Heat 1/2 cup bath oil mixed with 1/2 cup water in your microwave for 30 seconds, recommends celebrity manicurist Erica Marton. Place the solution in a deep bowl and soak your fingers or toes in it for 10-15 minutes to soften cuticles or calluses. After drying, use a pumice stone to smooth over calluses or a file to push down cuticles. Follow up by rubbing in hand cream until fully absorbed.
“Any time you can add hydration to the cuticles, it’s a great thing,” says Marton. You can raid your pantry for an effective nail treatment. Marton says olive oil is a great option to treat brittle nails and ragged cuticles. You can massage it on your cuticles as a moisturizing treatment. Marton also suggests trying coconut oil or mineral oil for other natural moisturizing options. The benefits go beyond your finger tip—try these other surprising benefits of olive oil.
Keep lint from smudging your freshly polished nails and spray a light coat of cooking spray on your nails. While you let it dry your nails will get a bonus moisturizing treatment. There are more genius uses for cooking spray you’ll want to try
Jennifer Tepp/ShutterstockEmpty prescription bottles
Create a small, spill-proof carry case for nail polish remover by tucking a small piece of sponge into empty prescription bottle. Saturate the sponge with polish remover and snap on the lid. For an emergency repair, or a quick method to remove polish, simply insert a finger and rub the nail against the fluid-soaked sponge and twist.
Save yourself a trip to the nail salon and brighten yellowed nails with a squeeze of lemon. Marton suggests making a paste with a tablespoon of lemon juice and three tablespoons of baking soda. Spread it on your nails and let them soak for 15 minutes. Rinse and reveal brighter, whiter nails. Even after you’ve squeezed the juice, there are still more ways you can use lemons in the kitchen.
To condition your nails, just plunge them into a bowl of mayonnaise. The fats will moisturize skin and soften cuticles. Keep them bathed in the mayo for about 5 minutes and then wash with warm water. Learn other surprising uses for mayonnaise.
The multi-tasking balm is also a potent cuticle softener. Petroleum jelly can help maintain healthy nails by keeping your skin hydrated and preventing cracking and peeling. Dab a thin layer along the base of your nails and along the edges. Marton warns, however, that you want to avoid doing this right before a manicure because the petroleum jelly will prevent the polish from adhering to the nail beds. While you have the jar of Vaseline handy, see more uses for petroleum jelly you never thought to try.
Michelle Lee Photography/ShutterstockVinegar
Your nail polish will have a longer life expectancy if you first dampen your nails with some vinegar on a cotton ball and let it dry before applying your favorite polish. Marton says a quick swipe should dehydrate the bed so the polish can adhere better and last longer. Once you’re done with your manicure, try these other uses for vinegar.