You know what's better than the fanciest manicure?
The manicure that actually happens.
This manicure is more than trimming your nails, but far less than a pricey, fume-filled visit to a nail salon. I love colorful polish, smooth hands, and the occasional bit of nail art. However.
Life as a mom means salon visits can tumble down my priority list. But I don't give up on #selfcare.
If you can find time to be alone and present and really focus only on taking care of your hands and nails, then this manicure feels lavish.
It's a three-step manicure that works for men and for women.
Trim or shape your nails.
Right now I'm in a phase where I like my nails to be super short, so I trim the tips off completely. But for this step you can maintain whatever shape you like with a file or nail clippers.
Exfoliate with something from around the house: table sugar.
If you're traveling, snag an extra packet from a coffee shop.
Place a pump of liquid hand soap in your palm. Then, over a sink, pour the contents of the sugar packet into the soap, and mix it up. Rub the mixture all over your hands for one minute. Then rinse your hands well.
They should feel smooth and polished.
Moisturize your newly-softened hands.
My favorite moisturizer was discontinued so I can't recommend it anymore. Currently I am using grape seed oil as a moisturizer. I purchased it from a grocery store, but if I wanted to order some via Amazon, I might try out this version.
My main recommendation regarding moisturizers is to choose things with short, simple (no surprise there) ingredient lists. Things that go on your skin are absorbed into your bloodstream. When in doubt, use something you could eat. That's why I love to use food oils like grape seed oil, coconut oil, and olive oil in my hair and skin care.
Don't trust marketing; look at the ingredients listing. Something for "babies" or "sensitive skin" can still have harmful chemicals because regulations in the US are quite loose when it comes to skincare products. I also like to check products against EWG's SkinDeep Cosmetics Database. I don't use it religiously, but more as an educational guide.
Here's where I'll get a little woo.
Send your hands gratitude as you do this manicure, and especially during this final step.
Your hands do so much for you. Think of all the different things they help you do each and every day. They really do deserve to be taken care of.
Tell them thank you and imagine sending them healing, loving energy as you massage in your moisturizer.
This quick, simple manicure, done with presence and care, can be revitalizing and luxurious.
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