How to apply cuticle art

How to apply cuticle art

As a lady, you’re aware that getting your nails done is for proper hygiene and maintaining your cuticles.

In today’s article, you will know how to use cuticle oil like a professional every time you apply some.

How to Apply Cuticle Oil?

One of the great ways to always keep your nails looking clean and healthy is by using cuticle oil. Application is easy, and here is a simple step-by-step guide in applying cuticle oil.

· Step 1: Apply oil to nails

It usually starts by applying oil to the nails on your hands. You can either roll it, brush, or drop, depending on whatever makes you comfortable. Just focus on one hand at a time and squeeze the oil onto each of your nails. Remember that a little oil will always go a long way, so a small amount still works.

· Step 2: Massage oil into cuticles

Take time to massage the oil gently into your cuticles. Ensure to massage it into the sides of the nails and the skin surrounding it. This will help induce blood circulation. With this, you can use oil before going to bed once you have already pushed back your cuticles.

You have to prevent applying the oil before painting your nails or getting a manicure. Just wait until the application of cuticle oil is done.

· Step 3: Hold dropper about 2 inches from your nail

If you’re using a dropper to distribute the oil, hold it at least 2 inches away from the nail. You may also use some other types to dispense the cuticle oil if you want, like a brush or perhaps a roller to carefully dispense the oil.

· Step 4: Re-apply oil every two to three hours

Now that you’re done with the oil application, re-apply it every two to three hours. This is enough time for the oil to absorb and dry completely. Or, if you want, you can reapply as often as you need to.

How Often Should You Use Cuticle Oil?

Cuticle oil is a kind of oil specially blended to apply directly to nails, cuticles, and the skin around the nails to always keep them moisturized and well-nourished. Yes, it’s important that you consistently use cuticle oil, but you must know how often.

So how often should you use cuticle oil? Experts recommend applying cuticle oil at least three times a day. However, if you have a worn-out or damaged cuticle, you can just apply the cuticle oil every time you get to wash your hands. This is to prevent irritation and prevent worsening the situation. Here are the best times to use cuticle oil.

· Mornings (When doing your Make-up)

Applying cuticle oils when you’re doing your make-up for work in the morning will help hydrate and moisturize your cuticles for the whole day. Just make it a part of your make-up routine, so it becomes a consistent habit.

· After lunch (Midday)

Even if you’re done applying cuticle oil in the morning, most of the cuticle oil would be removed, especially when washing your hands. You just have to re-apply some cuticle oil after taking your lunch or after you’ve washed your hands from eating your midday meal.

· Evening (Before going to sleep)

Before you go to bed, always apply a coat of cuticle oil to your nails and cuticle to keep them hydrated overnight. You may wear moisturizing gloves as well to ensure that the cuticle oil is absorbed fully into your skin.

How Long Do You Leave Cuticle Oil On?

Once you’re done applying cuticle oil on each of your nails, there is no such time as to how long it is recommended to stay on your nails. In fact, it takes 2 to 3 hours to completely absorb and dry the cuticle oil. You may also re-apply whenever you need or want to.

Do You Put Cuticle Oil on Before or After Nail Polish?

There are so many instances when you can put cuticle oil. Polish or no polish, your nails would benefit from every drop of hydration the cuticle oil brings. However, if you’re attending an event and want to make your fingers look better and presentable, then apply a small amount to make your nails look healthy with a little shine.

But if you want to apply it before you get a manicure, just make sure that you have your nails wiped clean using alcohol or a nail polish remover.

Do You Let Cuticle Oil Dry?

This is a common question that most girls ask me if it is okay to let the cuticle oil dry. Actually, yes. You can let the cuticle oil dry once you apply it. And you should know that whenever your cuticles appear dry, you can still re-apply cuticle oil again. The goal here is for the cuticle oil to thoroughly absorb. Otherwise, it will not be beneficial.


For years, it has always been a part of every woman’s beauty and skincare routine to include cleaning nails. We always want those fancy-looking fingers to make a statement. That said, a little droplet of oil could help add an extra day or two for your beautiful nails. Cuticle oil is often overlooked but make it a habit when it comes to the overall health and looks of your nails.

I hope this article has helped you know more and understand how to use cuticle oil. Just make it a habit, and you will see great results as long as you’re consistent. Go get’em, girl!

How to apply cuticle art

Hi, I’m Regina

After spending more than 7 years in the nail industry as a nail tech, I wanted to share my knowledge with other women who want to make a statement with their nails and nail polish. I'm part of the team here at PrettyPleaseNailPolish. Welcome and Cheers to Awesome Nails!


How to apply cuticle art

How to apply cuticle art

How to apply cuticle art

How to apply cuticle art

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The key to giving yourself a salon-worthy manicure at home isn’t only about how neatly you can spread your polish. It actually starts with proper cuticle care. Taking care of your cuticles, says manicurist and hand model Christina Grant, sets the foundation for a great manicure. It shapes the nail and allows for a smooth polish application. And the secret to healthy-looking cuticles? Cuticle remover. It helps break down excess tissue that could ruin your mani’s aesthetic.

Before you tend to your cuticles, it’s essential to understand what cuticles really are. “The cuticle is dead, often sticky tissue that is attached to the nail plate and forms a seal between your nail and living skin,” says licensed manicurist Kelley Baker of The Nail Executive in San Francisco. “Cuticles help prevent bacteria from entering living tissue.”

The tricky part is that cuticles are often confused with the healthy living skin at the base of the nail. Going crazy with the cuticle remover can lead to damaging the living tissue.

Ready to give cuticle remover a go? Keep reading for the step-by-step breakdown on how to use cuticle remover, plus product recommendations and cuticle care dos and don’ts.

How to use cuticle remover correctly

1. Identify the cuticle

Since cuticle care is a delicate art, Baker recommends familiarizing yourself with the basic anatomy of a nail so that you can properly distinguish between the cuticle and healthy living skin next to it. “This can be tricky,” Baker says. “Even some professional nail techs have trouble making this important distinction. Refer to a nail anatomy diagram to ensure you know what you’re looking at.”

2. Apply remover to the cuticle

Not all cuticle removers are the same, so thoroughly read the product’s instructions first to avoid irritation. “Many cuticle removers contain high-pH chemicals like sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide that can irritate your skin, so you’ll want to avoid getting this on your skin and leaving it on too long,” Baker says.

Once you’re familiar with the instructions, you can apply the cuticle remover. Grant recommends beginning with a tiny amount. “The amount of remover used will vary because some cuticles need more love than others,” Grant says, adding that applying about the size of a peppercorn is sufficient in most cases, but again refer to the product’s instructions for best practices. You can use an orangewood stick to spread the remover and loosen the cuticle carefully.

3. Let the cuticle remover sit

Next, allow the cuticle remover to sit according to the instructions (usually ranges from a few seconds to five minutes).

4. Push the cuticles back, carefully

Use a cuticle pusher or an orangewood stick to push your cuticles back gently in one fluid motion. (Notice,we said push, not trim. Nail pros generally don’t recommend cutting your cuticles because it’s too easy to damage the living tissue.) “Each time you push back, be sure to lift the pusher so as to not drag it across the nail plate,” Grant says. “This can be damaging, and we don’t want that.”

Watch a professional nail technician gently push back the cuticles in the video below.

5. Wipe off excess cuticle remover

If there’s any cuticle remover residue, wipe it and any lingering dead skin cells off with a cotton pad. Both Baker and Grant recommend using a buffer for those last bits of remaining cuticle tissue. Then wash any leftover product off of your hands.

6. Finish up your mani

You’re all done with cuticle care, so you can proceed to add polish or rock a bare, clean nail.

4 best pro-recommended cuticle removers

1. CND Cuticle EraserHow to apply cuticle art

Baker is a fan of this cuticle remover because it uses alpha hydroxy acids to chemically exfoliate the cuticle tissue instead of potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide. “It takes a bit longer to work than traditional cuticle removers, so it’s important to be patient and follow the manufacturer’s instructions,” she says.

2. Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover, $20How to apply cuticle art

Grant favors this cuticle remover by Deborah Lippmann for loosening and softening dead cuticles. “It’s soft but powerful at the same time,” she says.

3. Blue Cross Cuticle Remover, $6

How to apply cuticle artAccording to Grant, you can’t go wrong with this cuticle remover by Blue Cross. It’s the type you’ll often see in many nail salons and is a bit thinner and more gentle than other formulations.

4. Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover, $7

How to apply cuticle art Working in just 15 seconds, this fast-acting remover is excellent for quickie manicures. Plus, it’s wallet-friendly too. “This is the best budget cuticle remover,” Grant says. “It gets the job done for half the price.”

