How to Give a (GOOD MANICURE)

If you are interested in learning how to give a professional manicure, then you should enroll in classes, as this type of profession does require a license.  If however you just want to learn how to give an at home manicure, then I have some great tips for you.

First, when giving a manicure, you should start by removing any existing polish.  You will need cotton and fingernail polish remover.  Some heavy duty salon polishes have acetone in them, and will require a heavier type of remover, most polishes, however, can be removed with a basic non- acetone remover.  If you happen to have an aversion to cotton (some people do) you can use those plastic jars that contain finger nail polish remover.  Most cosmetic companies have there own version of them, like Sally Hansen or Revlon for example.

Next you should soak your hands in water. You may add some oils or cleaning solution to the water, or you could simply use tap water.  Allow your fingers to soak for at least five minutes.  The purpose of this soaking is to allow your cuticles to soften in order to make it easier to push them back.

Once your fingers have soaked, you should dry them thoroughly before trimming and shaping your nails.  Some people like to use a buffer on the nail to smooth it, before shaping.  Next, while your cuticles are still soft, use an orange stick to gently press your cuticles back.  This will not only give your nails a more groomed appearance, but will also allow your nails to grow longer.  Also use the orange stick to clean any remaining debris from under nails.

The next step in giving a manicure is to shape the nails.  You may shape your nails any way that you like.  Some people prefer to round their finger nails, while others prefer a more squared off look.  Whichever you choose, be careful to only use the emery board in one direction.  If you go back and forth with the board, it may damage the nail.  This may take a little longer, but the results will be worth your patience.  Now, you should apply a moisturizer to your hands. There are tons of different moisturizers to choose from.  Just pick one that works well for you.

Now you are ready to polish those digits.  I would recommend at this point if you are going to polish your toes as well, do the toes first.  This way it lessens the chance of you damaging your freshly polished fingers.  Before using color, you should first apply a base coat to the nail.  This will smooth out any imperfections and help the color bond better to the nail. Wait a few minutes for the base coat to dry, and then apply one layer of color.   When applying color, less is more. You don't want to put it on too thick. You can always come back and apply another coat later.  Lastly, you may want to apply a clear coat to prevent chipping and add extra shine.  Try to sit still and touch nothing for about an hour in order to keep your nails from smudging.


Manicure Tips

Getting a manicure these days seems to be common practice for a lot of people.  Some men do receive regular manicures; however, it seems that is type of pampering is usually dominated by women.  I went to the nail salon this morning and was amazed at how many women were there.  There were mother daughter duos in the nail salon.  There were people like myself that were at the salon because of being in a wedding party.  There were also women that were just there for a little much needed pampering.

I am not one of those lucky women that have the money or let's face it the time to get regular salon manicures.  I am thrilled with the way that my nails look now, but I know that in just a few hours the polish will start to chip.  Unfortunately, I am just not that graceful.  Because of my lack of funds, I have mastered some tips to do my own at home manicures.

The first step to doing an at home manicure, is to put the kids to bed.  Well, not really, but it helps to get the polish on evenly if I am left alone to fully attend to my nails, without having to wipe a runny nose, or change a diaper wile filing my nails.  All joking aside though, I use one of those one minute manicure products to scrub my hands.  My favorite product is by Beauty Control.  It's a great exfoliate, but it also has essential oils in it.  The oils keep my hands feeling smooth and silky for hours, even after repeated hand washing.  Also the oils really help to moisturize not only my hands, but also my cuticles.  This eliminates that time consuming step of having to soak your hands in a bowl of water.  Really, who has time for that?   Incidentally, while your cuticles are soft you should push them back.  If you have time you can use either an orange stick or a cuticle pusher.  If I am in a hurry, I will just use my finger nail.  It's not perfect, but it will do in a pinch.  

Sometimes, that's the extent of my at home manicure.  If, however, I am lucky and have a little more time on my hands, I will proceed with shaping my nails.  Shaping can be tricky.  I have read that you should stroke the emery board in the same direction, rather than back and forth.  This supposedly prevents damage to the nail.  However, yesterday, I had to file my nails while driving down the highway on my way to a rehearsal dinner.  I didn't care too much about going in one direction. At least not with the emery board anyway.  Also, I noticed that when I got a salon manicure, she didn't bother to follow that piece of advice either.

The last and most important step in an at home manicure, is of course the polish.  I have also read that you should try to put the polish on in thin even coats.  Three brush strokes is supposedly the best method, one stroke for each side, and one stroke right down the middle of the nail.  Realistically, the best tip I can give you is to get a good polish.



People have been getting manicures for hundreds of years.  The word is derived from the Latin word for hand and the Latin word for care, which basically means that a manicure is caring for ones hands.  That sounds simple enough right?

Back in the early days of manicures only the very wealthy and pampered celebrities bothered getting a manicure. The process was expensive and time consuming.  And it was basically a waste of time for the common laborer.  Why bother to get your hands manicured it you were going to be picking cotton the next day?

Well today things are very different.  Lots of people get manicures.  Men and women included.  If they don't get regular manicures, then they certainly get them for special occasions like weddings, prom, special dates, etc.

There are also many different types of manicures. There is the spa manicure in which your hands are dipped in hot wax and the wax is allowed to harden. There is a basic manicure, a French manicure, and an at home manicure.  Not only do the manicures themselves have different types, but the places that perform manicures may differ greatly as well.

Some fancy salons may charge as much as forty dollars for a basic manicure.  Cruise ships and resorts are notorious for have exorbitant rates for manicures.  Then on the other end of the spectrum, there are inexpensive nail salons that can cost as little as eight or ten dollars.  This is surprising to me because the manicure procedure is basically the same at just about every place that I have ever had a manicure (trust me it's a lot of different places).

