April 9, 2020
April 17, 2020


Our spa therapists at Steenberg Spa have put their heads together to come up with the best processes, tips and tricks that you can do at home to keep your manicure or pedicure looking great during lockdown.

Removal of Gel Polish:

Firstly, if you have gel polish on your nails, here is how you can remove it:

You will need: cotton wool, tin foil, acetone (you can get this from a pharmacy. Non acetone will not work and it will take longer with off the shelf nail varnish removers), rough nail file.

Step one: using your nail file, remove any shine off the gel. This is to break the top coat of the gel so that the acetone can get to work on the gel. Be careful not to file too hard, you just need to take the shine off. Watch out for those cuticles.

Step two: if you have cotton discs cut them into quarters and split them in half (you will have 8 pieces), 2 cotton wool discs should be enough.

Step three: take your tin foil and tear it into shape, around 5cm x 10cm for each finger.

Step four: take one of your quartered cotton wool discs and drench it in acetone. Then place this on the nail. Take one of your tin foil pieces (shiny side inside) and wrap this tightly around your nail and finger. Repeat until all nails are covered.

Step five: wait 20 – 30 minutes. This will be dependent on what kind of gel has been used.

Step six: remove the tin foil and cotton wool on the first finger that you did. The gel should have started to peel away. If this is the case then you are ready to remove the gel. Most nail files have a rounded edge. You can use this edge to gently scrape away the excess gel. If you have a cuticle pusher or wooden manicure stick this would be ideal, but not necessary. If you are still struggling, wet the cotton wool in the acetone again and reapply. Try again after 15 minutes.

Step seven: wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Acetone is neutralised by water and we want to keep our nails strong (and our hands clean!)

The Perfect Manicure or Pedicure:

You will need: nail varnish remover, nail file, scrub, orange wood stick / cuticle pusher, moisturiser / oil, base coat, nail varnish, top coat.

Step one: clean your nails with nail varnish remover and cotton wool – ideally non acetone is best.

Step two: wash your hands / feet with soap and water.

Step three: cut your nails, leaving a little extra for filing. Take your nail file and file in one direction. Your nail has tiny plates like roof tiles and filing in two directions destroys the nail plate and your nails can end up breaking. Toenails are strong and can be filed in both directions.

Step four: scrub. If you have a granular scrub at home you can use this or you can make yourself a sugar scrub (brown sugar and a little olive oil). Be sure to concentrate on the nail and cuticle area, heels and areas of hard skin on the feet. Make sure your hands are dry when doing your scrub. Wash off with warm water.

Step five: when drying your hands / feet use your towel / face cloth to help push back your cuticles, don’t be scared to use a bit of pressure when doing this. Then take your towel / face cloth and move over the cuticle area in circular movements. This will remove any dead cuticles that may be present. If you have any wooden manicure sticks you can also use these to push back the cuticles.

Step six: using your moisturiser or oil, massage this into the hand / foot being sure to concentrate on the cuticles and any areas of hard skin. Any remaining cream can be used on the elbows or knees.

Step seven: take a cotton disc and run it under warm water. Use this to remove any cream on the nails, you may need to repeat this step. Your nail needs to be clean in order to get a good paint. Make sure any cotton wool ‘fluff’ is removed.

Step eight: apply the base coat. This protects the nail from any colour varnish and stains. It also helps the varnish last longer.

Step nine: apply your chosen colour. Two thin coats is what you need, not one thick coat as this will cause smudging and take a long time to dry. You can even apply three coats if necessary.

Step ten: apply the top coat, this gives the nail a shine and seals the colour, allowing for a longer lasting manicure or pedicure.

Step eleven: WAIT, it can take up to 60 minutes for nail varnish to dry completely. The nails will be touch dry after 5 – 10 minutes, but the underneath will still be wet.

Hints and Tips:

1.Paint your nails and watch your favourite TV show to allow sufficient drying time.

2.If you get nail varnish on your skin, don’t panic. Wait two hours and then wash your hands with soap and water. Using your towel; gently rub the varnish that has come onto the skin. Reapply your moisturiser.

3.Practice makes perfect, the more you paint your nails the better you will get at it.

We hope these processes, tips and tricks will help you maintain your nail health during lockdown.

Start planning your first manicure or pedicure after the lockdown by browsing our Treatment Menu.