Cuticle care dos and don’ts

  • Hydrate your cuticles: Like all skin, cuticles require hydration. Grant recommends applying cuticle oil religiously to keep your cuticles strong and healthy.
  • Be gentle: “The area around your cuticle should be handled with care,” Baker says. “Avoid aggressive filing in this area, jabbing, or prodding beneath your skin.”
  • Apply cuticle remover only to cuticles: Remember that cuticle remover should not be applied to the living skin around the cuticle.
  • Pick your cuticles: Like with pimples, picking cuticles is a big no-no. That also includes not tearing off hangnails or picking at your polish, especially gel polish. Picking can damage the nail plate.
  • Cut too much: Resist the urge to cut your cuticles. “The skin around your cuticle is very delicate and protects the area where new nail cells are formed,” Baker says. “It’s not a good idea to remove too much of this important tissue.” Instead, Grant recommends pushing them back and only trimming when absolutely necessary.

For more at-home mani inspo, watch registered dietitian Maya Feller walk you through her self-care nail routine, below.

Oh hi! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts for cult-fave wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content. Sign up for Well+, our online community of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards instantly.

When you are not applying any nail polish on your nail you still have to some basic maintenance like REMOVING CUTICLE and you actually can do it your own. Here I will share with you some steps to remove the cuticle at home using cuticle oil instead of CUTICLE SOFTENER.

How to apply cuticle art


Apply cuticle oil on to the nail area with cuticle and massage the nail.

ATTENTION: ONLY pushing those cuticle overlay on your nail plate. AVOID pushing the eponychium because it acts as a barrier seal to stop bacteria, infection from getting to the matrix.

Use your cuticle clipper to cut the extra cuticle. CAUTION: Cut carefully!

Done! But don’t forget to apply your nail strengthener on daily basis!

Now you have a nice pair of hand even though you did not put on any nail polish!

How to apply cuticle art

Evelyn Lim is a nail expert with more than 18 years of experience. She currently serves as the chief educator of Paintbox, a top nail studio in NYC.


Caroline Tompkins / Refinery29 for Getty Images / Getty Images

In This Article

Have you ever watched what the pros actually do to your nails when you’re sitting in the salon? As much as you’re probably too busy concentrating on scrolling through Instagram and replying to emails on your phone with one hand, it’s hard not to stare when you can’t move without messing up your mani. But your desire to get back to your phone is also why you’ve probably missed the fabulous finale when they apply the cuticle oil. You know, the bit you always skip when you DIY it?

Now, what if we told you that little droplet of oil could add an extra day or two to your fancy looking fingers? Now we've piqued your interest. As well as moisturizing peeling, scuffed cuticles back to good health, cuticle oil forms an extra barrier on top to protect your polish. So if you do knock your nails when they’re not completely dry, the rogue offender will slip away rather than catch and smudge your otherwise perfect-looking tips. But, exactly what is cuticle oil and what does it do? We talked to nail experts Michelle Saunders and Sonia Hully to get the details.

Keep reading to find out exactly how to use cuticle oil and the benefits it has on your nails.

Meet the Expert

    is a celebrity manicurist and founder of Saunders and James. is the founder of Nailberry, a brand focused on promoting healthier nails with a pop of color.

How to apply cuticle art

What Is Cuticle Oil?

"Cuticle oil is usually composed of a fruit or nut oil—olive, apricot, almond, avocado, coconut—specifically applied to cuticles (skin surrounding fingernails)," says celebrity manicurist Michelle Saunders. She explains that cuticle oil is meant to help nourish the both the cuticle and nails. "Sometimes I recommend soaking the tips of the fingers in pure avocado oil, especially if your nails are brittle and chipping," she adds.

How to apply cuticle art

The Benefits of Cuticle Oil

Cuticle oils contain a combination of ingredients that will toughen up weak and vulnerable nail plates at the same time. “Look for oils rich in nutrients that quickly absorb into the skin. Sweet almond oil is really reparative and doesn’t have a greasy feel, and vitamins A, E, B1, B2, and B6 are great hydrators,” says Sonia Hully, founder of Nailberry.

It also helps solve issues relating to dry skin around the nails by immediately offering hydration by absorbing into the cuticles. "It keeps the skin and nails supple, which then prevents hangnails and nail breakage," says Saunders.

How to apply cuticle art

How to Apply Cuticle Oil

So, how do you apply cuticle oil? "There are several different applicators that cuticle oil can come with," Saunders says. "It's ideally applied to each cuticle on each finger and rubbed in, and is recommended after each hand washing but could also be applied as often as you like." As a bonus, she adds that moisturized cuticles will help prevent you from picking or biting any loose skin around nails.

How to apply cuticle art

When to Use Cuticle Oil

Naked nails will love a drop of the good stuff, too. And in a dream world, you’d rub some in every time you washed your hands to stop them drying out. You can also use it pre-painting your nails, but make sure it’s been thoroughly absorbed, otherwise, your polish won’t adhere properly. "Anytime your cuticles appear dry, you can apply cuticle oil to them," says Saunders.

Apply cuticle oil before bedtime and leave it on overnight so it can fully absorb into the cuticles.

Shop Our Fave Cuticle Oils

Below, more cuticle oils we swear by.

How to apply cuticle art

A favorite of Saunders', this cuticle oil contains cotton seed and soy bean oil to hydrate your cuticles and nails. She loves the easy application of the paint brush.

How to apply cuticle art

Like dynamite for your digits, we haven’t seen a pro without this on their person, even if they’re aligned to another brand. Jojoba, sweet almond oil, and rice bran oil make up its cuticle-softening superpowers.

How to apply cuticle art

Not only does this cuticle oil help promote stronger nails and cuticles, it's also another one of Saunders' top picks. "It's good to keep in your purse or car," she says.

How to apply cuticle art

The beauty of this is how mess-free it is. Twist the end and a tiny globule of oil will appear through the brush so you can just swipe it on over cuticles. No spillage, an on-the-go essential.

How to apply cuticle art

This roller-ball applicator cuticle oil is incredibly easy to apply. Beyond that, though, their use of high-quality oils like argan, hemp, and pomegranate oil ensures your cuticles and nails stay hydrated and damage-free.

I’m a newbie. How can I lay acrylic on a nail without it going onto my client’s cuticle?


Practice is the key. Use a practice finger with a tip on it to perfect the art of applying the acrylic ball at the cuticle. Usually the suggested ration of this ball makes it a little wetter (check you particular manufacturer’s instructions) and the ball should be smaller if you are sculpting or tipping with a three-ball method. It is important that you lay the acrylic down at the cuticle—not on the cuticle—as this will cause overexposure and lifting—not to mention discomfort for your client while you remove the excess product from her skin.

Using the tip of your brush, lightly touch the back edge of the acrylic ball at the center at approximately a 45-degree angle. Press, pull, or pat (again depending on your manufacturer’s instructions) through the center of the ball. Then, repeat this action on the left and right side of the acrylic ball. This will ensure a thin application at the cuticle to establish a tight yet flexible bond to the nail. It will also create a softer-looking outgrowth between the natural nail and acrylic product, which will please your client between appointments.

First, be sure to read your manufacturer’s instructions carefully, as every company has its own directions and recommends different liquid-to-powder ratios. The ball you place at the cuticle area should be much smaller than the balls you place on the stress and nail bed areas. Until you get your technique down, I suggest that you use an orangewood stick to lightly swipe around the cuticle area immediately after placing the product. This will give you the right amount of distance between the product and the cuticle. Check with your local distributors to see if it offers classes, or call the company that makes the product you’re using to see if it offers a video on the application.

How to apply cuticle art

A solid stockpile of nail products isn’t something you just acquire immediately. Over time, your collection of must-have nail polishes grows, along with your array of nail art necessities (i.e. alllll the rhinestone adhesives) and manicure tools . But then there are those nail products that we might need a little more convincing to add to our nail collection, like cuticle oil . For some, it might seem like something you’ll probably be just fine without. But for others, like celebrity nail artists, cuticle oil just isn’t something you should skip out on. Learn more about why you need cuticle oil in your stash below.

The Benefits of Applying Cuticle Oil

“Cuticle oil is a product used to keep nails and cuticles hydrated as is especially important during cold and dry winter months,” says celebrity nail artist Mazz Hanna . “By keeping your cuticles hydrated, it creates a healthy environment for nail growth and can also strengthen your nails. Also, let’s be honest, hydrated cuticles just look better!”

How and When to Apply Cuticle Oil

Hanna recommends applying cuticle oil before bed. Massage your formula into your cuticles and the surrounding area. This gives the product time to sink in and work its magic overnight. To ensure your cuticles are fully hydrated and healthy, apply cuticle oil after washing your hands throughout the day, too. You can even keep a small bottle in your purse.

I love cuticle oil. Whether it's right after a manicure or in between manicures, it gives your fingers a really nice shine. It moisturizes your cuticles, and it refreshes your old manicure, if there's no chipping.

