Man-icures: Nail Grooming for Men

Getting a manicure doesn't sound very macho. But the fact is doting on your fingers separates the guys from the gorillas. More and more men these days are getting hip to the importance of good nail grooming. And no, we don't mean anything related to polish or cute flower decals. Intrigued but don't want to go to a salon? Here's a step-by-step mistake-proof polish-free guide to doing it at home.


What you'll need

  • Nail clippers
  • Nail file
  • Three-way nail buffer
  • Cuticle pusher

    Step 1: Nail Clippers

    Trim the nails using a good quality nail clipper. This does not include your teeth. Trim only the tips of your nails and not the sides, so they look square. Cutting corners creates hangnails which defeats the whole purpose of the manly-icure. Note: If your nails are less than one-eighth of an inch long, use a file to shorten them.


    Step 2: Nail File

    Use a file to smooth out rough edges and round out the corners of your nails. This will give them a finished look and will allow them to grow out evenly. Note: File nails in one direction to guarantee a smooth finish, not back in forth.


    Step 3: Three-Way Nail Buffer

    Sounds sexy doesn't it? It's not really, but it's fun to do even though you'll never admit it. Start with the side labeled #1 (240 grit) to shape the top of your nail. Next, gently buff with side #2 (400 grit) to create a soft, matte luster. The third side will create a shine. This side will be used in the last step of your manly-icure.


    Step 4: Cuticle Pusher

    The cuticle is the outermost layer of skin that protrudes a short way above the nail surface. This can be pushed back to give nails a neat appearance. Moisturize your hands first with cream or cuticle cream to soften the cuticle. Then use the rounded end of your gadget to push cuticles back. Note: The cuticle area is the site where hangnails occur. No matter how tempting it is (and it is tempting), never pull a hangnail off. Doing so leaves the area open to infection.


    Step 5: Nail Buffer (again)

    Use the third side of your nail buffer to create a slight gloss to the nail bed. Think of it as a shoe shine for your nails. And don't think of a finished shine as "girly." Real men have shine.

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