The hands have it

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 April, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 April, 2011, 12:00am


Even though it is almost impossible to function without them, we often forget to take proper care of our hands.

Your hands say a lot about you as a person. No matter how well dressed you are, chapped hands and rough cuticles give a bad impression. They make you look shabby and untidy.

While most of us can't afford a weekly professional manicure, that's no excuse to neglect our hands - even the guys.

Learning how to give yourself a manicure at home will help your hands look groomed without spending your entire monthly allowance.

Things you will need

For everyone

A nail file or emery board

A bowl of warm water with a few drops of olive oil added

Hand cream

Hand scrub (see below for recipe)

Cuticle stick

Optional extras for girls

Nail polish remover and cotton wool

Base coat

Nail polish

Top coat

Cotton wool buds

1 Girls, clear any polish with remover-soaked cotton wool.

2 Guys and gals: file your nails in one direction with the nail file or emery board, until you achieve the desired length.

3 Soak your hands in the bowl of warm water and olive oil for five minutes.

4 Rub some hand cream onto the cuticle area of your nails. Take a cuticle stick and gently push back the cuticles.

5 Next apply a dollop of hand scrub and rub all over your hands. This will get rid of any rough or dry skin.

6 Wash the scrub off with warm water, dry your hands and then rub hand cream all over. Boys, you're now done ... how easy was that?

7 Girls: once your hand cream has been absorbed, apply a layer of base coat to your fingernails. Then apply your choice of nail colour, first running the polish down the centre of the nail and then apply on either side. Don't worry if the polish goes on your cuticles or skin: just dip a cotton wool bud in nail polish remover and gently wipe the excess away.

8 Once your polish has dried, you can either apply another layer, or add a layer of top coat to prevent your nail polish from chipping.

Tip for seriously chapped hands

Our hands contain very few oil glands so they tend to get dry really easily. For seriously chapped hands, rub on lots of hand cream or Vaseline and wrap your hands in cling film for half an hour. To maintain baby softness, you will need to moisturise your hands at least four times a day.

Homemade lemon and oatmeal hand scrub

(Enough for two applications)

4 tablespoons of oatmeal

1/2 cup water

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Mix oatmeal and water together and wait for 20 minutes or until the oatmeal becomes soft. Add the olive oil and lemon juice to the oatmeal and mix thoroughly. Spoon half of the mixture into a Tupperware box and store in the fridge (it will keep for a week). Apply the rest to your hands and rub in everywhere, including the back of your hands and between your fingers, to get rid of any dead skin.