They may seem small and insignificant to you at first, but your nails are actually an important part of a polished, professional look. But what if your nails aren't up to par and you can't quite figure out a way to take care of them that's both effective and not very time-consuming? If you're – guy or girl – looking for a few tips and tricks to keep your nails looking clean, healthy, and taken care of, then here's what you need to know.
Get the Right Tools
In order to take care of your nails, you'll need a few tools that are made to help you. A good set of nail clippers should be your first purchase; they'll run you around $10 but won't rip and tear your nails like the cheap $1 clippers will. You'll also want to pick up a pair of clippers designed specifically for your toenails; your toenails are a different shape and thickness than your fingernails, and the toenail clippers will account for that. Finally, you'll want an orange stick; this multitasker will aid both in cleaning under your nails and with pushing back your cuticles.
Clean and Moisturize
All of those tools mean nothing, however, if your canvas isn't clean and healthy to begin with. Begin by taking care to wash underneath your fingernails, whatever length they are. Use the pointed end of the orange stick (carefully!) to remove any stubborn dirt; you'll need to do this every few days in order to keep your nails clean.
After that, make sure to moisturize, using a hand cream or lotion that you like, so you'll be okay putting it on regularly. Make sure your cuticles are moisturized and they should slide right back when gently pushed by the broad end of the orange stick. For stubborn cuticles, soak them in warm water for 10 minutes, then push them back and finish with your lotion.
Watch Your Lines
When cutting your fingernails, it's important not to cut down too far, as it can make your fingers bleed and allow infections to begin under your nails. Luckily, you have a built-in guideline of where to cut. The white part of your nails designates where you should stop cutting, with any cuts underneath the white being designated by the term "cutting below the quick." Leave a small strip of this white on your toenails (which should be cut straight across) and your fingernails (if you don't choose to have them a bit longer) to keep your hands and feet both presentable and infection-free.
One you have these tools, you can also look for other products that may be good for you nails, such as organic nail polish. For more information, contact a local beauty supplies retailer.