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Manicure 101: Tips for a good manicure

Manicure 101: Tips for a good manicure

Let’s face it — some manicures are just better than others. A good manicure is painless and gentle on the nails, looks great and is long-lasting. Whether you choose to wear your nails short, long, square or rounded when you step into a salon you expect to leave looking and feeling good. Below are some helpful tips to ensure you get a great manicure.

Good cleaning of your nails

The first step in any manicure should be a thorough cleaning of your nails. Getting rid of old polish and dirt will allow the new polish and nail art to last longer because they adhere to the nails without any barriers. Depending upon what finish is currently on your nails, will determine the process needed for cleaning them.

Safe trimming and shaping

Trimming is a key step in a good manicure. Nicely trimmed nails will look great on their own and will stand out when complemented with polish and/or decorations. All nails should be trimmed to the same length and shaped the way you like them. Next, is filing the nails to smooth them. The key to a good filing is using a new file with a grit, that is not too harsh and should not be done in a back-and-forth sawing motion. This will destroy your nails. Instead, filing should be done in one direction from the side to the center of the nail.

Cuticle care

Although many people hate ragged cuticles, they prevent bacteria from entering your body and infecting the finger and the nail area. Instead of cutting the nail cuticles, only loose dead tissue should be trimmed. A cuticle remover is often applied to soften them — one can also make them extra soft by soaking your fingers into a manicure bowl with sudsy warm water. Once your cuticles are soften, the manicurist will proceed to push them back gently.

Base coat and top polish

Most nail polish lines require a base coat – this will help protect the nails against staining and will create a tacky surface so the color you choose will adhere better. Polish needs to be applied in two to three thin coats as thick coats have a tendency to bubble, chip or peel sooner.  And lastly top coat should be applied evenly, to help prevent chipping and polish discoloration.

Look for safe products

The nail polish and enamel removers, soaks and exfoliators that are used should be safe and gentle on your nails and skin. Unfortunately, a lot of products can contain chemicals that are unhealthy for you and your nails. When you call to book your appointment, or when you pop in, ask if their products are free of unwanted chemicals, toxins and carcinogens. What you are looking for are nail polishes that are at least three-free polishes (meaning formulas that contain no formaldehyde, toluene, or dibutyl phthalate). This used to be the gold standard, but now many products are 5-free, 7-free, 9-free and even 12-free of ingredients that are considered toxic or harmful.

Next time you go for a manicure, keep these good tips in mind. Your hands and nails will thank you for it.





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