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How to Use Cuticle Remover & Orange Stick

Learn how to use cuticle remover and an orange stick from Spa Taxi owner Danielle Corbin Jaime in this Howcast nail tutorial.


You use cuticle remover to remove the dead skin around your nails. It gives your fingernail a chance to breathe, and it avoids your skin from growing with the nail. If you ever take a long time to push back your cuticles you'll notice that your skin is growing with the nail. Then all of the sudden you'll start to see these little strips of skin peeling back. Eventually they'll start to pull into corners, and it'll crack, and you may see some bleeding. You'll definitely have some soreness.

To avoid that I recommend that you use a really good cuticle remover that sits around the cuticle area. You don't want it to run off. You want it to be thick enough so that it sits where you want it to be and that it works for you rather than you having to do a lot of work.

So, you apply it to the finger around the fingernail to make sure that you cover wherever the cuticles are. You would apply it to all five fingers from pinkie to thumb. That gives it a chance to start to work on the dead skin. Then you would work on the second hand.

After that you take an orange wood stick. The best ones to get are the ones that have an angle point because it allows you to push the cuticle back around the sides back here, and then around the sides again. Although you are doing it to yourself, if you could squeeze your finger and then push it back this way, this way you can definitely get into the corners and get all the dead skin that's here. Because, essentially, that's what the cuticles are. It's dead skin. The same way you exfoliate your skin to get rid of the dead skin you want to exfoliate and remove the dead skin from around your nail to give your nail bed a chance to breathe.

Like I said, the best kind of cuticle removers to use are the ones that sit right there and they don't run onto the nail. Because you want to make sure they're working on removing the dead skin for you so that you don't have to use a lot of pressure when you're using an orange wood stick. You keep the cuticle remover on long enough to get to the other hand.

If you find that your nails are dry, of course, you can always soak your nails first to soften up the cuticles, and then apply the cuticle remover. This way it doesn't hurt as much when you're pushing them back. But you want to be consistent with your push and the glide. Because you don't want to hurt yourself and avoid snagging the nail and creating hangnails. So you push back with one stroke. You push again. Then you push the other side.

As you can see, the cuticle remover is working. Removing the cuticles makes the nail polish look a lot neater. Because if the cuticles are dry the cuticles will actually absorb the nail polish. It'll look dry, and it'll look as if you didn't get close enough to the skin around your nail. And eventually, as it starts to chip, you'll start to see that the skin around the nail absorbed all the polish. It just doesn't look like a neat manicure. You want it to look as neat as possible especially if you select a dark color, because you want to make sure that it looks neat and dark colors stain the skin.

If you know your cuticles are dry and you don't have time to remove them the lighter color you use the better. This way it doesn't stain the skin around your nail.

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