I always recommend using a dropper for. I always recommend requesting or looking for your salon to have one with a dropper to avoid it touching your skin and knowing that it hasn't touched anyone else's. For your own personal use, you can use one with a brush. I also recommend that you carry one in your bag because it refreshes your manicure, as I said before. It's easier for you to apply, and then moisturize and push it back in to your cuticles. Whether you're in a cab or on the train or on the bus.

A good quality cuticle oil will literally saturate your skin around your nail, saturate the cuticles, and start to moisturize them, and give it a nice shine. It makes it look like magic. You'll see the dry skin just disappear. It should last maybe about a good two to three hours. After a hand wash, washing your hands and going to the bathroom, it should still last after that.

I recommend that you take the fingers after a manicure, after you've soaked the nails, pushed back the cuticles, shaped it, right before you apply the polish. You take the cuticle remover, this is if you're at home, and you put it with a brush around the cuticle. Go to all ten fingers.

When you come back, you take it and moisturize, and literally give yourfinger a mini massage. Push your cuticles back so that your skin has an opportunity to absorb the cuticle oil. Especially the skin around your fingers because that's where it dries out the most, especially winter time. After you've done that, you take a cotton ball with alcohol or you take an alcohol swab. You just remove the excess oil on the nail bed. This way your nail polish will adhere to your nail. Try to avoid taking the polish remover or the alcohol and getting it close to the cuticle area. You don't want to remove the cuticle oil that you just put on.

Remember, if you're in a salon it should be a dropper. They should drop it on your finger. This way the dropper doesn't touch your nail or your skin. Then ask them to take a couple of seconds and massage it into your finger.

If you're on the bus, in a cab, or at home, and you notice that your cuticles are dry, especially if you're using a harsh hand soaps at you workplace, I always recommend keeping one in your bag. They actually come in rollers, too, to avoid spilling.

You can drop it on. Right around your nail polish. It will not harm your nail polish. It actually makes your old manicure look great. Then massage it straight into your skin. The same way you would if it was right after a manicure. You push it back, and it looks great.

How to apply cuticle art

Without regular care, your cuticles can become dry and damaged, which means your nails will be too! Applying cuticle oil helps repair torn cuticles, encourage nail growth, soften and condition the nail cuticle and promote stronger nails to protect your hands from the elements out there.

We’re so obsessed with our magic formula, we’ve ensured there are three ways to use it, which one will you choose?

How to apply cuticle art

OPI Cuticle Oil is an ultra-nourishing formula designed to help strengthen weak and vulnerable nail plates at the same time. Easy to use and perfect for adding some extra self-care to your beauty routine, apply around the edges of the nails when you’re taking some me-time. The ultra-nourishing cupuaçu butter will help restore moisture balance.

How to apply cuticle art

Want to apply Cuticle Oil like a pro? Try our easy to use dropper on each hand to help protect and replenish your nail. The fast-absorbing formula conditions cuticles and can be applied as often as you like.

How to apply cuticle art

Always running around? Keeping your cuticles hydrated will also keep them healthy, so we made our Cuticle Oil in a leak proof tube to use on-the-go. The combination of lightweight grape seed, sesame, kukui, sunflower & cupuaçu oils provides the ultimate in moisture. 9 out of 10 women we asked said cuticles felt softer, smoother, and healthier with one week of daily use of the Nail & Cuticle Oil To Go.

Tag us in your nailfies @OPI for the chance to be featured, and if you’re really #OPIObsessed sign up for emails to be the first to know about new collections and exclusive events.

How to apply cuticle art

By pfisk3 Follow

How to apply cuticle art

Jamberry Nail Wraps are a fun way to express yourself through nail art like never before! They last way longer than nail polish, and won’t chip! So let’s get started applying some beautiful “Jamicures!”

Step 1: Things You Need

-nail wrap
-heat source (Jamberry Mini Heater or hair dryer both work very nice!)
-cuticle stick or rubber cuticle pusher
-nail file
-nail scissors
-hand soap/ blue Dawn dish soap (not pictured)
-acetone/ rubbing alcohol
-cotton pad/ wipe/ ball or swab

-plastic bag
-nail buffer
-nail clippers

Step 2: Prep Your Nails

First things first, you want to make sure your nails are free from oils and that your cuticles are pushed back. I begin this by washing my hands with blue Dawn soap. I then use a rubber cuticle pusher to push my cuticles back. Finally, I swipe my nail with acetone to make sure it’s as clean as possible. You may optionally buff your nail before swiping with acetone, if you have ridges on your nails.

Step 3: Find Your Size

Next, utilizing the clear backing on the wraps, find the correct size for your finger. It’s better for the wrap to be too small than too big. If it’s too big then it won’t adhere to the nail properly, as it could touch cuticle or skin.

Step 4: Cut, Heat and Apply

Using the orange stick, peel back the wrap an cut it half with the cuticle scissors. Then, either with the orange stick or tweezers, hold the wrap in from of your heat source for 3-5 seconds. Lastly, apply the wrap to the nail.

Step 5: Press, Heat, Repeat

All you’re going to do in this step is apply pressure, and heat the wrap until you can visually tell there are no gaps, ridges or bubbles. If you want more evenly distributed heat, you can wrap the plastic bag around your nails and hold it tightly while placing it front of your heat source.

Step 6: Neaten Up and Finish

After you’ve applied enough heat and pressure, you can trim off the excess wrap. Allow time for it to cool, then file gently downwards at a 90 degree angle to remove the little bit of excess wrap. Once this is done you can leave as is or apply a topcoat of your choice.

How to apply cuticle art

Moisturizing, softening, it treats nails and cuticles, which play a major role, while protecting them. To keep the whole in good health, we feed them and massage them several times a week. How to choose the right care for nails and cuticles with our advice.

The 3 actions of nail and cuticle care

It is nourishing : this type of care contains lipids (oil, butter, wax), in order to hydrate these areas which dry out very easily. In addition, these fatty substances will isolate them from the water, which tends to soften them. Certain oils are particularly recommended for the nails: those of olive, argan or castor.

It softens small skin : by moisturizing the periphery of the nail, this treatment softens the cuticles. This is what then allows them to gently push them back. If we have too many or they are recalcitrant, we must opt ​​for other solutions. You can either do a light exfoliation with little abrasive grains, or use a product containing fruit acids (or another keratolytic active), which more easily removes these small skins. Be careful not to overdo it: once a week at most!

It strengthens the structure of the nail : like the hair, the nail is made up of keratin.
However, nothing better than fats and vitamin E to strengthen it.
Castor oil (which also works wonders on eyelashes) is known to strengthen the nail and stimulate its growth.
It is often found in this type of treatment.

When to apply it?

In the evening at bedtime in small quantities (because it is oily), massaging the contour of the nail and the nail itself.

How to deal with the cuticles?

The cuticles are these small skins that line the base of the nail. They protect it, by preventing germs from getting inside. We push them gently after the shower, or we do a finger bath in lukewarm water. We proceed with a boxwood stick covered with cotton or a special rubber tip.

Can we cut the cuticles?
No, because the cuticles protect the nail. By cutting them, we risk thickening them, and cutting ourselves. Only manicurists can do this without a problem.

If you’re new to the nail community you might not realize how important cuticle oil and cuticle moisturizers are to nail health. Or maybe you’re a veteran, but you just can’t make time to care for your cuticles. With winter approaching quickly, it’s important that you start to moisturize your nails daily. There are more nail care mistakes you’re probably making as well, but this will focus on how to care for your cuticles and nails.

Updated August 22, 2021

This post contains affiliate links for products that I personally use or believe you will love based on quality. If you click on a link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you). This helps support my rainbow to continue to make great content for you!

There are a few different ways you can care for your cuticles; not one being better than the other. It all comes down to personal preference. There’s cuticle oil, cream, and you can simply use hand lotion as well. The typical ingredients in theses cuticle products are vitamin E, jojoba (pronounced hohoba) oil, and various other nutrients that absorb into the skin. Some even contain fragrances in the form of essential oils.

Why care for your cuticles?

Hangnails/dry skin

The only way to prevent hangnails is to prevent the source of them, which is dry skin. And you may have seen this coming already, but the only way to cure dry skin is to moisturize. The small molecules of oil easily penetrate and get trapped in the skin. This will shrink and tighten the cuticle skin to help prevent hangnails. Jojoba oil is a particularly important oil as it mimics the skin’s natural oil making it feel less “greasy” than others.

Getting into a habit of using products to care for your cuticles will keep your skin soft. Minnesota winters are the absolute worst, but despite where you live you can always use some extra moisture.

