Most of the time all you need is a standard manicure to provide yourself with beautiful fingernails. However, there are times when your nails need a little more pampering. This often occurs during the winter since while the cold weather saps moisture from your hands it also saps moisture from your nail beds and cuticles.
When your nail beds are brittle and your cuticles are dry you need to go beyond the standard manicure to give your fingernails the attention they deserve. This is when you pamper your hands with a hot oil manicure.
You can go to a salon to receive this treatment but it is much less expensive to pamper yourself at home.
A hot oil manicure is not much more involved than a regular manicure. It goes beyond the standard manicure by soaking your hands and fingernails in oil to soften your cuticles and fingernails.
For a hot oil manicure you will need all of the items you would need for a regular manicure; nail file, clippers, buffer, orangewood stick, nail polish remover, cotton balls, moisturizing hand lotion, as well as olive oil and a microwave safe bowl. The first thing you need to do is to remove all traces of any polish you may have on with the nail polish remover and cotton balls.
Next, you need to shape your fingernails. Use your clippers to bring your fingernails to a uniform length and the nail file to smooth out any rough edges. You can also use the file to shape your fingernails the way you like them. Once your nails are at the desired length and shape gently push back your cuticles with the orangewood stick. This makes your fingernails look nicer and will help stimulate your nails to grow longer. If you find that your cuticles are sticking to your nails, use a circular motion to push them back. This gentler and will be less likely to tear your cuticles. After your cuticles are pushed back, use the stick to clean under your nails.
Before move on to the hot oil treatment, use the buffer to smooth out the ridges on your fingernails. This will allow any fingernail polish you may use to go on smoother. While you could use any mineral or vegetable oil to soak your hands and fingernails, I prefer to use olive oil. I believe it smells better and does a better job at softening your skin and cuticles.
Pour at least two inches of olive oil into a microwave safe bowl. Heat the olive oil in the microwave for 45 seconds. If you feel that it is not warm enough heat in additional 15 second increments until it reaches the desired temperature.
Dip your fingers into the bowl and spread the olive oil all over your hands. This will allow your whole hand to receive the benefits of the olive oil soak. Place your fingertips back into the olive oil and soak until the olive oil cools off. You can reapply the olive oil to the rest of your hands every minute if you desire.
Once the olive oil cools off, remove your hands from the bowl, rinse off the oil with warm water, and pat your hands dry. Apply your hand moisturizer and give special attention to your cuticles. If you like the natural look, gently buff your nails to a shine and you are ready to go.
If you plan to use nail polish then you have just one more step before applying the polish. You need to make sure that you have removed all traces of the oil from your fingernails. Nail polish will not adhere properly if any oil remains. Use nail polish remover on a cotton ball to remove all traces of oil. Apply your favorite combination of base, color, and top coats of polish. Be sure to allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next layer. When you are finished, sit back and admire your beautifully manicured fingernails and smooth soft hands.