Winter manicure tips

The winter dryness can wreck havoc on your skin and nails, but with the various holidays and events that take place during the season it is important to keep your look fresh and put-together. Whether you are trying to save money or simply don't want to take the time to go to the salon for a manicure, there are plenty of ways you can achieve great results in your own home with a few tools and products you find at your favorite retail store. Check out how you can give yourself a winter manicure in just a few short steps:

Exfoliate - Soften hands and remove dry winter skin with an exfoliation scrub, such as Philosophy Skincare Time on Your Hands Exfoliating Hand and Cuticle Cream. Before each manicure, use an exfoliating product to freshen up your hands and nails.

Moisturize - I live in a really dry location and when my skin is lacking moisture, the first place I notice it is the backs of my hands. The key to keeping your hands and nails in top shape is to moisturize your skin and cuticles often. One of my favorite hand moisturizers is Aveda Hand Relief, which is nice and thick for extra moisturizing, and never feels greasy. Use a cuticle conditioner frequently to prevent unsightly cuticles and nail bed. One product I like is Sally Hansen Cuticle Massage Cream with Apricot Oil.

Cleanse - Apply a cuticle softener to the nails so you can easily push them down before polishing. Creative Nail Design Cuticle Away Cuticle Remover softens the cuticle and dissolves it from the nail itself, so you do not need to cut them. With a cuticle tool, gently push them down into the nail bed.

Trim - Trim your nails straight across, so that the edge of the nail is level with the fingertip. File the nail straight across and gently round the edges for a professional look.

Polish - Protect the nail with a basecoat before applying the actual color, such as Sephora by OPI Basecoat. A basecoat helps the manicure last longer, and especially helps in preventing staining when you use dark colors, which are found frequently in winter polish trends. Choose your favorite winter polish to finish your manicure, or look for an entire set to use throughout winter, such as Sephora by OPI Glimmer Wonderland Mini Nail Colour Set.

A perfect winter manicure is simple to complete and will keep your hands and nails looking fabulous all season long. The key to great-looking hands and nails is to keep them moisturized, trimmed and polished, and when you do a manicure at home you can change your polish colors as often as you want without the hassle and cost of going to a salon.

Other articles by this contributor:

Winter Skin and Hair Tips - Snow Protection!

How to Wear Scarves This Winter

Hot Oil Treatments for Hair