Nail growth

If you struggle with slow growing nails, you’ll be happy to hear that the more you moisturize your nails the faster they will grow! The nutrients that hydrate the cuticle skin also promotes growth. Vitamin E has antioxidant properties and jojoba oil contains other micro nutrients such as zinc and chromium. Moisturized nails will be less brittle and dry allowing for flexibility of the nail itself. This will lead to less breakage and you’ll be able to achieve the length you desire.

However, the trick when it comes to nail growth is consistency. Using products like this to care for your cuticles does work, but you won’t see results overnight. Consistent use every day for a couple weeks and you’ll start to see longer, stronger, and healthier nails.

Cosmetic benefits

When it comes down to it, having healthy looking nails makes for great photos. Dry, cracked, and peeling nails don’t look pretty and are difficult to paint over. If you take the time to moisturize your nails daily, you’ll never have to worry about bad nailfies ever again.

You’ll also find that cuticle oils actually rehydrate the nail polish itself. As soon as you paint your nails, the solvents within the nail polish start to evaporate. If enough of the solvents disappear, the nail polish will start to chip and crack. Cuticle oil will keep the polish pliable and therefore last longer!

Top Products

Best drug store/budget product. Sally Hansen never disappoints. This was the first cuticle oil I ever tried and there’s a reason I continue to use it. It is incredibly moisturizing and I’ve actually seen results with it. How to apply cuticle art

Best 2020 product: CND is a well known brand and their cuticle oil was the winner of a 2020 InStyle Best Beauty Buys award! It is a favorite among professional nail stylists as well as the at home DIY nail enthusiast to care for your cuticles.

Best budget cuticle cream product. Burt’s Bees is also a product line known for quality at a great price. This company doesn’t make an oil, but a moisturizing cream! It has an incredible soothing lemon smell. If you find you don’t like the oily feeling, a cream is a great alternative without losing any benefits. The jar is also much smaller than a bottle of oil making it easier for on the go.

Best USDA organic product. RejuveNaturals cuticle oil is a USDA certified organic cuticle oil. It includes jojoba oil and olive oil among other oils and natural fragrances.

When in doubt, a hand cream/lotion will work as well. Your hand skin is no different than your cuticles and requires the same nutrients/hydration. If buying new products aren’t in the budget, find what you have and use it. I always say something is better than nothing and that is definitely true for your cuticles.

How to apply cuticle art

PRO TIP: Make sure you thoroughly prep nails to ensure adhesion & long-lasting wear! Push back cuticles, create a rough texture on the nail plate by filing, and sanitize thoroughly.

Step 2A

How to apply cuticle art

How to apply cuticle artHow to apply cuticle artHow to apply cuticle artHow to apply cuticle art

  • Paint a thin coat of Step 2 Base and load a small fluffy brush with powder by dipping into color powder of choice

PRO TIP: Avoid getting the product onto cuticles, powder will pick up wherever Base if applied

Step 2B

How to apply cuticle art

How to apply cuticle artHow to apply cuticle art

  • Repeat to fill in the rest of the nail with the other color powders of choice
  • Tap finger to rid of loose powder in between nails
Step 3

How to apply cuticle art

  • Make sure to thoroughly swipe each nail to remove loose powder
Step 4

How to apply cuticle art

How to apply cuticle artHow to apply cuticle art

  • Repeat for more coverage

PRO TIP: Brushes may harden or pick up color powder during application. Simply switch them between Brush Softener for easy cleaning & workability.

Step 5

How to apply cuticle art

How to apply cuticle artHow to apply cuticle artHow to apply cuticle artHow to apply cuticle art

  • Paint a thin coat of Step 2 Base, then immediately dip into Base & Finish
  • Tap off loose powder and brush off excess
Step 6

How to apply cuticle art

  • Apply a coat of Step 3 Activator to harden the blend of powder & liquid
  • Allow two minutes for Activator to dry completely
Step 7

How to apply cuticle art

How to apply cuticle artHow to apply cuticle art

  • When the blend of powder and liquid has hardened, file nails to the desired shape
  • Use our coarse grit buffer to even out the preferred thickness of the nails, then use the 240 grit buffer to smooth the nail surface
Step 8

How to apply cuticle art

  • Wash hands and nails thoroughly or wipe with alcohol
Step 9

How to apply cuticle art

  • Apply a coat of Activator to harden the blend of powder & liquid
  • Apply another coat of Activator and allow 3-4 minutes for Activator to completely dry
Step 10

How to apply cuticle art

  • Apply a coat of Sealer in quick thin strokes
  • Allow 3 minutes for nails to dry
Step 11

How to apply cuticle art

  • Apply a coat of Sealer in quick thin strokes
  • Allow 3 minutes for nails to dry
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How to apply cuticle art

Protect your clients and their health with our guide to properly identifying and working with cuticles.

The most common misconception when it comes to cuticles is: What exactly is the cuticle? You may think you know, but guess again; many nail technicians identify the wrong part of the nail when talking about the cuticle. To help, take our quick lesson in nail anatomy and refer to our diagram to follow along. You’ll see three very important parts: the nail matrix, eponychium and cuticle.

First, identify the nail matrix: This is the small area of living tissue below the eponychium that creates nail cells. The main job of the eponychium is to protect the nail matrix from anything that could infect it. But it’s differing between the eponychium and the cuticle that confuses many nail technicians. According to Doug Schoon, CND chief scientific advisor and author of Nail Structure and Product Chemistry , the eponychium is the area of living skin that borders the base of the nail plate. This is easily confused with the cuticle, which is actually the non-living tissue that adheres to the nail plate. Schoon writes that the cuticle sheds from the underside of the eponychium, so the two may seem like the same thing, but take note—they’re definitely not! During a manicure, you can push back the eponychium to expose and remove the cuticle, but do not place any instrument underneath the nail fold itself. This can lead to injury and infection.

How to apply cuticle art

Cuticle care is an important element to any nail service, but it can only be helpful if it’s done right. Keep reading to learn what a nail tech should do to perform correct cuticle care.

Step It Up

How to Properly Remove a Cuticle

1. After you have removed nail polish or product from the nails, begin prepping the nails by applying cuticle remover and then soaking hands in warm water mixed with a soak to soften skin and cuticles. After a few minutes, remove hands and dry them with a clean towel.

2. Choose your tool:

You can either use a metal cuticle pusher with a spoon shape, which is more efficient and easier to use, or an orangewood stick. In states that don’t allow metals implements, your best bet is the orangewood stick—it’s a classic!

3. Keep a Firm Grip:

Hold your tool the same way you would hold a pencil; keep your grip light but firm. Place the edge of the tool against the eponychium and gently press against it. The eponychium should slide back, exposing the cuticle. Repeat these steps on other nails. If you are using a pusher, make sure that you dull any rough or sharp edges with a nail file before pushing the cuticle.

4. Now that the cuticle is exposed, you can remove the non-living tissue from the nail plate. If you’re applying enhancements, any remaining cuticle will interfere with the adhesion of the product to the nail plate—hello lifted enhancements. It’s also a problem for a simple polish job.

To properly remove the cuticle, Schoon recommends using a curette, a flat scraper blade or an orangewood stick. With the help of cuticle remover, it isn’t difficult to scrape off the non-living tissue without damaging the nail plate. Do not use nippers or an electric file to remove the cuticle. The electric file causes friction that can burn through the nail plate. And nippers should only be used to cut off a dead skin tag, which is a little bit of dead skin sticking up around the nails.

Note: To properly remove a dead skin tag, use nippers with a sharp blade and cut the dead skin above the level of living skin. Don’t grab and pull the dead skin tag; the sharp nipper blades should offer a clean cut.

How to apply cuticle art

In Case of a Cuticle Cutting Accident…

You would obviously never intentionally cut a client, but sometimes it accidentally happens. In the unlikely event that you cut a client with your tools, follow these extremely important steps:

Stop the service immediately. Schoon advises that you take the universal precaution of assuming that client has an infectious disease and treat your station as such. Any implements that were used on the client should be set aside. Before using them again, thoroughly scrub them to remove any debris, and then properly disinfect them. If you’re using implements that cannot be disinfected, throw them away, double bagged.

Take care of your client. Send your client to wash her hands thoroughly. Cover any cuts with a Band-Aid to protect the wound from further exposure. Don’t dispense any medicine, but rather tell your client to apply antibacterial medication when she gets home. If she sees any signs of redness or irritation, then she should consult a physician.

Protect yourself. You should already be wearing gloves during the service, so the first step is to peel them off and throw them away. Wash your hands thoroughly. Inspect your station carefully for any signs of possible contaminants and follow the proper procedure. Again, throw away what can’t be properly disinfected.

You should never continue working on the finger that has been cut. As a nail technician, you already know that you are not licensed to work on open wounds or sores. As for the rest of the fingers, if they are unharmed, then it’s up to you to decide to continue the service.

