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. 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. 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! All about Products and Supplies for Nail Manicures 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. Manicure Tips Getting a manicure these days seems to be common practice for a lot of people. Some men do receive regular manicures; however, it seems that is type of pampering is usually dominated by women. I went to the nail salon this morning and was amazed at how many women were there. There were mother daughter duos in the nail salon. There were people like myself that were at the salon because of being in a wedding party. There were also women that were just there for a little much needed pampering. I am not one of those lucky women that have the money or let's face it the time to get regular salon manicures. I am thrilled with the way that my nails look now, but I know that in just a few hours the polish will start to chip. Unfortunately, I am just not that graceful. Because of my lack of funds, I have mastered some tips to do my own at home manicures. The first step to doing an at home manicure, is to put the kids to bed. Well, not really, but it helps to get the polish on evenly if I am left alone to fully attend to my nails, without having to wipe a runny nose, or change a diaper wile filing my nails. All joking aside though, I use one of those one minute manicure products to scrub my hands. My favorite product is by Beauty Control. It's a great exfoliate, but it also has essential oils in it. The oils keep my hands feeling smooth and silky for hours, even after repeated hand washing. Also the oils really help to moisturize not only my hands, but also my cuticles. This eliminates that time consuming step of having to soak your hands in a bowl of water. Really, who has time for that? Incidentally, while your cuticles are soft you should push them back. If you have time you can use either an orange stick or a cuticle pusher. If I am in a hurry, I will just use my finger nail. It's not perfect, but it will do in a pinch. Sometimes, that's the extent of my at home manicure. If, however, I am lucky and have a little more time on my hands, I will proceed with shaping my nails. Shaping can be tricky. I have read that you should stroke the emery board in the same direction, rather than back and forth. This supposedly prevents damage to the nail. However, yesterday, I had to file my nails while driving down the highway on my way to a rehearsal dinner. I didn't care too much about going in one direction. At least not with the emery board anyway. Also, I noticed that when I got a salon manicure, she didn't bother to follow that piece of advice either. The last and most important step in an at home manicure, is of course the polish. I have also read that you should try to put the polish on in thin even coats. Three brush strokes is supposedly the best method, one stroke for each side, and one stroke right down the middle of the nail. Realistically, the best tip I can give you is to get a good polish. Manicure Sets - Why they are Handy Manicure Sets can be as simple or as complicated as you want them to be. You can purchase a basic manicure set at the drug store or your local discount store. A basic manicure set will probably consist of a nail file, tweezers, nail clippers, fingernail scissors and a cuticle pusher. I remember the kind that my grandmother used to have. It was a leather case and each item had its own little elastic compartment that held it in place. The case could be closed with a zipper. She always had it handy in case of an emergency hang nail or broken fingernail. It was basic, and absent of any frills, but in a pinch it did the trick. Well, nowadays the manicure kits can be a lot more complicated than that. Mine for example is probably the most elaborate of its types. I use a small silver train case as my manicure kit. I have all of the basics mentioned above, except a cuticle pusher. I never much enjoyed that part of an at home manicure anyway. I did replace the cuticle pusher with an orange stick which accomplishes the same basic thing. I also have some cotton, fingernail polish remover (I have both the bottle and the jar that you stick your fingers into), sticky tapes for fool proof at home French manicures, tons of different polishes, and of course one of those cute little toe separator thingies. Mine is hot pink and has palm trees on the end. This is a manicure kit that would make my Grandma proud. In addition to the old fashioned manicure sets you can purchase all kinds of kits at all different kinds of stores. Some kits will have cute little carrying cases like mine (well not as cute as mine, but cute nonetheless). There are kits aimed at the target market of teenagers and small children. You can even purchase a manicure kit with Dora the Explorer on it. There are also more sophisticated kits that cater to an older more sophisticated target market. These can be compact for the frequent traveler or huge and strictly home bound like mine. If in doubt, you can purchase one of these preassembled kits and then gradually add to it. You can get all of the basics in the beginning, and add new pieces as you need them. After all, who