Tuesday

Manicures – Why We Love Them So Much

Getting a manicure is just about one of the best things that a woman (or man!) can receive. Not only is it an opportunity to improve your looks, but it’s also a chance to escape from the realities of the world and step into a state of relaxation. While the ultimate goal of the manicure is to improve the looks of the nails, it’s also become common practice to incorporate massage and various relaxation techniques while getting your nails done.

Most manicures done at salons are performed by technicians who are also trained in the art of massage. While they are usually not licensed therapists, they have acquired the skills to apply just the right pressure to the hands and feet that leave us in a total state of bliss. It’s also very typical of nail salons to have their clients sit in a relaxing massage chair while having their nails and feet worked on. These chairs provide a deep back massage at just the push of a button, adding the finishing touches on a perfect spa experience. (Getting a manicure is a cheaper and often more convenient experience than a massage at a full-service spa.)

Another great aspect of receiving a manicure is the “heat therapy”. Applying gentle heat to the body is known to have a calming and relaxing effect, so many nail technicians will place your hands in warming mitts to help soften the skin as well as relax the muscles in the hands. Many people also opt to receive a pedicure along with their manicure. These are also quite a relaxing experience, as the feet are placed into a warm and bubbling footbath and followed by a complete foot and leg massage.

However, as wonderful as receiving a manicure at a salon can be, the reality still exists that not everyone can afford to have these luxurious treatments – or perhaps they simply don’t have the time. While it’s hard to duplicate the total experience available at nail salons, an equally satisfying manicure can be done at home. Here are a few tips on giving a great manicure at home.

1. Have the right tools available. For example, you will need a nail file, clippers, a cuticle stick, nail scissors, and if applicable, bottles of nail polish. You may also want to have items such as cuticle softener, lotion, warming mitts, paraffin wax machine, and a footbath. (If you don’t have a footbath, a tub filled with warm water works just as great!)

2. Carefully go through your nails with a cuticle stick and scissors, gently removing any hangnails or outgrown cuticles. Then file and clip your nails to the desired length and shape.

3. If you’re going to provide a massage, do it before you paint the nails. Use your thumbs to apply gentle pressure to the palms of the hands and rub in a circular motion. Follow up massaging each individual finger while working your way outward.

4. Be sure to rinse off any massage lotion using a wet washcloth before applying polish. Coat the nails twice, followed by a clear top coat.

Handy Tips for French Manicures

The popularity of the French manicure is undeniable.  Maybe it's because of the versatility that is offered by a French manicure.  They allow you to have groomed and polished looking hands without having to worry about picking a color.  Picking a color is one of my least favorite things about getting a manicure, especially at a nail salon.  I always end up picking a color that I don't like once it's on my nails.  Then I either have to live with the unfortunate color or embarrassedly ask the manicurist to change the color.  That's the beauty of a French manicure. There really aren't that many decisions to be made.  Sure you may have to choose between white and off white for your tips, or possibly have to choose between blush and beige for the base color; compared to having to choose between wild orchid or pink palm, that decision is for amateurs.

Another great think about the French manicure is that it usually lasts longer than a traditional manicure with color, if only because it shows fewer chips and imperfections.  Also, I like that I don't have to think too much about the color of my nail polish when choosing my outfits.  Nothing is worse than having someone point out that my hot pink polish clashes with coral dress.

Now that I've sold you on the great art of French manicures, I will have to tell you that it is more difficult to give yourself a French manicure than it is to just paint your fingernails one solid color.  I do have a quick fix as an alternative.  If I am in a hurry, but still want my nails to look great.  I will dig my fingernails into a bar of dove or ivory soap.  Really and white soap will do just fine.  Then, I wash my hands thoroughly.  The soap really helps to whiten the tips of my nails.  Lastly, I will quickly apply a clear coat of polish.  The affects are not quite the same as taking the time to do an actual French manicure, but it works in a pinch.

Now if I have more time on my hands, I will give myself an at home French manicure.  It's not as great as getting one in a salon, but still a treat nonetheless. First I will soak my hands and scrub them well with an exfoliating scrub.  Next I will trim and shape the nails.  Then I will apply a base coat of polish to my nails.

When attempting to paint the tip of my nails, I have tried a couple of different things.  In the past I have used those tape strips that you can buy in a French manicure kit. They don't seem to work for me.  When I peel the tape off, half the time the polish comes off with it.  The other half of the time I find out that I have managed to paint underneath the tape.  I've found that the thing that works best is to use a super thin brush, like an eyeliner brush.  Next, I just take my time and apply a very light thin strip to the tips of my nail.  After allowing the tips to dry, it's time to apply the pink or beige top coat.  Lastly, I apply a clear chip proof top coat to my new French manicure.