* Special thanks to the experts who contributed to this article: Doug Schoon, CND chief scientific officer and author of Nail Structure and Product Chemistry , and information from Art & Science of Nail Technology and Cosmetic Dermatology Products & Procedures edited by Zoe Diana Draelos.

The Pros and Cons of Cuticle Remover

You may prefer to use cuticle remover when prepping cuticles for a service, but others feel that it’s not necessary. Most cuticle removers contain potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide plus humectants and allow for the gentle removal of non-living skin attached to the nail plate while avoiding any potential mechanical trauma. It’s applied for 5–10 minutes to soften cuticles adhered to the nail plate, and is extremely easy to use, so you can understand the benefits. But as with everything good, there’s a downside. Possible complications include softening the nail plate and removing too much of the cuticle, plus there’s the potential for paronychia (a bacterial infection causing redness and swelling of the eponychium or lateral sidewalls) and secondary bacteria and Candida infections, according to Cosmetic Dermatology Products & Procedures edited by Zoe Diana Draelos. The choice is up to you, but if you choose to use, make sure to do a spot test on your clients first—you don’t want any allergic reactions at your table!


Ep·o·ny·chi·um: The area of living skin that borders the base of the nail plate and usually covers all of the nail matrix, except the lunula.

Cu·ti·cle: The thin layer of colorless dead tissue between the eponychium and the nail plate that forms a seal to keep dirt and debris from harming the matrix area.

Going to a nail salon and getting a gel manicure is one of those simple pleasures that many beauty lovers are probably missing amid the pandemic. While it may not be possible for you to visit your nail tech regularly these days, with the right tools and a little bit of practice, you too can achieve the perfect gel nails at home. For those looking to pick up a new skill during this lockdown, the founder of Montréal‘s cult-favorite nail parlor Le Manoir, Emilie Sanscartier, has given HYPEBAE an expert’s guide to doing gel nails.

Using products from 9 chemical-free, vegan and cruelty-free brand GELCARE, the nail artist breaks down each step of the process, from old gel removal, to nail prep, to polish application and curing. Give yourself a DIY treatment by following the tutorial and demo video below.

For more gel mani tips and techniques, be sure to subscribe to GELCARE’s YouTube channel.

Step 1: Get Your Tools in Order

To get yourself ready for an at-home gel manicure, you will first need to gather the necessary tools.

For beginners looking to invest in a full set of supplies, GELCARE offers a Starter Kit that not only includes all the nail care basics — base coat, top coat, buffing block, curved file, gel removal tool, hook tool, cuticle nipper, cuticle remover, gel remover and cuticle oil — but also an LED lamp for curing gels. Be sure to set up your manicure station under a table lamp, so you can see all the details throughout the process.

Of course, you will also need to choose a gel polish that is compatible with your LED lamp. In the video tutorial, we are using a nail color from GELCARE.

Step 2: Gel Removal

If you’re already wearing gel nails, file off 80 percent of the gel using the most abrasive side of the curved file. Make sure you file as evenly as possible.

Next, apply cuticle oil to hydrate your cuticles — the oil will also help lift the gel faster. Individually wrap your nails with a cotton pad soaked in low acetone remover and aluminum foil. Make sure the nails are wrapped securely and that the cotton pad covers the entire nail bed. Let sit for 10-15 minutes using a heating source, such as heated mittens or a blow-dryer.

Remove the aluminum foils and scrape off the gel with the bladed head of the gel removal tool. (Pro tip: If the gel has not lifted enough for easy removal, we recommend filing the gel surface further, rewrapping your nails and putting them back under the heating source.)

Step 3: Prep Your Nails

After removing the old gel, spend some time to properly prep to your nails.

First, apply cuticle remover. To “double cleanse” your nails, use the cuticle pusher on your gel removal tool to push back your cuticles in a back and forth motion. Then, using the bladed head on your gel removal tool, scrape off the skin under your cuticles in a circular motion. Wipe off the residue cuticle remover with a cotton pad.

To achieve a smooth and clean look, buff your nails and file them into your preferred shape.

Wash your hands with water and soap. If necessary, cut off excess cuticles using the cuticle nipper.

Step 4: Gel Application

Here comes the final and most exciting part of the manicure: painting your nails with gel polish.

To start, apply base coat and shine your nail under a table lamp to ensure it is covered up to the edge. Cure each finger individually under the LED lamp for 5 seconds. (Note: If you apply the base coat on many fingers without curing them in between, the base coat will move. If the base coat is missing around the nail, even if it is subtle to the eye, it will have an impact on the retention of your gel and your manicure could chip.)

Once you have finished applying and setting the gel, cure all nails for 30 seconds. Make sure to check that the base coat covers the entire surface of your nails under a table lamp. If certain areas are not covered (near the cuticles, on the sides or at the tip of the nail), we recommend applying a second layer of base coat and curing again.

Apply a thin coat of color and cure for 30 seconds. Repeat with an additional 1-2 coats to achieve your desired opacity.

Finally, apply one coat of top coat and cure for 3 minutes, then apply cuticle oil to hydrate and make your mani shine. Voilà!

How to apply cuticle art

I noticed lately nail art has been breaking its borders. It’s not just nails that we paint on these days, nail art has extended to fingers too. Cuticle tattoos, Lorde’s frostbitten nails and recently, nails at the Thome Browne NYFW show. It seems like it’s all heading towards getting our cuticles involved in the game of nail art.

So, inspired by this emerging trend, (remember you heard it first here) I decided to come up with my own version of cuticle nail art or, ‘extended nail art’ in the form of today’s black and silver nails. The main idea was to create a pattern that will organically extend from nails to the cuticles. Not just a random doodle but a design that unites nails, cuticles and fingertips.

To get the look:

  1. Paint all nails with 2 coats of matte silver nail polish. I used Severina Soft Silver.
  2. Using a striping nail art brush and black polish, paint moon details on pointer and little fingernails. Paint stripey patterns on all other nails.
  3. Using a dotting tool and black nail polish, create a dotted pattern on all nails as pictured.
  4. Using the same dotting tool, a brush and black nail polish, paint patterns on your fingers . Clean up around cuticles where required. Done!

Note: the beauty of painting on fingers/cuticles is that if you make a mistake, you can remove it and re-do very quickly. In my experience, it’s actually easier to paint nail polish onto skin than on nails. A surprising & unexpected discovery!

How to apply cuticle artHow to apply cuticle artHow to apply cuticle artHow to apply cuticle art

If you’re curious to see how I wore this nail art in real life, check them out with this all black outfit.

So what do you think about Extended Nail Art? Are you keen to join the cuticle nail art revolution?

As always, if you recreate this nail design or maybe come up with your own version of cuticle nail art, tag it #SoNailicious on Instagram/Twitter, we’d love to see your work!

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It’s really very important to have health and soft cuticles. Cuticles are important for us they protect our nails from bacteria and infection. So, you must take proper care of the cuticles in order to lead a happy and hygienic life. A few steps of cuticle care are enough to provide you with healthy and soft cuticles. You must know how to cut your cuticles. Moreover, cuticles have an important role to play in manicure and nail art. They help the nail look longer, thus, beautify the nails. That’s why you should know how to take care of cuticles. In case you aren’t familiar with cuticles, learn what cuticles are.

How to Take Care of Cuticles: Home Remedies

Some manicurists suggest cutting the cuticles. Never! Don’t cut your cuticles. Cuticles are meant to maintain with great care not to be cut. You can trim hangnails and loose skin to make the nail look beautiful but never cut the cuticles without knowing how to use a cuticle cutter. If you can gently push your cuticles back and make them soft, you will be able to get the maximum impact of having healthy cuticles. Here are a few steps to enlighten you on the ways to have healthy cuticles.

#1. Soften the Cuticles

At first, soften the skin around your nails by soaking the fingers in warm water. Take some hot water in a small bowl. Put your hands there for about 10 minutes. Wait till your cuticles are thoroughly softened.

#2. Clean And Dry Them

After the soaking part clean your hands and dry them using a soft towel. Don’t rub them so harshly as cuticles are very soft kind of skin. Do this process gently to avoid any tears or cracks in the cuticles.

#3. Push the Cuticles Back

This is the most important step of this method. The beauty of your nails largely depends on this. Push your cuticles back using a cuticle pusher or an orange stick. A wooden orange stick is a perfect choice for a cuticle pusher. Don’t push the cuticle too hard, they might hurt your nails. And this type of injury is very painful. Besides, cuticles protect us from bacteria and fungus. If cuticles are infected, there’s nothing left to protect your nails. Push the cuticles back until the lunula becomes visible.

#4. Trim the Loose Skin & Hangnails

When you are done with pushing the cuticles back, now clean the residue. Trim the loose skin and hangnails and anything that is unexpected around the cuticles and fingernail edges. Trim them with great care. If you try to do the trimming and cutting forcefully. You may end up having nail injury. That’s why it’s important to know how to cut your cuticles.

