Ladies, how much time have you spent grooming your nails in your life? I'm going to take a wild guess and say probably a lot. I'm also going to take a stab at how much time some of the men in your life spend grooming their hands. Perhaps, not as much. I have found in conversations with my male friends that they genuinely have an interest in skin care and general grooming, but have never been instructed how—especially nails. That, my friends, is what I set out to do with bonafide nail expert, celebrity manicurist and diva in her own right, Deborah Lippmann.
So where does your guy start? Lippman says, "Men should follow the same steps as women for getting their hands and feet looking their best. To start, a good buffer, like my Smooth Operator 4-way nail buffer, will get nails shiny without looking too feminine. It shapes, smooths, buffs, and shines."
So at minimum, get your guy a good buffer. And for a more elaborate routine, here are the cardinal rules to Deborah's 5-step Manicure:
CLEANSE: For fast, effortless grime removal, use a nail polish remover like, The Stripper. Lippmann suggests using a cleanser/remover that has hydrating properties like lavender and aloe to avoid stripping away natural oils and proteins
SHAPE: Shape your nail so it mirrors your cuticle. For a natural-looking nail, use a nail file to smooth and file the nail plate on an angle so you can see it from each side. Remember to use gentle motions to prevent breakage.
EXFOLIATE: To create a beautiful buff, Lippmann suggests using an exfoliator like Smooth Operator 4-Way Nail Buffer.
TREAT: As one of the most important steps, treatment softens and hydrates the nails and cuticles. Lippmann says to remove dead skin from nails by applying the Cuticle Remover anywhere the skin meets the nail. Gently push back cuticles with a cuticle pusher, using small circular movements and working from corner to corner.
FINISH: Wipe nails clean and complete the treatment process by rubbing a drop of the nourishing Cuticle Oil onto the base of each nail and then layer it with The Cure for the ultimate nourishing cuticle repair.
Got that boys? But what if the man in your life is a nail biter? No judgment. Deborah's tip is this:
"Keep a nail file handy at all times. That way, if your nail breaks or tear unexpectedly, you can file instead of gnaw. If you have to physically get up to get a file, you're just going to wind up biting off the uneven edge. You should also try to keep your nails as well-groomed as possible at all times."
If your man is feeling ambitious, Deborah also suggests getting a manicure or giving yourself one at least once a week or so.
And if you're going to take away one other major point, ladies and gents, it's that cuticle hydration is key.
"One of the biggest problems both women and men have is that their nails, cuticles, and hands are extremely dry. Keep a hand lotion that hydrates and protects your skin at every sink in your home, at your office desk, wherever. Easy access is key because when adding a step to any routine, often times, out of sight means out of mind. Weekly cuticle treatment is also essential."
There you have it—everything a man could need to know about taking care of his nails.