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!
And…not yet, but I have been planning on doing something like that! For now, start with some cuticle balm and lotion. My favorite is the Burt’s Bees cuticle balm and just a nice smelling lotion. Besides that, it’s nothing too special. Every now and then I’ll use cuticle remover gel to get rid of the cruddy stuff around my nails, but if you haven’t pushed your cuticles back in a while, you may need to do this more often.
It’s all about moisturizing mostly. Does any of the skin around your fingernails look a little dry? Moisturize! Just a small amount of lotion (bean sized will usually do it) in your hand is all you need. More and you’ll feel too greasy. Make sure you work it in around your nails especially, and your cuticles will start to look better.
If you’re a nail biter, chances are you’re a skin biter as well. That’s one of the worst things you can do. Just keep your hands away from your mouth unless you’re blowing kisses. That was hard for me to do for a while, but now I’m pretty good about it, and it pays off!