Video Below Shows How You Can Remove Cuticle without Hurting Yourself

#5. Apply Moisturizer

#6. Wash Your Hands Regularly

The last two steps are actually the post-processing of the above method. They are in effect as the continuation of the prior steps. Your job isn’t done just by taking care of your cuticles once a day. There are some other things too. Wash your hands regularly to avoid dirt. Use a soft and gentle hand sanitizer while washing your hands. And dry your hands using a soft and clean towel.

#7. Reapply the Moisturizer

This step is for the upcoming days. You have to use any moisturizer or cuticle oil at least once a day to have healthy cuticles. The best time of applying moisturizer is the night before you go to sleep. Thus, your nails will get the maximum exposer to the moisturizer.

Cuticles, as well as nails, don’t get the attention they deserve. We often overlook these tiny parts of our body. But, if anything bad happens to them they make us suffer very severely. That’s why we should take care of our body as a whole. And you should know how to take care of cuticles if you want to make your nails look beautiful and healthy.

How to apply cuticle art

One of the secrets to good-looking nails is to have well-tended cuticles. But as the weather gets colder, it’s harder than ever to keep them in tiptop shape.

“One reason that cuticles may get even drier than normal skin is because of the hyaluronic acid in our skin, which helps to suck in moisture and keep our skin hydrated,” said Neera R. Nathan , a dermatologist, dermatologist surgeon and clinical investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital. “That acid is located mostly in the second layer of the skin, known as the dermis, but the cuticle lacks this second layer.”

As your cuticles go, so go your nails. “If they’re dry, it can cause damage to your nails,” nail artist Britney TOKYO told HuffPost. “For example, you may see white lines in your nail bed, which means that dry cuticles are causing nails to dry out, too. That contributes to nails that break more frequently.”

Damaged cuticles can even pose a health risk. “When your cuticles become damaged, the nail as a whole is prone to infection,” dermatologic surgeon Dendy Engelman said. “Open cuticle wounds and peeling skin aren’t able to properly protect against infection-causing bacteria that can enter the nails. That’s why it’s important to keep the entire nail area clean, healthy and hydrated.”

Stop snacking on your cuticles (and put down those scissors)

First of all, stop being so hard on your poor old cuticles. “I know it’s easier said than done, but quit picking and biting the nails, cuticles and surrounding skin,” Engelman said. “It can cause the skin to become more inflamed, and it can allow bacteria to get into the nail.”

Tempted to reach for cuticle scissors? Stop yourself. “Many people choose trimming, but it’s not the best choice,” nail stylist Vanessa Sanchez McCullough said. “ Because the cuticle is made up of two different types of skin, both dead and live tissue, trimming can escalate problems instead of stopping them. Before you allow a manicurist to cut your cuticles, try caring for that skin first. You’ll see a huge difference.”

No-fuss cuticle maintenance

Here’s an easy two-for-one moisturizer idea from Michelle Wong, who has a chemistry Ph.D. and is founder of Lab Muffin Beauty Science . “If you use a non-sticky lip balm, you can apply it to your cuticles every time you apply it to your lips,” she told HuffPost. You also might want to consider starting from the inside. “Since our cuticles and nails reflect our overall health and nutrition, I recommend taking a daily multivitamin with biotin, zinc and vitamin D,” dermatologist Brandon Kirsch said.

Timing is important, too. As soon as you finish washing your hands, get moisture back to the area right away. “The key is to moisturize frequently with a cream or ointment-based hydrating moisturizer, and to apply it while the skin is still somewhat damp,” said dermatologist Cula Svidzinski , assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai. “That will do wonders for your cuticles.”

To give a boost to your nighttime routine, consider donning a pair of gloves to lock in hydration while you sleep. “I do think overnight gloves can help quite a bit,” nail artist Natalie Minerva told HuffPost. “Use a moisturizer or Vaseline to lock in the moisture from within the skin.”

Just make sure that overnight glove is cotton or another breathable fabric. “Too much moisture, collected in a non-breathable glove, can be as damaging, or even more damaging, than too much dryness,” Kirsch said.

Experts’ favorite ways to show your cuticles some love

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.

How to apply cuticle art

“My all-time favorite is petrolatum ointment, also known as petroleum jelly, used either alone or under cotton gloves,” Nathan said. “It’s inexpensive, and the generic brands work great, too.”

Cuticles are the protective layer of the nails. It is important to treat cuticles properly while doing a manicure or pedicure. This is because not treating them properly can lead to severe bacterial infections. But it is not impossible to do your cuticles properly at home even without professional help.

How To Treat Cuticles:

Treat your cuticles in the right way by following our 9 easy steps.

1. Soaking :

Soak your hands in Luke warm water. Make sure the water is not boiling hot. Like cold water is not right for soaking cuticles, similarly boiling water is also not an option. Soaking cuticles in warm water for at least 10 minutes is required. Make sure your cuticles are properly dipped into the water.

2. Pushing:

Take a cuticle pusher and gently push back cuticles. Push back cuticles properly. Do not over do it. If you feel any kind of pain or while pushing them back, it may mean that your cuticles need more than just soaking. Try using a cuticle oil to rub on the cuticles on your fingers after soaking and keep the oil on the nails for at least 10 minutes.

Do not cut cuticles. Doctors and dermatologists say that there is no point in removing the cuticles or cutting them off. These actually protect and enhance nail growth. Cutting them will lead to gaps at nail roots. Such gaps can lead to nail infections, white nails, ridges or red crusty infections. It’s therefore best to push back cuticles rather than cutting them off.

3. After Cuticle Care:

After your cuticles have been pushed back properly, use a potion made out of the following ingredients on to the cuticles.
Over indirect heat melt some cuticle cream or Vaseline. In it pour the following:
a) 4 drops of lavender oil
b) 4 drops of olive oil
c) Some antiseptic cream of your choice:

When this mixture is melt over indirect heat, stir it with a wooden spatula. Keep this mixture in a dark colored bottle in the refrigerator. Use it every night by taking a little bit on your palms to warm this mixture up. Next massage this on to the cuticles. This will serve a purpose of after care and regular night care cream for your cuticles. Do not use this mixture for over 1 week. Remake it using the same ingredients.

4. Preventing Dry Cuticles:

If your cuticles have the habit of getting dry and chipping or splitting, You should use a cream to massage the cuticles as mentioned above. Next, you should wear gloves while going to bed. You can easily protect your cuticles from getting dry or chipping during winter by following this process.

5. Keeping Cuticles Neat And Clean:

It is important that you keep your cuticles neat and clean. A regular use of hand lotion or even your common body lotion can go a long way in protecting your cuticles and keeping them good. Think of cuticle skin like your skin. It grows, dries and dies. Next new cuticle takes place of the old one. If you keep your cuticle clean and neat, removing the dead cuticle with each manicure or pedicure, then your new cuticles will grow better. This has nothing to do with the growth of nail. Nail growth doesn’t get hampered with the removing of dead cuticles. It is however important to keep the cuticles soft, and moisturized always. This is because it helps your new cuticles to grow better and provide better protection to your nails. This is the best treatment for cuticles.

6. Use Of Tea Tree Oil:

Tea tree oil has very good antiseptic properties. It is highly used in making and treating skin infections. You can use a few drops of tea tree oil to your cuticles if you are facing any kind of infection on the cuticles. Slightly greenish or yellowish or painful cuticles are a sign that you may be suffering from cuticle infection. Try some drops of cuticle oil before going to bed and also after bathing. This will prevent further infection and also kill the bacterial growth at the cuticles.

7. Cuticles Can Be Damaged By Sun Rays:

If you do not wear any sort of protective nail covering, there may be a chance that your cuticles may be damaged by UVA or UVB rays of the sun. Sun protection is needed for almost all the parts of the body. Though cuticles are not much affected by sun rays, but still it’s best to take precautions. Apply good quality base coat or nail strengthener to your nails.

8. Hang Nails:

You must be thinking this has nothing to do with cuticles. But the fact is hang nails has a good chance of getting infected due to lack of proper care. If you face something like painful hang nails, it is best to remove them properly with a hang nail remover. These are easily available in stores for nail and cosmetic supplies. You should keep sides of your nails clean and prevent any kind of infection. Remove hang nails very carefully. Over doing them can actually cut the skin there and make you bleed. Try not to overdo them. Remove hang nails with gentle pressure, only as much as required.

