Lazy Girls’ Guide to Manicures: What Exactly is a Manicure?

When people talk about cosmetic beauty treatments, we automatically think of scalpels and masked surgeons talking in sensitively hushed voices, however the humble, but oh so necessary, manicure also falls under that bracket.

A manicure involves the filing and shaping of your fingernails – a pedicure is the same, but for toenails. It includes nail treatments, hand massages and applying polish or nail enhancements, such as acrylic tips, wraps, or 3D art.

You can book an appointment with a manicurist, also known as a nail technician, at your local salon, a department store, or very easily carry out these treatments and decorative effects yourself. DIY manicures are increasingly popular and high quality products to create magical masterpieces are readily available.

The law varies from state to state, but generally a professional manicurist should have completed an approved cosmetology program, and the salon should be licensed.

A salon manicure usually follows a routine, and remember, if you don’t like the products the salon uses, you can always bring your own – a good manicurist won’t mind at all.

This routine typically consists of the following:

  • The manicurist will start by removing your existing polish
  • Your nails will be filed, shaped and tidied, and the cuticles trimmed and pushed back.
  • If you are not having polish or tips applied, your hands will be soaked in oiled warm water and massaged, followed by being moisturized
  • If you go down the polish route, this is carried out now, complete with curing, or drying, your nails under a lamp.

Some manicurists specialize in creating fantastic nail art designs, and usually, they’ll have a book containing photos of their work for you to browse through if you need ideas of what look to go for.

When you leave the salon, you should be completely satisfied with the service you’ve received and be happy to return there for repeat treatments. If not, make sure you politely explain why you aren’t. A good manicurist will always do their best to rectify any issues.

Always remember to recommend your manicurist to your friends as good salons can be hard to come by in some areas, and new custom is always appreciated. There might even be a discount offered for referrals!

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