Where to Find Manicure Supplies

While it's nice to go out once in awhile to have your nails done by a professional, sometimes it isn't always an option. This could be due to time constraints, lack of extra spending money, or a drive to the salon is just too far. However, this doesn't mean you have to deprive yourself of great looking nails. With the right supplies, you can easily give yourself an awesome manicure at home. And if you're on a budget, then those supplies need to be affordable and last for a long time. Here's some great tips on how and where to find great deals on manicure supplies.

Let's start with the basics. What do you need to give yourself a manicure? To start with, you need a good nail polish remover, cotton balls (never use toilet paper or paper towels - you will go throw a lot more than using a couple of cotton balls.), and quality nail polish. You should also purchase a small manicure set if you don't already have one. If you plan to go on the glamorous side, you'll need professional manicure kits such as ones containing French manicures, or acrylic supplies if you plan to add tips to your existing nails.

You can purchase the basic items at any local drug store or discount department store. Choose a nail polish remover that says "salon quality" on the label. You may want to consider using a non-acetone based remover, as this causes less damage to your real nail. There are several polish removers available that are low-odor or odor-free, and these are highly recommended if you have children or pets in your home. When choosing a nail polish, choose a brand that is common and avoid generic or store-labeled brands. Cheaper nail polishes tend to chip much faster than the name brands. You can even find professional quality nail polish at the local grocery store. One bag of cotton balls cost less than $2 and will last you a long time when doing manicures yourself.

Most grocery or local department stores also carry small manicure sets. These contain essential items such as nail clippers, nail files, nail scissors, and cuticle sticks. A good manicure set is usually found for less than $3 and with proper care, can last for several years to come. You can also find items at these stores for the more complicated manicure, but those items should be purchased at a beauty supply retailer. For example, when giving yourself a manicure that involves the application of acrylic tips, you should find those items at professional beauty stores rather than your local grocery store. These products are much better quality when coming from a professional retailer, as they are usually the same products used in nail salons. You may pay more for these items, but you will find that you'll be much happier with the result.

To find a professional beauty retailer in your area, simply look in the yellow pages or perform an online search. Nearly every major city has at least one of these types of shops. Some places will require you to have a cosmetology license in order to purchase from them, so call ahead to see if there are any such restrictions.

(ALL) About French Manicures

A French manicure is a nice way to have polished nails without drawing too much attention to your hands. The absence of color makes for easy outfit changes, without having to think too much about clashing colors.  French manicures also last longer than traditional manicures with colored polish because you cannot see chips as easily.  They are also easier to touch up without being too noticeable.

What is the purpose of having a manicure, if you are just going to put clear polish on top of your nails? Why bother to go through all that time and trouble, to look natural?  Well, we women do tons of crazy things, and spend countless hours in the salon trying to make ourselves appear naturally beautiful.  Why should manicures be any different?  Besides, the polish is not actually clear.  The polish is two different colors.  A very thin white or off white coat is applied to the tips of your nails and allowed to dry.  Then the entire nail is painted with a soft beige or pink color, making the nails very clean and polished looking, but not quite as dramatic  as red or pink polish.

While French manicures may look almost natural, they are the most difficult type of manicure to have done to your nails.  Most salons charge more money for a French manicure, than a regular manicure with one solid color.  Some salons use an actual paint brush, with very fine bristles to apply the thin white coat to the tips of the nails.  Other salons will very quickly apply the white coat without much attention to detail. Then they will come back before the polish has dried and remove the excess color with an orange stick wrapped in cotton. This is interesting to watch.  I always get nervous when the manicurist paints half of my fingernail white.  I'm thinking to myself, great, I could do a better job at home blindfolded and I'm paying her my hard earned money to make a huge mess.  But then, she is always redeemed when she had cleaned off the excess and my nails look great. Watching her perfect this skill with ease, I was enticed to try this process at home. I made a huge mess; I think that next time I will leave this skill to the professional.

The popularity of having a French manicure started around the seventies, and is just as popular today.  People have been getting French manicures for years.  You can see these types of manicures just about anywhere from magazines, to moms at the grocery store.  One thing that is kind of interesting about French manicures is that they really don't have any target age range.  Anyone from teenagers, to grandmothers can be seen sporting a French manicure, that is something that cannot be said of most fashion trends.