9. Treating Already Affected Cuticles:

Treating cracked, painful and broken cuticles can seem tough. But it is not so touch in reality. You can get flawless cuticles with a few days of regular care. You will need a normal band aid and some Neosporin ointment. Apply the ointment generously on to the cuticles. With you other hand, massage it on to the nails well. Now bandage it up. Sleep with this bandage overnight. Its best you do this during night time. Next morning open the bandage and resort to your normal activities. Follow this process for a few more days till your cuticles are back to normal or at least better. This great treatment for cuticles

Warning: Avoid shining the UV light into eyes| Don’t inhale the gel| If your nails burn when they are under the UV lamp, remove your hands, and wait a minute before continuing| If you are using any new products, test them on your hand to make sure the products do not irritate the skin


  • File, 100/180 grit work best
  • Nail Buffer
  • Cuticle Softner
  • Gel Base Coat
  • Gel Top Coat
  • Acetone
  • Builder Gel (optional)
  • UV Lamp
  • Cuticle Pusher
  • Gel Color Nail Polish

Step 1: Preparing Nails

  1. Wash hands with water and soap to remove any excess oils and debris. Dry thoroughly.
  2. Apply a cuticle softener to your cuticles. Allow the gel to sit for 1-3 minutes.
  3. Take a cuticle pusher and gently push your cuticles back. Your goal is to elongate the nail bed and make your cuticles appear smoother. Cutting the cuticle is optional
  4. Dry your hands if excess cuticle gel remains.
  5. File your nails to the desired length and shape. When filing your nails move the nail file in one direction to not damage your natural nail.
  6. Buff the top of your nail and the edges lightly so they are smooth.
  7. Wash your hands with water and dry thoroughly.

Warning: cutting your cuticle can increase risk of causing irritation or lead to infection.

Step 2: Painting Nails

1. Apply an even coat of base gel to your nail. Be careful to avoid getting the polish on your cuticle for a cleaner finish. Place your hand in the UV lamp for 60 seconds. Repeat until all nails have a base coat and are cured. Curing means drying the nail polish under a UV lamp.

2. An optional step is to use builder gel. Builder gel makes your nail a little thicker (depending on how many layers you apply) so that they are less likely to break. Builder gel can also give you the smooth curve of a nail, which will also help it not break. Between each coat cure the builder gel in the UV lamp for 80-120 seconds.

3. Apply your choice of nail polish. Make sure the product is specifically for gel manicures. Apply as many coats of a color polish until you are satisfied with the hue. Cure for 60 seconds after each coat.

4. Apply the top coat evenly and cure for 120 seconds.

Step 3: Removing Nails

1. Take a nail file and file the topcoat off of your nails. You will notice that the topcoat is gone when your nails no longer have the shiny finish.

2. Soak cotton balls in acetone and place a cotton ball on every nail. Then wrap the cotton ball on your nail in tinfoil for faster removal. Let the nails sit for 5-7 minutes. If you do not have cotton balls or tin foil, you can soak your nails in a cup filled with acetone.

3. Take a cuticle pusher and start to slowly scrape the polish off your nail bed. If the polish does not come off with little effort, soak the nails longer.

4. After all of the polish is off of your nails, wash your hands with soap and water and apply cuticle oil and lotion, as acetone makes skin dry.

I always recommend never cutting your cuticles. If you use a good-quality cuticle remover, you'll never have to cut your cuticles. The only thing you ever have to do is cut the flyways, and if you look at the finger right here, you'll see that there's a little bit of dead skin left. If you're at home, use a nipper, your personal nipper, and I would say always clean it and sanitize or disinfect it afterwards. One part bleach, nine parts water, or use a hospital-grade cleaner to always clean your nipper after you use it.

As you're clipping, hold it in you hand. Make sure you have these pieces together, so that it allows you some pressure, and you only remove the dead skin. Never go all the way around to clip it away unless the cuticles are that dry. What I also want you to do is use your skin as a guide. Try to avoid cutting your finger as you're removing the cuticles. Always remember, whether you're right- or left-handed, that you take the nipper, hold it on an angle, and push this way under the skin to remove the dead skin. This will avoid cutting your finger going around, and it also avoids hurting yourself as well. As I said before, a good cuticle remover, the only thing you'll have to do is clip the flyways. You use it on an angle, and you just nip really closely, and that's it. If there's cuticle left around the entire nail, try to clip it consistently, so that there isn't a break. Always remember, as you're clipping your cuticles, to be as consistent as possible as you clip. If you find that there's cuticle around the entire nail, start from one side, from the left or the right, and go completely around the nail, so as not to create a break as you're clipping.

If you do, you may see little breaks in the section where you started and stopped, and it may start to break, cause soreness or an infection, because you don't want to leave an open wound around your fingernail. Of course you know everything gets into our fingers, because we're always washing our hands, and we use our hands to touch everything. Always remember to sanitize and disinfect your nipper before and after every use. Wash it with warm soap and water to sanitize, and disinfect it with either a hospital-grade disinfectant or one part bleach, nine cups water, small cup. If you're going to get your nails done at a salon, you should be looking for a sterilized pouch which means that the instruments were sterilized in an autoclave machine, and they're placed in the pouch by someone who has gloves on, and this is sealed. Normally that means that they've sanitized it, and it's safe for you to use.

How to apply cuticle art

By popular request today I’m sharing my best 8 tips on how to apply nail stickers, flawless and quick like a pro! But before we proceed, let’s get one thing straight – nail wraps and nail stickers are two different things. I often see people confuse the two, so to make it clear, here’s the explanation. I’m sure most likely you already know the difference, but just in case…

Nail wraps cover your entire nail and are usually applied over bare nails. They do not require any base coat or colour painted over nails, like for example, Jamberry nail wraps. If you need some tips on how to apply nail wraps , then head over here. Today, however, we’re talking about nail stickers. Nail stickers (also known as nail decals) do not cover your entire nail. They come in a form of a pattern or a small object/shape and are usually applied over polished nails, like for instance the SoNailicious stickers. So in short, this is the main difference between nail wraps and nail stickers. Now let’s move onto nail sticker application tips!

8 Tips for flawless application of nail stickers:

1. Make sure your nails are clean and dry, before applying stickers. This goes for polished and bare nails as well as gel or shellac. If your nail polish is not completely dry, the sticker may not attach properly or lift wet polish up from the nail. For gel/shellac, make sure you cure your last layer of gel before applying stickers.

2. Use tweezers to lift your chosen nail stickers from their backing sheet. Do not touch the sticky side of the sticker with fingers, that may reduce the adhesiveness.

3. Place nail stickers very gently on nail – when you are 100% happy with their position, only then press it down with a silicone tool .

4. Smooth sticker on from the center to the edges, when applying it over a nail. This will get rid of any air bubbles trapped under the sticker that may cause slight bubbling in the top coat. Use a silicone tool to do it, it’s much more gentle on a sticker than an orange stick (orange stick may scratch stickers) and its soft surface ensures the sticker adheres to nails 100% without any wrinkles or air bubbles.

5. Smooth long thin stickers, like the Geo Pattern or Golden Goddess, from the bottom to the top or from left to right to get rid of any air bubbles trapped under the sticker.

6. Trim the edges of sticker (once applied over a nail) to make sure it fits perfectly and follows your nail shape (free edge) or nail bed. If you’re applying the sticker right at the edge of the nail or at the nail bed, like for instance the design featured above, place your sticker so it’s going over the free edge/polish and than trim the excess with cuticle nippers to ensure the sticker follows your nail shape or nail bed precisely.

7. Apply 2 coats of a top coat (or gel/shellac top coat) over the entire nail and the stickers to seal and protect stickers. This will also make your manicure last longer and smooth out the edges of the stickers. If you’re using the SoNailicious stickers, the clear edges will melt completely leaving only print visible on the nail surface.

8. Paint your nails with a base or clear nail polish before applying the stickers, if you’re doing a negative space design or applying stickers over bare nails. Because your nails produce their own natural oils, nail stickers won’t adhere well unless nails are polished.

There you have it! My top 8 tips on how to apply nail stickers flawlessly, like a pro. Of course, not all nail stickers are the same, but these tips will come handy for most brands, especially for the ultra-thin styles, like our stickers. In fact, if you follow these tips when using the SoNailicious range, I guarantee you get a flawless manicure EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. These are the exact techniques that I follow and so far so good, as you see.

How to apply cuticle art

Here at OPI, we love nothing more than a fresh mani, but there are a few key steps to ensuring your nails are looking their best even when you don’t have time to run to the salon. Today we’re breaking down some of the basics of one of our fave DIY systems, OPI Nail Lacquer! Read on to find out some insider tips and tricks from the pros to get the most out of our signature nail polish formula.

How to apply cuticle art

Nail polish application typically involves 1 coat of base coat, 2 coats of color application to ensure full coverage, and 1 coat of top coat for long-lasting wear and shine. OPI Nail Lacquer is the ultimate DIY nail polish system that allows expression of color with trendy and iconic shades.

