Has the winter weather totally just wreaked havoc on your hands and nails? (Raising my hands 🙋🏾).  If you are saying yes, then I have some tips to help you get your hands and nails back in tip top shape.
This will be a short series of posts as I have several tips and one post would just be entirely too long.  

What's my first tip? It's to perform or get a warm oil (or lotion manicure) instead of or in addition to the standard water manicure.  I personally do water and oil, because the water soak sanitizes and whitens my nails.  The water manicure does also soften your cuticles, but using a warm oil will also soften the cuticle, while providing much needed moisture to the nails and skin.  Moisturizing is the key to maintaining healthy, strong and flexible nails and youthful looking hands.

Who will benefit most?

  1. Those with brittle nails
  2. Those whose hands are frequently immersed in water
  3. Those who frequently get hangnails
  4. everyone for regular maintenance

Here's a list of the items you will need:

  1. A good penetrating oil (coconut, jojoba, vitamin E, olive oil, or whatever oil you prefer) or warming lotion
  2. Lotion warmer (you can purchase from Amazon or Sally Beauty Supply)
  3. Lotion/oil warmer cups
  4. Or 2 bowls (1 large bowl and a smaller bowl that will fit inside the larger bowl)
  5.   Heat water in the lager bowl, place smaller bowl with oil inside lager bowl
  6. Or 1 bowl to heat the oil 
  7. 1 bowl with warm water (if you plan to also do a water soak)
  8. Liquid soap or effervescent soak
  9. Cuticle pusher
  10. Cuticle nipper (optional)
  11. Nail clippers
  12. Nail file (180 grit or higher)
  13. Cotton ball or pad
  14. Polish remover
  15. Moisturizing hand cream or lotion

Here's the steps to per form the manicure:

  1. Remove polish
  2. Trim & file nails to desired shape
  3. Soak nails for 3-5 minutes in water (with soap or effervescent soak)
  4. Remove from water, soak nails in oil 3-5 mins using one of the following methods:
  5. Lotion warmer: reduce heat and soak nails in warmed oil
  6. Double-boiler method
  7. Directly heated oil
  8. Remove nails from oil and rub heated oil into hands and nails
  9. Push back cuticles and clean under free edge
  10. Nip cuticles if needed
  11. Wipe nails with cotton pad or ball to remove any cuticle
  12. Apply hand cream or lotion
  13. Cleanse the nail bed with polish remover or alcohol
  14. Proceed with polishing the nails

I recommend doing an oil manicure on a weekly basis to promote the growth of strong, flexible and healthy nails. These tips will work for anyone but also for those mentioned above.  If you have weak, thin and flexible nails, I recommend performing an oil manicure twice a month and should also consider alternating between oil and lotion manicures and use a nail strengthener.

Do you have tips for how you keep your hands and nails looking great?  Share them below or in the Polished At All Times Google+ community.

Remember...Stay Polished At All Times!!