Are Your Hands Ready to the Summer?

Groomed hands
Summer puts the body back on show, including hands and feet. Your hands work hard for you, so take care of them.Manicured hands are essential for a well-groomed appearance. The secret to a good manicure is the correct equipment, quality products and patience. Perfect nails should not be rushed.

Manicured handsStep-by-step guide to beautiful nails:
1. Remove old nail polish with a cotton ball dipped in acetone-free nail-polish remover.
2. Make sure you always file your nails in one direction only.
3. The fashionable nail shape right now is the 'squoval', a cross between a square and an oval. This shape has been proven to give nails the most strength to ensure they don't break easily.
4. Soak your fingers in a pampering nail soak.
5. Apply a cuticle cream according to the instructions on the packaging and gently push back your cuticles.
6. Apply a nail cream or nail oil and massage each nail and cuticle to improve circulation and growth, and relieve dryness.
7. Apply a good hand cream to your hands to help prevent premature ageing.
8. Get rid of any excess oil by cleaning your nails with an acetone-free nail-polish remover.
9. Apply a base coat.
10. Apply one coat of nail polish.
11. Wait until completely dry and apply a second coat.
12. Apply a topcoat once the second coat is completely dry.

Think about it:
When manicuring your nails, consider your lifestyle, habits and environment. For example, if you use your hands a lot – typing, working with children or nursing – rather go for natural, short nails. Also keep in mind any sport or hobbies you enjoy, and what would be best suited to those pursuits. If you live in a harsh environment or regularly work outdoors, your hands and nails will need a weekly regime of nourishing and soaking.

Good idea:
Microwave two plastic sandwich bags filled with some hand cream for three seconds. Put your hands into the bags for five minutes, then gently push back your cuticles with an orange stick wrapped in cotton wool.

aloe veraPampering nail soak:
1 cup of bottled water
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
10 drops lemon essential oil
Soak your fingers in this energising mixture for about 10 minutes.

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