How to apply cuticle art

Make sure to properly prep nails and remove any older nail polish that might be leftover. Apply 1 coat of OPI Natural Nail Base Coat to start, and let dry.

How to apply cuticle art

Weak nails are no match for OPI Natural Nail Strengthener. Use in place of the Natural Nail Base Coat to give weak nails the extra strength they need.

How to apply cuticle art

When it comes to color application, it’s best to apply nail polish down the center of the nail, avoid flooding your cuticle. Then work your way down the sides of the nail, and be sure to cap the free edge as a final step. Apply 2 coats of color application, allow each coat to dry in between.

How to apply cuticle art

When applying nail polish to very short nails, cap the free edge first by pulling down on the skin away from the edge. Then apply the remaining nail polish as usual.

How to apply cuticle art

Want to add some sparkle? When applying glitter nail polish with chunky glitter, apply it in a dabbing motion to ensure proper placement of the glitter to create even coverage. Apply two coats of glitter applications to ensure full coverage.

How to apply cuticle art

You’ll know once each layer of nail polish is dry enough because it will have lost a small amount of its shine. Have no fear though, applying 1 coat of OPI Top Coat is the final step to achieving the glossy, shiny nails you know and love.

How to apply cuticle art

Looking for an alternative to glossy nails? Try our OPI Matte Top Coat for an elevated but subtle look. It’s great for more formal occasions where you don’t want your nails to outshine your ensemble. Apply 1 coat of OPI Matte Top Coat as a final step to achieve this look.

How to apply cuticle art

Be sure not to place an additional layer of top coat on top of your matte finish to maintain the desired look.

Looking for more ways to use OPI’s Matte Top Coat?
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How to apply cuticle art

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As we all do our part to help flatten the curve, nail salon appointments are on hold indefinitely. As a result, you might have some questions about maintaining healthy nails and cuticles right about now—like how to perform an at-home manicure without the mess, or how to remove a gel or dip manicure without damaging your nails. If that’s the case, we’ve got you covered.

Here are some basic tips to help you maintain healthy nails and cuticles right now (and some tips to keep them looking pretty, while you’re at it).

How do I keep my nails and cuticles healthy?

First up, no cutting your cuticles or pushing them back. Keep them moisturized, but otherwise leave them alone.

Here’s why: Your nails grow from an area beneath the cuticle called the nail matrix, or nail root, Nada Elbuluk, M.D., a clinical associate professor of dermatology at the University of Southern California, tells SELF. The cuticles are just skin that protects the matrix and the new nail as it grows. Cutting or pushing cuticles back is standard practice during salon manicures, but Dr. Elbuluk says this is a DIY beauty don’t and to put down the cuticle cutters and wooden pushers. The cuticle is essential to “protecting the nail matrix from bacteria and other germs entering the body [that can] cause infections,” she says.

Beyond that, make sure that your at-home nail tools are clean. Disinfecting previously used clippers and files is a must. “Tools should be disinfected on a monthly basis,” Dr. Elbuluk says. “This can be done by soaking a brush in isopropyl alcohol (70% or higher) and using this to clean the clippers followed by a hot water rinse.” She also says that you should use a separate nail clipper for your fingers and your toes.

How do I remove a gel manicure or fake nails at home?

Before you start the removal process, you’ll need a few things: cotton balls, 100% acetone, and a 2-by-2-inch square of aluminum foil for each nail. You’ve likely seen your beloved nail artist complete this process, but if not, here’s where to start.

First, use a nail buffer to remove the shine from the top coat of the gel. Next, Dr. Elbuluk recommends soaking a cotton ball in acetone and applying this only to your fingertips. Be sure to secure each cotton ball with a small piece of foil and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. When you remove the foil, gently scrape the gel off with a nail file. Acrylic nails can be soaked off using the same process, but be prepared to soak the nails for up to 45 minutes. If there is any lingering product that won’t budge, repeat this process.

Post-removal, Dr. Elbuluk advises giving your fingernails a break from nail polish for at least one week while moisturizing regularly with thick emollients or creams with petroleum jelly, like Aquaphor. After a week, you may want to try an at-home manicure, but only trim and shape the nails after a warm shower, Dr. Elbuluk says, since that is when nails are softest.

How should I give myself an at-home manicure (that actually looks good!)?

The first step to a professional-looking manicure is to file and shape your nails, according to Morgan Dixon, the manicurist in charge of the nail artistry on TNT’s show Claws. She suggests either holding up a high five in the air with your nails facing you, or holding your hand in a “holding something” position, whichever is more comfortable. From there, use light strokes with the file on the sides of the nails to get your ideal shape, and then follow up with cuticle oil. If you don’t have any on hand, Dixon says olive oil or coconut oil will do.

Next comes the hard part—painting the nails. “A lot of us think we have to paint directly on the cuticle to get the right look, but that just results in a messy manicure,” Dixon says. “If you take your time and put the smallest space between the cuticle and polish line, you will have little to no polish to clean up at the end.” Another tip: Apply “light layers of polish,” she says. “It is much easier to paint an extra layer or two, instead of trying to correct a thick chunky polish job.” If you do need to clean up, Dixon says to clean as you go with a little acetone and an eye shadow brush.

To help your manicure last, Dixon says to apply top coat every two days “to keep your polish in place with fewer chips during wear.”

How do I use press-on nails?

If painting your nails isn’t in your wheelhouse, try press-ons. “I’m so glad press-ons are making their comeback,” Dixon says. “I make and work with them on the set of Claws, and they are the perfect solution to achieve the most ideal look without the damage.” Before application, Dixon suggests a “quick mini mani,” which includes washing your hands, filing your nails, and buffing your nails (lightly) with a nail buffer.

When it’s time to apply the nails, take it easy with the nail glue. “All you need is one or two dots because it will spread around the nail once pressed down,” Dixon says. From there, “hold the [press-on] nails down for about 10 to 15 seconds [and] blow on the nail while holding it down…to speed up the drying time and give a guaranteed seal.”

Since some press-on nails options can be reusable, Dixon advises soaking them in warm water before “popping them off.” Afterward, “give your nails a buff to remove any excess glue and apply oil to nourish the nail.”

How can I make a press-on manicure last longer?

Dixon says a press-on manicure that uses glue can last one to two weeks, but she recommends keeping your fingers as dry as possible while wearing them, which should help give them longevity. “Oil and extra moisture loosens them up,” she says. Keeping your fingers dry isn’t exactly advisable during a pandemic when all health authorities advise washing your hands a ton (and for 20 seconds a pop each time). So with that in mind, it’s also a good idea to manage your expectations here. Press-ons are already more fragile than acrylics, and under the best (and driest) of circumstances, a nail or two might pop off. The good news, of course, is that they’re press-ons—“so you should keep your glue close,” Dixon recommends.

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After you pin, copy, and photograph the hell out of this mani, you can officially consider yourself the Bob Ross of nail art.

Nail artist Simcha Whitehill aka Miss Pop shows and tells Cosmo exactly how to do this gorgeous ombré mini masterpiece.

How to apply cuticle art

2. Create the beginnings of a sunset. “Swipe an orangey-red polish onto the corner of a makeup wedge, and then start dabbing the paint on your nail slighty away from the cuticle, so that you can still see a sliver of the pumpkin-shaded paint you applied in step one,” she says. “Just make sure you can see the pores of the sponge before pressing the polished sponge onto your nail repeatedly, laying down the first coat. If you have too much paint on it, it could look runny and you’ll lose the ombré, sheered-out effect.” Use Essie Nail Polish in Hip-Anema, like our hand model did here.

3. Add to the ombré. “Using the same technique in step two, and the opposite corner of the makeup sponge, pat a brownish-red polish onto your nail, starting three quarters of the way down,” she adds. “Then, toward the tip of your nail, dab on a few more layers to build up the intensity, so that when you apply the black polish in the next step the colors will flow into each other.” Try Deborah Lippmann’s Single Ladies, which was used here.

4. Black out the tip of your nail. “With a black polish, repeat the sponge application in the above steps to create a ground-looking layer at the tip of your nail,” she says. Use Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Fade to Black.

5. Draw the tree trunk. “Using a striper brush, which you can get at any art supply store, and the same black nail polish in step four, create two arches that meet toward the cuticle and grow further apart as they fade into the black of the tip of your nail, ” says Whitehill. “Then, fill in the arches to create the tree trunk.”

6. Squiggle on the branches. “With the striper brush again, creating several thicker branches by squiggling the paint brush a bit — you don’t want them to be perfect — as you draw them on,” adds Whitehill.

7. Branch out some more. “Finish up your nails by adding in some smaller branches using the same squiggle technique in step six,” she says. “Then add your favorite topcoat over it to seal in your artwork.” Whitehill suggests Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Base and Top Coat.