The perfect manicure begins with the perfect cuticle. Neglect your cuticle and your mani will never reach that salon quality level of neat. And who doesn't want a perfect 10? Here a few rules that will keep your cuticles in tip top shape.

1. Do Not Cut Your Cuticles
Ek! Trimming the cuticle can lead to infection. Ever wonder where white spots, nail ridges, and white lines on the nail come from? Cuticle cutting.
2. Push Your Cuticles Back
Use a orange wooden stick to push cuticles back to add length to the nail. Be very gentle. Remember cuticles are prone to fracture and should remain soft.
3. Moisturize
There are a few ways to keep cuticles moisturized, since they consist primarily of skin, most regular hand lotions will work just fine. You can always opt for professional nail care items and purchase cuticle oil or cuticle softener, or if you’re in a bind petroleum jelly should do the trick. Steer clear of drying agents like acetone and astringent cleaners. Wear gloves if you have to work with these items and opt, instead, for acetone-free polish remover.
4. Be Gentle
Keep your eye out for rough manicurists. Speak up if your manicurist is damaging your cuticle, and when performing an at home mani, go slow.