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10 Steps to Do Your Own Manicure

Apply Cuticle Cream
The cream's the thing.
The cream's the thing.

Cuticles don't get the respect they deserve. They perform an important function: They create a barrier that protects your emerging, developing nails from infection. Your nails are exposed to damaging substances, heat and cold, friction and pressure. They can become brittle when you don't provide them with the proper nutrition, like a diet rich in protein and iron. They deserve a good start in life, and that's what your cuticles give them.

To keep your nails looking good, keep your cuticles healthy and in shape. Cuticle creams soften and revitalize cuticle tissue, keeping it soft but snug around the nail. This helps seal out bacteria. A good nail cream contains moisturizers that keep the cuticle supple, and humectants like alpha hydroxy acid that help cuticle tissues retain moisture. Apply cuticle cream or oil to your nails regularly, especially before you give yourself a manicure. If you don't have cuticle cream, use olive oil.