In recent years, there has been a new addition to the French manicure family.  It's the French pedicure.  They have all of the flexibility and versatility of the French manicure.  I love that I can wear pink shoes, red shoes, or black shoes without having to rethink my toenail polish.

(All) About Manicure Stations

When opening a nail salon, perhaps your most important investment is the manicure station. The station is going to dictate the entire theme of your salon.  Do you want to have an upscale, fancy type of salon?  Then you will need to purchase top of the line manicure stations.  Or perhaps you could use antique furniture for your manicure stations.  This will also give the salon an elegant feel.   You will also need to pay particular attention when ordering chairs for your stations.  They could be leather, made specifically for the purpose of having ones nails manicured, or they could be elegant high backed antique chairs, or you could even have a chair representing some sort of theme, like the Caribbean or Europe for example. Whichever type you choose, comfort is of the utmost importance.

If you want to have a more basic type of nail salon with the cost conscientious client in mind, then you should keep your manicure stations a little more basic.  The basic tables will give the appearance that your prices are going to represent the absence of frills, and the lower cost of the basic tables will allow you to save money and possibly pass that savings on to your clients. While I do recommend a basic table, I wouldn't recommend scrimping on the chairs.  

Whatever type of manicure station you decide to use, there are some basic things that the different types will have in common.  For example, all stations should be comfortable and include comfortable seating, for not only the client but also the manicurist.  A comfortable employee is a happy employee.  After all, she will be spending a lot of time at that manicure station, and if she is going to keep the clients coming back, she will need to be happy. You will also need to keep some supplies at the manicure station.

Each station should have its own set of manicure tools, everything from emery boards to cuticle creams and lotions, to the actual polishes.  The station should provide adequate storage for all of these necessary tools.  There should be plenty of drawers and shelving.  Each station will need a flat counter top space for manicuring.  There should also be adequate lighting at each manicure station.

The station should have a bowl for soaking hands at the initial phase of the manicure.  It may also include some sort of hand rest for the client to rest their wrists on during the manicure.  It is not necessary to have a separate sink for each manicure station. You can have a shared sink for all stations, or even the one in the restroom will do just fine.

Whether you plan to have many stations within a nail only salon, or simply one manicure station within an existing salon, spacing is also an important thing to consider.   The stations should have plenty of space between them and other beauty shop paraphernalia.  Nothing is more unattractive or uncomfortable than a cramped space.    

(ALL) About Manicure Tables

There are many different types of manicure tables.  Some tables are fairly basic. These tables usually have a metal frame with a laminate top. They sometimes have wheels on the bottom to make room redecorating a little easier.  There are also plastic manicure tables, complete with attached chairs. I've even seen some plastic manicure tables made to look antiqued like faux stone.  These types of tables are similar to those huge faux concrete flower pots.  You've seen the ones that look really heavy, but then you go to pick them up and they are plastic and very lightweight.

In some fancier nail salons, I have seen the use of antique furniture as manicure tables. The furniture could have been a desk, or perhaps a dresser of some sort.  Sometimes the top has been refinished with a stain.  I have also seen these types of manicure tables with stone on the top, such as marble or granite.

Another type of manicure table is similar to a desk in that it has drawers for storage.  These types of tables are usually made of wood or some combination of wood and laminate.  I have also seen some manicure tables with a glass top.  The tables with glass tops would probably be the most difficult to keep clean.  Glass tables show every speck of dirt and every finger print smudge there is.

Whichever type of table you choose; you should have some sort of space for storage.  While a manicure table should be visually attractive if at all possible, it's more important that it is functional.

Prices vary greatly for manicure tables.  These types of tables can be purchased locally at beauty supply shops, through catalogs, and of course through the internet.  It is also a good idea to check your local paper for used manicure tables. You could save a great deal of money by purchasing a used table.  Sometimes, they are so gently used that you would never know that it wasn't brand new.  The internet is also another good source for purchasing used beauty supply equipment.  There are many different online suppliers.  EBay could also be a good source for finding used manicure tables.

Try to buy all of your manicure tables at one time in order to save on shipping.  With the rising price of gas these days, it's possible that the shipping charges could actually be more than the price of the actual supplies.  This is especially true if you are only purchasing a few tables and they happen to be located on the other side of the country.

Whatever you decide, I suggest that you do some serious shopping around before you purchase.  The manicure table is the most important part of the nail salon.  The manicure table will dictate the entire theme of the salon.  Do you want something basic, or perhaps a little more upscale? Do you want something lightweight and easy to move or something more stationary? Whatever the answer, I wish you good luck and happy shopping.  

