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Manicure Treatments Explained

Manicures have grown to be very popular. In fact, they are one of the most preferred beauty treatments by women today because of many reasons that are discussed in this. But before we do, let us first discuss what they are.

Manicures, generally speaking, are a cosmetic beauty treatment for the hands and the fingernails that can be performed in a beauty salon or at home. Some types may include painting of designs and pictures on the nails.

Whether you are in it for the utter pleasure of having freshly painted nails, for grooming, or just to change up your look, manicures cover it all in one big swoop. Apart from beautifying you, manicures have a side effect of relaxing you. This is so because of the pressure points on the hands that correspond to other parts of the body.

Manicures can get you whatever type of nails that you prefer, be it short and beautiful, square, oval or almond shaped and with the endless colors from which to choose from, you are sure to have the perfect finishing.

What to expect?

Assuming that you already have a preferred salon or a nail spa, which is highly dependent on both coincidence and cost, the process starts with having your nails freed from any present nail polish. Your nails will then be shaped by filing them either rounded or square tipped, depending on the natural shape of your nails.

This is important because nails that are shaped according to their natural shape do not break easily and at the same time, ensures that your nails will develop to be very strong.

Only after shaping and filing will the nail technician either cut your cuticles or use a cuticle pusher, after applying a cuticle cream to them, to gently push them down.

Most salons include a hand massage as part of the manicure package. So, on your first manicure, you should expect a “little piece of heaven” as it is commonly referred to. For reasons only known to them, a hand massage is mostly the reason that most women find themselves going for the manicure almost every week. And so will you after experiencing the “little piece of heaven”.

Your hand massage will include a number of reflexology methods that include pressure applied on specific areas of the hand and fingers, to completely relax your hands and your body.

Get inspired

Everything so far has been just a walk in the park. The most difficult part if this is your first manicure will be to choose the color that you would like. And the nail technician providing you with an even larger variety of colors than you had never thought existed does not help smoothen things out.

Nonetheless, if it gets too tricky for you, you can always ask the nail technician for advice, though there is no guarantee that his or her preferred color will be just as yours.

If there is no particular color that you would prefer, you can always try the French manicure that gives a totally natural look with a color just at the tip of the nail. It is only after this that one can request a specific design be drawn on the nails to make them look even better.

Some types of nail polishes and manicures do not require a wait time, some do. It is important to know which one you have used to prevent coming back for a retouch a couple of minutes later.

Popular types of manicures

There are many types of manicures from which to choose from, and one may be spoilt for choice. The decision on what type of manicure that one wants is dependent on three factors; the type of nails that one has, the type of manicure that one prefers and the budget.

European manicures are unsuitable for neglected nails while French manicures are best for short to medium nails. Paraffin manicures are mostly for people who have dry skin. Also, depending on whether you are going for artificial nails, the following are the types of manicures that are available.

Classic manicure

If this is your first manicure, then I would advise that you go for this. It is simple, and beautiful enough to usher you into the world of manicures.

The nail technician will start by trimming your nails to the required size for a classic manicure, then file them into shape. He will then soak them in water for a couple of minutes, to help in smoothening out the cuticles a little bit before applying the cuticle remover and pushing the cuticles back or trimming them if necessary.

Painting then takes place, starting with the base coat, then two layers of the color of the polish that you picked, and lastly, a clear polish is painted on the top to finish it off.

French manicure

The best part about this manicure is that while every other color and type of manicure has something to say, (e.g., a red manicure will yell out “darling”, a black one will say “timeless” or “fresh”) this type will go by unnoticed, neutral, understated. It involves a clear, pink, or pale nail, with a white tip. If you are going for that elegant, neutral look, then this ever-classic manicure is the way to go. This is the one look that you can never go wrong on.

Reverse French manicure

This is just as it sounds like. It is the French manicure reversed in that the white that was being applied on the tip of the nail is now being applied on the cuticle while the rest of the nail is done in a lighter or darker color. Before it achieved mainstream popularity, it started off in Europe on the high fashion runways.

Nail extension

Nail extension is the creation of an artificial nail using a nail product to extend it past the edge of the natural nail. The product that is used in a nail extension procedure is gel, and you will have a variety of colors from which to choose from. Acrylic nails should not be confused with gel nails.

The nail technician applies the gel in very fine layers, while “curing” or “sealing” each layer into place using UV light. The end result is a natural looking, hard but flexible nail with a chip resistant glossy finish. This is particularly good for people with short, bitten, or weak nails as it allows the nail to harden and grow beneath it.

