come equipped with small stands to support your hands and make doing manicures easier.

 

Nail File and Cuticle Stick

 

A cuticle stick is used to push back the cuticles, and remove the dead skin. Injured cuticles can lead to bacteria growth, so be careful not to damage them when using the cuticle stick. Push the cuticle back gently, angle the stick, and use light circular motions to prevent damage to the cuticles.

Nail files are used to shape and smooth the rough edges of the fingernails. Nail files can be purchased in ceramic, glass, and metal. You can also buy emery boards. However, emery boards are not meant to last, so in the long-term they may not be as cost-effective as other types of nail files.

 

Nail Buffer

 

A nail buffer is used to remove ridges and pits from the surface of the nails. Buffers also polish the fingernails to give them a smooth healthy appearance. Buffing should only be done once a month. Too much buffing will cause damage to your nails. When you buff your nails, make sure they are clean, dry, and polish-free.

Posted in Beauty on May 27, 2012

That used to be the case in years past. All of the special pampering treatments were for the women of means, with husbands who worked and made an excellent living. Rich women always got all the good stuff and the rest of us were left to envy their lovely manicured hands and soft, pedicured feet.

 

Well not anymore. A manicure is for everyone, men included. In fact more men than ever are getting manicures, having their nails buffed to a high shine and then showing them off. A man who does this may be called a metro-sexual, meaning he cares for fashion and personal grooming and indeed takes care of his personal appearance much the same as the majority of women do.

 

I was never one for getting manicures or pedicures, but that changed this past year. I was shamed into doing both, for the very first time. The manicure was enjoyable; however the pedicure was another story entirely.

 

Everyone has told me how relaxing a pedicure is and how much they love getting one and how much they thought I should do it. I love it when my wonderful husband, lotion in hand, rubs my feet at the end of a particularly brutal day in the Parenting Trenches. Nothing is more soothing.

 

As I was walking the mall I noticed a place that advertised pedicures for twenty dollars. It didn’t seem to be that much and my feet were in very bad shape, so in I went. The shop was teeming with pretty Vietnamese girls wearing white smocks and chattering away in their native tongue. I know this only because I’ve had a Vietnamese stalker since I was fourteen and I recognize the language.

 

I was directed, mostly by hand gestures, to sit in a chair with a foot bath attached. Hot water (and I do mean HOT water) was piped into the foot bath where my tender tootsies were placed. I winced and said the water was too hot.
“Ye, berry hot”

 

I should have known right then that I was in trouble. I spent the next half an hour having nails clipped, and what appeared to be industrial strength sandpaper slid across the tender and not so tender areas of my feet.
“Berry much dry kin”

 

I nodded. Yes, my feet were very dry. The skin was dry and horrible. I knew that. It was one of the reasons I came in to have a pedicure. I apologized for the state of my feet.
“Berry much dry kin”

 

This phrase was repeated many times, accompanied by pointing at the objects of her displeasure. Apparently the industrial sandpaper wasn’t strong enough, so she left and went into the back room for a rather large block of something that looked like it’s primary purpose might be to remove spines from porcupines. I then received the scouring of my life.

 

“Much dry kin”

 

Rub, frown, repeat.
“Berry dry”

 

Yes, they are the Sahara of feet. I should be ashamed to walk on them. Cactuses are velvet compared to my feet. Every time she told me how bad my feet were, I apologized. Yes, yes. I’m sorry for bringing these disgusting feet into your shop. I’m ashamed. Forgive me. What was I thinking, asking for a pedicure? I should have known better.

Tsk tsk. “Rots of dry skin”

 

When she was done lamenting the state of my arches and heels, she poured oily substances over my toes and worked it in up to my shins. Ah, that was better. No more sandpaper, just a massage with oil. This was more like it!

 

Then she pushed one foot back into the hot water and peered closely at the other one as if searching for an oasis in a vast drought-plagued land. She looked up at me for an apology.
“You know berry dry?”

 

Why no, that hadn’t been pointed out to me before. Dry? Goodness, how did that happen?

 

She held out the bottle of oil that she’d poured over my very objectionable feet and I think she said I should use it on my feet all the time.

 

I never felt so small, even though everything she said made sense, I never thought the experience would be like this.

 

-Cynthia Kennedy

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