How to give yourself a manicure without nail polish

Some elements of self care seem instinctive, but if no one ever explains how to do them in detail, it's easy to make mistakes. Giving yourself a manicure at home is one example of something that seems straightforward, but there's a right and wrong way to do it. An improper filing technique can leave nails split and fragile, and clipping hangnails and cuticles that are still attached can result in a painful infection.
Giving yourself a proper manicure involves filing the nails and caring for the cuticles. Because nail tools can damage nails and skin if used improperly, watch the following video for helpful advice on each step. You only need five basic tools to maintain your nails. The entire process takes less than 15 minutes, so there's no excuse for ragged-looking nails.
- Nail file
- Metal cuticle pusher
- Nail buffer
- Cuticle clippers
- Cuticle oil
Fierce League
1. Gently smooth out rough edges with the nail file and make each nail a similar length and shape. (Always file in one direction. Filing back and forth can cause the nails to split.)
2. Gently push back the skin at the base of the nail with the rounded end of the cuticle pusher. Don't push too hard. The goal is to expose the white remnant attached to the nail plate.
3. Gently rub the buffing tool against the cuticle to remove dead skin.
4. Remove any skin that is attached to the nail plate using the cuticle clippers. Remember not to trim any skin that is still attached to the finger because it can bleed and potentially become infected.
5. Wash nails to remove any dust and dry thoroughly.
6. Apply a small amount of cuticle oil to the skin at the base of each nail. Rub it into the skin and nail and allow it to dry for 10 minutes. Wash off, if desired.