(All) About Manicures

"Manicure" is a word that is typically familiar among women. However, it is actually quite common for men to indulge in manicures too, especially before an important event such as a wedding or business opportunity. People often get or give themselves manicures for various reasons. Sometimes it's to simply be pampered, as getting a professional manicure is often a very relaxing experience. Other times it's to get ready for special events, or to simply look one's best on a daily basis.

Manicures can be done at the home or in a salon, with most people choosing to head to a salon. This is because salons provide several options for the ultimate manicure. For example, you can choose from hundreds of shades of nail polish or choose a customized manicure. French manicures are often a popular choice among women obtaining a professional manicure. Other popular options include American manicures, diamond nails, gel nails, and having cute, trendy designs painted on your nails. If you don't know the difference between these types of manicures, this article will help you choose which on is right for you.

An American manicure closely resembles the French manicure. It's beautiful, subtle, and classy all at the same time. The major difference is that the American manicure is thought by many women to look more natural than the French look. American manicures usually do not contain a color base, but are painted clear or an opaque white prior to painting the tips. The tips are still painted white, but don't appear as bright as French manicures. Diamond nail manicures are a slightly more expensive form of manicure, but for very good reason. The concept formed from creating a base coat made from real diamonds, which bond to form a hard, protective coating over the actual fingernail. This provides a glamorous look while helping the nails to grow rapidly. Some places may not use a base coat containing actual diamonds, but the concept and look remains the same. Gel nail manicures are done using an acrylic base over the top of the actual nail, providing strength to enhance the growth of the nails. It should be known that eventually this layer begins to break off, but some women prefer to keep up this form of manicure to keep their nails hard and strong.

For those opting to do their manicures at home, it's possible to achieve the same professional look for a lot less. Look for professional manicure kits. You can choose from a French, American, or classic (a color is applied to your entire nail) manicure kit. If your nails are long enough, you can purchase the kits with adhesive strips to help you perfect the white line that is painted over the tips. If you have short nails but wish to make them look longer, you will need to purchase artificial tips and the supplies needed for these manicures - acrylic powder, bonding solution, professional nail cutting scissors, and a buffer. Sometimes you can purchase the acrylic kits already containing these items. However, be careful when choosing an acrylic kit. Choose one from a reputable manufacturer, or visit a beauty supply store where the kits are the same ones used in nail salons.

All about Products and Supplies for Nail (MANICURE)

There are many things to consider when going into business to give professional manicures, in addition to the proper licensing and insurance; there are also some products and supplies that you are going to need.  First you will need a store front.  Choose a place that will have some visual appeal.  You want a place that will be easily accessible, as well as easy to find.  You will also need to have some sort of manicure station or table.  Whether you are planning to have an entire salon devoted to manicures and pedicures, or to just have one station within an existing salon, it is imperative to have a comfortable manicure station.

The table could be anything from just a basic table, to station made specifically for giving manicures, to an attractive looking antique.  It is important that it be comfortable for not only the customer, but also the manicurist.  The station should provide adequate space for all of the products necessary to give a manicure.

Each table should have a place for products such as, lotions, polishes, nail files, tweezers, cuticle pushers etc.  There should also be storage space for tools necessary for doing acrylic tips, such as gels.   Each station should also have adequate lighting.  It can be hard to see tiny cuticles without enough light.  Some salons can be very elaborate, while others remain fairly basic.

At a fancy upscale salon, the client can usually expect to be offered something to drink upon arrival.  Then they will be taken to a station that is usually elegantly decorated.  These types of places usually use either antique furniture or expensive manicure tables as their manicure station.  The tables usually have leather hand rests for the clients to rest their wrists on during the manicure.  Sometimes, they will also provide jewelry cleaner for the clients to have their rings cleaned during the manicure.

At a more basic nail salon.  The price usually reflects the absence of these frills.  There are usually several stations, and the tables are usually pretty basic.

Surprisingly, however, while the prices of these two different salons may vary greatly, the products usually do not.  Any time you get a manicure, they will need to use the same basic supplies and tools, a basic soaking solution, a nail file, or emery board, a cuticle pusher, a cuticle clipper, nail scissors, tweezers and an assortment of polishes.  Some salons will use a base coat polish followed by a coat of color and a top coat for shine protection and drying.  Other salons will just do a layer of color and let your nails dry under a dryer.

