A Quick Hand Treatment

Hands are the most visible parts of you, but they also take a lot of abuse. You use them in everyday activity, and yet, they are the ultimate accessory. You must give them the same attention you give your face.

* Soften your hands even while you do the dishes. Add a little almond oil (about a teaspoon) to dishwater. The water will soften rought skin while the oil seals the moisture.

* Slough off dead skin cells with a solution made of sea salt lemon. Brush it into hands with an old toothbrush. Do this twice a week to soften hands and remove discoloration.

* Wash hands thoroughly with warm water, then, using a coarse washcloth, rub briskly. While skin is slightly damp, apply a mixture of one teaspoon honey and one teaspoon olive oil. Place hands in small plastic bags, then in a pair of cotton gloves for thirty minutes. The heat helps the treatment penetrate.

* Warm a cup of milk in the microwave for thirty seconds (or until warm, but comfortable to the touch). Soak your hands for five minutes to strengthen nails and hydrate skin. Not only is milk loaded with lactic acid, a natural alpha hydroxy acid that gently exfoliates dead skin, but its high calcium content will strengthen fragile nails.

How To Get A French Manicure

STEP 1

It's essential to prepare your hands and nails before applying nail polish. First, exfoliate your hands by massaging them using a small amount of body scrub. Rinse with water and dry thoroughly. One of the main causes of chapped hands is not drying them properly after washing.

STEP 2

File your nails. If they are brittle or tend to split, keep them flat across the top with smooth, rounded edges. When filing, move in one direction, from outer corner to centre-sawing movements can damage the nail plate. Choose a nail file with a fine surface that glides over the nail.

STEP 3

Coat hands in a layer of sweet almond oil, to norish and soften, then wrap in a warm towel and relax for 15 minutes. Unwrap, and gently push back cuticles using a rubber hoof stick (available from most chemists). Never use cuticle clippers, as they can nick the skin. Rinse hands with warm water and dry thoroughly to remove any oil residue.

STEP 4

Apply one coat of base coat over your entire nail and allow a couple of minutes to dry. This will help strengthen the nail. Some products also level fine ridges and imperfections, leaving a smooth surface to apply polish. There's a wide range of base coats to choose from.

STEP 5

For a square look, paint a straight line across the tips; for a rounded appearance, follow the curve of the nail; and to get a pointed style, paint in from each side to the centre. Some manicure kits include sticky strips to use as a guide. when applying, lay your hand on a flat surface and keep the ball of your painting hand steady and keep the ball of your painting hand steady by resting it on the same surface. Leave to dry.

STEP 6

Finally, apply a coat of translucent shell-pink polish over the entire nail to seal the whitened tip and complete the look. Allow 10 minutes for it to dry. For extra shine and protection, apply a clear, glossy top coat.

Hand Massage

To stimulate circulation, rub your palm over the back of the hand and then repeat with the other hand. This movement is very similar to washing your hands and it does not only stimulate circulation, it also warms the hands.

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