Professional manicurist using cuticle pusher

Pushing back the fingernail cuticles is a crucial step in any manicure. Not only does pushing back the cuticles make the nails look better groomed, but it can also make the nails themselves appear longer. Follow these steps to use a fingernail cuticle pusher during a manicure.

Apply cuticle oil to your nails before using a fingernail cuticle pusher if your cuticles are very thick. This will soften your cuticles and make it easier to use the cuticle pusher for your manicure.

Push back the cuticles on one of your fingernails. Use the flat end of the cuticle pusher to gently push the cuticles on your fingernail back. The cuticles are located on both sides of the fingernail and at the nail base.

Repeat Step 1 for the cuticles on the remaining nine fingernails.

Examine your fingernails and their cuticles. If you find any dead skin or hangnails, carefully cut them off with manicure scissors or a cuticle cutter. Use the cuticle cutter sparingly and gently. Trim as close to the nail as you can without damaging the nail or any surrounding live skin.


  • Orange sticks or cuticle sticks are other names for cuticle pushers.

  • You can also use a small pair of scissors instead of a cuticle cutter to remove dead skin.