From grabbing that morning cup of coffee, driving to work, shaking hands, to chores around the house, our hand are in constant use. Yet, they are one of the most neglected body parts.
Check out your hands now. Dirty, jagged fingernails? Renegade, dry cuticles? Rough, cracked, calloused hands? Does this say Dapper Gent? I think not. Now, it is quite common for men to make appointments and be seen at their local salon. But, if that's not your scene, then a cheaper, more convenient option would be a home manicure set.
I think the best time for a manicure is after your shower. But, to begin, keep a pumice stone in your shower. You'll grab this DAILY, and lightly exfoliate those rough, yellowed calluses on your hands and feet. Remember, it took years to build those calluses up. They are not going to disappear overnight.
If you find that you still have dirt under and around your nails after your shower, you may need a nail brush. (If you natural bristles instead of synthetic, try this brush. Remember to oil the wood so it won't split). Using a gentle cleanser and your brush, lightly scrub under and around your cuticles (this is the skin found around the base of your nail bed). Be extra careful around your cuticles. We don't want to tear the cuticle as this could lead to an infection. If your cuticles are unruly you may consider soaking them in warm water for 5 minutes to soften them.
Next, grab your cuticle pusher (the instrument that looks like an spoon. You'll want to use the rounded end and gently push the skin back to the nail bed. The square end will be for the corners. This may be difficult at first, but the more frequently you give yourself a manicure, the easier this task will become. Instead of using a cuticle cutter, I recommend rubbing a little dab of cuticle oil into each cuticle, daily, to help nourish and soften them. If they are really thick and dry, this may be a better option.
Use your small set of nail clippers (the large set is for toenails). Clip the nails to your desired length, following the natural curve of your nail. Hold your file at a 45 degree angle and lightly file from the outer corner of your nail to the center, in one direction. Repeat on the other side. Then, use the pointed end of your nail file to clean up under your nails.
Finally, finish by rubbing a rich hand cream over your hands and nails. This one, though a body cream, works great for winter, chapped, skin. Feel free to moisturize as often as you like or need during the day and always apply right before bed. For extra oomph, you can always slather on a rich ointment or vaseline, then pull on a pair of cotton gloves (or even a pair of clean socks) and let the skin on the hands absorb the cream for 10-15 minutes.
*Remember to sanitize your instruments with rubbing alcohol and allow to dry before storing.