Thursday

Manicure (PROCEEDURE)

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.    

What's an (AMERICAN 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!