I use Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover gel. You can pick it up at any drugstore or general store like Walgreens and Target.
I’ll squeeze a bit around each nail of one hand, then go around my cuticles with a metal cuticle pusher (like this) and scoop out the removed cuticles with the scoop-shaped end. It’s important to be gentle here since it is metal and you are working near some of the most delicate parts of your nail. I’ll also scoop out any grime or dirt underneath my nails.
When I’m finished with one hand, I wipe it on a little washcloth I keep around all my nail supplies and repeat for the next hand. When both are done, I wash them thoroughly with a nail scrubber and some nice, warm, soapy water.
Finally, I push back the cuticles gently with a rubber cuticle pusher (like this). I prefer rubber because it won’t scratch my nails’ surface. When everything looks good, I’ll add cuticle balm and lotion, then create my manicure!
If you want your manicure to last, do not put on cuticle balm and lotion before your basecoat. This will cause your polish to lift right off your finger the next day, in one nice little piece. I actually kind of prefer this since I change polish every single day, but I recommend against it if you’re not looking to change as often.
Hope that helps!