Paraffin manicure

For those who have dry, or overly worked hands, this type of manicure is exactly what they need. The paraffin wax is used here because of its properties to be able to infuse the skin with the lacking moisture. You shall not believe how soft your hands will feel after the treatment.

It involves the same procedure as that of a classic manicure but in addition, you can expect an extra hand scrub, with your hand soaked in a hot paraffin bath, leaving you with softened hands.

Manicure with gel polish

This type came to save those of us who like something that can take ages to fade away without us putting much effort into it. It follows the same procedure as a normal manicure.

First, the nails are trimmed, cuticles pushed back, then the painting starts. The only difference between basic and gel manicure is that for this type, there are at least four coats that are applied; the base, which is normally a clear paint to prevent staining of the nail, then two or three layers of the color, and finally a top coat, applied to prevent chipping.

After every coat of the polish, the nail is dried under UV light for thirty to sixty seconds. This is why it lasts for that long – up to two weeks.

Hot stone manicure

For a mere fifty minutes, you can treat yourself to an experience of a life time. If you have been feeling a little extravagant, then this is the way to go. This beauty treatment involves the typical features of a basic manicure, plus the heated stones. The hands are place below stones for comforts’ sake and to relieve your presumably overworked hands.

Good to know

The best part about nail art is just that – it is art – making it have endless possibilities. With the celebrities making new trends everyday there is always something new to try. From colors, design, foils, piercings, and even gemstones, the possibilities are endless.

However, for any style that you choose, it is very important to know how to maintain it. Nothing would be worse that one day your nails are all beautiful and attractive and the next day they do not look like they have ever been in a nail spa ever. In order to keep your manicured nails looking as good as can be for the longest time possible.

The following steps are paramount:

  • After your treatment is done, ensure that your hands and nails have ample time to dry out.
  • Make sure that you use hand cream regularly to keep your skin soft and moisturized.
  • The base coat, while it can be dismissed as unimportant, helps prevent staining of the nail. The top coat is used to prevent chipping.
  • Avoid using metal files under all conditions.
  • Your nails should be kept in a practical length to prevent breaking.
  • Keep yourself hydrated, eat well, and make use of simple hand exercises for the joints.
  • Keep away from soaps that are dry and harsh. – Ensure that your hands are moisturized as often as can be, especially during the night before turning in.
  • Exfoliate your hands.
  • Your nails will be strengthened if filed correctly and weakened if filed wrongly. Filing back and forth is wrong. You should file them in one direction.
  • While doing your chores around the house, make sure that you have your gloves on (even chores as simple as washing dishes).

Question – Answer

  • Bite my nails or my nails are very short. Can I still enjoy a manicure?

    There are many reasons that could make the nails to remain short. Some nails just don’t grow because they are weak and brittle, while some people just don’t have the time and the effort to take care of them.

    Whatever the case, the best part about manicures is that there is something for everyone. Like we mentioned above, there are types of manicures, e.g. European manicures that are best suited for short nails.

    Besides, short nails have been in fashion for a long time and are not about to come out any time soon.

  • Is it safe to continue manicures and pedicures throughout my pregnancy?

    The sense of attractiveness and self-confidence is passed on to your baby during your pregnancy.

    That should be a good enough reason to not think twice and keep your nails looking as beautiful as can be.

  • How frequently do you recommend a manicure to maintain the health of my hands and my feet?

    The frequency of manicures is highly dependent on a number of factors. For example, your lifestyle, “bad habits” and the nail preference.

    If you are constantly on the move, love to text, wash dishes, and cook, your nails are probably murmuring God-knows-what under their breath, especially if you take more than a week to visit that nail spa.

    Such an activity filled life requires an at least once a week visit to your nail technician.

    If you are semi active, in the sense that you don’t really do much and some of your typical days involve doing very little chores around the house, then you should do your nails one in two weeks or so.

  • How long does it take for nail polish to dry?

    If you have used a base coat, two nail polish coats, and a final top coat, it will take them one to two hours to completely dry off.

    Some different types of polish even dry just after 5 to 15 minutes of use.

  • Does gel polish ruin your nails?

    Despite popular belief, gel nail polish is actually good for your nails and does not ruin them, unless of course you use it wrongly just like all the other polishes.

    Actually, any polish on your nails for more than seven days is harmful to your nails, making them weak and brittle. The only downside to gel polish is the drying using UV light. Otherwise, all is well.

Manicure by Maria

Conclusion

Maria

Maria

Beauty Therapist

The right treatment produces more than well-groomed nails, but a flawless manicure that pops up on pampered hands with a youthful glow!
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