If a salon is also going to give pedicures, which is basically essential these days, there are a few more supplies that will be needed.  Most salons have a massage chair for the client to sit in while receiving a pedicure.  Pedicure stations also require a miniature tub for soaking.  Some of the fancier salons mentioned above, provide cute separators for your toes.  Other salons use cotton, and some salons use nothing at all.    

Amber Manicure Heater

For a basic manicure you need some basic supplies like, an emery board or nail file, tweezers, an orange stick, nail polish remover, and last but not least the nail polish itself.

These all seem simple and basic enough, but if you are giving a spa manicure, the whole simplicity thing is out the window.

A spa manicure is not entirely different from a regular manicure in that you will still receive all of the basic cleaning, massaging, shaping and painting, but you will also receive a paraffin wax in addition to the basics. It's awesome. A spa manicure really is the total luxury in pampering.  Because of the wax, you will need a couple more products than are necessary to give a basic manicure.  The products are a little pricier, but most clients will be willing to pay the difference in order to experience this extra pampering.  If they are not willing to pay the difference every time they get a manicure, it's guaranteed that this can be used as an enticing bonus for special occasions.

The wax must be melted in order to apply to the client's hands.  The most commonly used heater is the Amber manicure heater.  It comes with refill cups for ease of cleaning and additional cups may be purchased separately.  There is no need to clean the sticky mess, simply throw the plastic cup away and wipe the surface clean.  We all know what a mess wax can make when it dries and hardens.

Once the wax is heated and melted the clients hand is dipped into the wax and then it is spread evenly onto the entire hand.  Then a plastic cover is inserted over the hand.  This protects the terry cloth mitts that are then put on top of the plastic cover. The next step for you and the client is to wait.  Sometimes this quiet relaxation and waiting is the best part of the spa manicure.  Once the wax has hardened, it is time to continue with the manicure.

At this point continue with the manicure as you ordinarily would.  You can skip the first step of soaking the hands since the wax will have already softened the cuticles.  The nails may also be a little softer due to the intense moisture that the wax provides.  They should strengthen once they are polished.  The wax will leave the hands feeling soft and smooth for days.

Incidentally, you can you the Amber manicure heater to heat wax for a spa pedicure as well.  Amber also makes special booties that go on top of the client's feet during the spa pedicure.  They have thought of everything.  These little extras like the booties and the disposable wax cups really help to make clean up a lot easier.

Sometimes our feet get so rough and dry that the wax is really the best way to make them smooth again, so a spa pedicure can be just the medicine.  I think that you will be pleased with the results.

Where to Find Manicure Tables

When visiting a nail salon, you've probably noticed the workstations surrounding the nail technicians. Or perhaps you are about to open a salon or spa of your own and you need to know where to find the best deals on the equipment needed to get things started. Whether you're looking for a manicure table for your home or to place in your new business, there are places to find them at really amazing deals.

One of the most popular places to find great deals on almost anything is eBay - this includes everything you need to set up shop in the manicure business! A simple search of "manicure tables" on eBay produces a long list of several new and used manicure tables. You can find several new ones for less than $100 plus shipping and handling. There are pictures of the manicure tables for you to look at, and you will see that most of them look exactly like what you're probably used to seeing when you visit your favorite nail salon or spa. At eBay, you have the option of placing a bid for the table or you can choose to buy it directly by clicking the "Buy it Now" icon located next to the picture. While you're there, check out all of the other deals on great professional manicure products, such as drying lights, fans, and acrylic containers.

Another excellent place to look for manicure tables is salons going out of business. Most spas or salons going out of business will be glad to sell you their equipment at a reasonable price, and may even be willing to throw in a few extras for free. You'll be able to purchase all matching equipment that your customers will never suspect came from a closed-down salon.

However, sometimes you may need to purchase your manicure tables brand new from a retailer. It can be confusing deciding on which one to go with, but always look at prices and don't be afraid to compare them. Retailers like Minerva and PediSpa sell new manicure and pedicure equipment and tools at wholesale prices. Sometimes they have monthly online specials, so be sure to check out the internet to take advantage of these deals. A popular manicure table available through these retailers is the 7701a manicure station. This table has a modern appeal and is available in three different colors. You'll love the look as well as the power supply this table provides. With three different outlets, you'll be able to hook up all of your tools effortlessly. This table is available for around $179, but you'll also find others that more or less expensive to suit your needs and budget.

Purchasing a good manicure table should not be a rush decision. Take your time and explore all of your options, including new and used tables. You definitely want to make sure that your table is in good condition before you pay any amount. If you shop wisely, you are sure to grab some great deals on good manicure tables!