Basically, the procedure is this.  I come into the salon, sometimes I'm offered a glass of wine, (this usually doesn't happen at the ten dollar place) then I soak my hands in some sort of concoction.  I am told that it is a nail cleanser, but for all I know it could be dish washing liquid.  Then after my fingers have pruned, they start poking and prodding my cuticles.  This is my least favorite part of a manicure.  Can't they just put the polish on already?  Anyway, next they cut my nails evenly and shape them.  Lastly the polish is applied. Then I am ushered to another table.  Sometimes, they will put me in a spot that has a drier for me to put my hands under.  Other times I am left alone to let me nails dry naturally.

Basically it's the same thing regardless if I am paying thirty dollars or eight dollars.  I do have to say however, that a spa manicure is worth the splurge every once in a while.  The wax really is refreshing and it rejuvenates my rough and tired hands. The spa manicure procedure really does leave my hands feeling smooth for a few days after I get one.  But then in a week, my hands are rough and cracked again. Maybe that is their way of telling me it's time for another manicure.    


Most women today prefer the French manicure - an elegant look with a pale pink or nude base color and the whitest-white nail tips. This is always a popular choice due to its versatility. It looks great with almost any outfit for any occasion, from a casual night on the town to a black-tie wedding. As classy and sophisticated as this manicure looks, sometimes it can be a bit overpowering. If you're looking for a more toned-down look that's still pretty and simple, then consider getting an American manicure.

American manicures tend to resemble the French manicure but have a few slight differences. French manicures are very bold; as mentioned earlier, they are noted for their bright white tips. (Many compare this shade of white to that of white-out.) American manicures also start by using a pale shade of pink or a soft neutral color, but are finished by using an opaque white to paint the tips. Sometimes the tips are painted first in an American manicure, followed by the application of the pink or neutral shade over the top. The end result is a soft look that's every bit of glamorous as it is simple.

American manicures can be done professionally at a salon or spa or at home without the help of a professional. Professional American manicures typically cost around $10 without the application of acrylic tips, and around $30 if you plan to receive the tips. In addition to a beautiful set of nails, most American manicures also come with a wonderful hand massage if done professionally.

You can purchase American manicure kits at most drug stores or department stores if you plan to do it yourself at home. While these kits are usually pretty reputable, you may want to consider purchasing your supplies for an American manicure through a beauty supply retailer. These supplies are typically the exact same ones used in your local salons and spas. To give yourself an American manicure, you will need the following items:

- Non-acetone based polish remover
- Cotton Balls
- Basic manicure tools, such as clippers, a file, and nail scissors
- A light pink, beige, or neutral polish color
- An opaque or soft white polish color
- Manicure adhesive strips or stencil to paint your white tips
- Clear top coat to add protection to your manicure

First, make sure your nails are thoroughly cleansed and free of any previous polish. Remove any hangnails using nail scissors and follow-up by filing your nails to your desired length and shape. Next, apply a thin coat of your base color evenly and allow to dry. Then using your adhesive strips or stencil, paint your tips white and be sure they are dry before removing the strips or stencil. Paint a thin coat of clear polish over the entire nail and allow to dry. You should now have a beautiful American manicure!

Whether you choose to have your American manicure done by a professional or you do it yourself, you can never go wrong with this soft and simple look!


French Manicures

Mention the words "French Manicure" around nearly any woman, and you'll immediately see their face light up like a kid on Christmas morning. This is because many women regularly indulge themselves in this classic beauty routine, whether they go out to a salon or do it themselves at home. It has become known as a common form of manicure in the United States, as it most resembles a "natural" look for fingernails. It's very universal in that the look is ideal for day-to-day life, weddings, proms, special events, or nights out on the town.

The history of the French Manicure is thought to go back to the mid 1970's when a man named Jeff Pink, president of the popular manicure company Orly, attended a fashion show where he noticed several of the models were using a white pencil to whiten the tips of their fingernails. He immediately realized this could be major fashion trend and brainstormed a way to recreate the look. The result was a kit that contained two shades of polish; a light pink base and white polish to paint the tips of the fingernails. He also included adhesive strips to place at the baseline of the nail so that women could effortlessly create a stunning, perfect look when applying the white paint.

French manicures are still sold in this form today, but have varied slightly since their beginning. Today you can choose from a classic light pink shade, a nude base, or you could even choose a pearl-based shade to add a bit of glamour to this classic manicure. Several kits contain jewels or other accents to add to your newly manicured nails if you are looking to "kick it up" a notch or two. Of course these kits are meant to be applied at home, but if you'd rather head to a salon, you'll find French Manicures to be a popular choice among salon clients.

Sometimes nail technicians at salons will use acrylic tips when providing a French Manicure. This is usually done when the actual nails are not long enough to get the stunning white tip look. The technician will place long tips on your fingernails, cut them down to your requested size, and sand them down so that tip blends with your actual nail. They will then apply an acrylic foundation that hardens your nails to make it smooth and even, then proceed with the French Manicure techniques. After painting your nails with a base shade, the technician will then add the white paint to your faux tips and finish them off with a drying spray.

For a French Manicure without acrylic tips, prices usually range from $10-$15. You can expect to pay around $30 at a salon for a French Manicure using the tips. The kits to do it yourself at home are sold at any drug or department store for around $8. If you decide to go to a salon, you can rest assured that nearly any nail salon will be trained in the French Manicure application.