Day 5: DIY Manicure and Homemade Sugar Scrub


It’s manicure time!

It’s time to park yourself in front of the TV with a good show, a nice glass of wine or cup of tea and all your supplies at the ready.

  • Hand towel
  • small bowl of warm, soapy water
  • nail brush
  • file
  • cuticle nippers
  • nail polish remover and cotton pads
  • cuticle remover
  • polish (including base & top coat)
  • scrub & lotion (optional)

Sugar Scrub
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 Tbls coconut oil (solid) or other oil if desired. Olive, grapeseed, sweet almond or vitamin E are all suitable choices
2-3 drops lavendar oil, optional
I like using the solid oil as it maintains the sugar crystals causing it to be more abrasive. Try both and see which you prefer.

*Mix together in a small bowl for single use.

Step 1: Remove any old polish

Step 2: File
Using a fine-grit emery board, shape the nail from the outside edge in towards the center. Do not saw back and forth as this weakens the nail. For the most flattering effect, the curve of the nail should mirror the base. Oval is the most common or a squared oval or “squoval”

Step 3: Groom
Prepare the nail for polish by removing the cuticle. That thin dead layer of skin that sticks to the nail. Do this by using a few drops of cuticle remover and gently push back the skin with a cuticle pusher or orange-wood stick. NEVER CUT THE CUTICLE! It’s easy to cut too much off and cause bleeding which can cause infection. Use the nippers to trim hangnails only.

Step 4: Scrub & Massage
Over a sink and while hands are dry, use all your sugar scrub and simply rub hands together all the way up to your elbows. Use the nail brush in the soapy water and lightly brush your nail beds and rinse hands and arms under warm, not hot water.

Use a large dollop of lotion and rub into hands and arms in a firm circular  movement until the lotion is absorbed.

Step 5: Prep

Use a cotton pad with nail polish remover to quickly remove any lotion from the nail or your polish won’t stick. Don’t skip the basecoat! It gives the polish something to stick to and protects the nail from discoloration, which is common when using a dark color. Most basecoats also contain ingredients such as vitamin E, protein and calcium to help nourish weak or peeling nails. A ridge-filling base coat has a creamy consistency and smooths grooves on the nail plate.

Step 6: Paint

Use thin layers for best adhesion and quicketst drying time. All you need are three swipes. Start an eight of an inch from the side of the nail and the base of the cuticle, then gently press down on the brush causing it to fan out and cover these areas. Repeat on the other side and finish with a swipe up the middle. Don’t forget to “cap” the edge by dragging the brush down on the final swipe. Don’t worry if it gets on your skin, you can clean it up later. Wait two minutes between coats.

Step 7: Protect

Use a topcoat over dry polish to give it extra long life. There are so many new types of top coats. Matte, crackle, super-strengthening and more you can give your nails a super cool look.

Now put a straw in your wine glass and relax while your nails dry. Tell your significant other that they have to set for a good hour, so you don’t have to do anything. I won’t tell.


About Cluttercafe

Wife to a great guy. Mom to two active, wonderful kids. Full time working woman trying to keep it all together.
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