doesn't need one of those cute little toe separator thingies. It is a good idea to go through your manicure set periodically and purge any old and outdated manicure supplies. You should replace the orange sticks and emery boards pretty regularly in order to avoid spreading fungus and bacteria that live under our nails. In addition, you should throw out polishes after about a year. I am guilty of adding fingernail polish remover to that last favorite bottle of discontinued perfect red. You know this particular beauty sin; the polish is real thick so you thin it out using remover. Well stop doing it, its ridiculous. Buy a new color already! Manicure Warmers - Why They are Handy Why would you need a warmer in order to give a manicure? Well, that's a very good question. The warmer isn't really for the manicure, and it's not really used in an everyday basic manicure. A manicure warmer is saved for the purpose of giving a very special type of manicure. This special type of manicure is a spa manicure. A spa manicure, is a little pricier than its basic counterpart, but it is worth the splurge every once in a while. The manicure warmer is actually used to warm wax used to give a spa manicure. The warmer will heat and melt a paraffin wax. The wax is then smothered onto the hands of the lucky recipient. The wax acts as a moisturizer. It replaces essential oils and moisture that we loose through every day life, especially through hand washing. The wax will help to smooth rough hands and temporarily reduce fine lines leaving hands looking younger and softer. With regular spa manicures hands will continue to look younger, due to the softening of the skin. Once the wax has been applied the client is left to relax and wait for the wax to harden. The wax doesn't actually harden into a complete solid form. It's not like the wax will be as hard as a crayon or a candle. It's also a very thin layer of wax, so it will come off with a gentle rubbing motion. Once the wax has been heated and applied the manicure warmer is no longer needed. There are many different types of manicure warmers. Some warmers come with disposable cups that allow for ease of clean up, while others have to be emptied and cleaned daily. For anyone who has ever had to clean up dried candle wax, you know that this can be an unpleasant task to say the least. Some manicure warmers also can be used for other beauty shop purposes. For example, some salons may use their manicure warmer to warm the wax used for waxing procedures, like leg and eyebrow waxing. These waxes are usually stickier and heated to a higher temperature than the wax used for a spa manicure or pedicure. These manicure warmers can be used to give spa pedicures as well as manicures. Why should hands have all of the fun? A spa pedicure can be a great treat for dry and rough or cracked feet. I know that I treated myself to a spa pedicure after I ran the marathon, and it was just what the doctor should have ordered. My feet felt rested, refreshed and most importantly moisturized. It is important for distance runners to take good care of their feet. I have seen some pretty ugly toes after marathon training. I wouldn't say that I get regular pedicures, but the few that I have gotten have helped to keep my toes looking good. So that being said, I am thankful for the invention of manicure warmers. Without them, we wouldn't have the greatest hand pampering known as the spa manicure. Manicure Procedure 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. Manicure Implements There are many tools needed to give a manicure. Whether doing an at home manicure or actually being a manicurist, the supplies can be as endless as you want them to be. If you are to be an actual manicurist, the first thing you need is some training and a license. Thankfully, this type of skill does require licensing. It is a huge relief to know that the girl scraping that razor blade over my foot is actually certified and licensed for doing so. I am amazed at how many people actually get regular manicures and pedicures. It can be a treat, I must admit. However, unfortunately it is one of those things that rarely make it onto my calendar. When going to the nail salon, I noticed, how many supplies were actually necessary. They had several pedicure stations. These were nice leather massage chairs. They had tiny little Jacuzzi tubs in the bottom of each chair. These were for feet soaking, and felt great. The manicurist had a little stool at the end of the pedicure station. In between each of the pedicure chairs was a little storage bin. These bins held everything from polish to razor blades. The manicurist needed cotton and some sort of acetone to take off my old polish. She needed scissors and clippers for trimming my fingernails and toenails. She also had a huge variety of buffers and shapers, scrubbers and boards. All of these tools seemed confusing to me, but I think that she used every tool in that bin on my feet. After a thorough cleaning and shaping, she applied lotion to my legs and massaged my feet. It felt great and was much needed. Now it was time for the polish. The salon had those little foam things that they stick in between your toes to keep them separated while painting. They also had these cute little disposable flip flops for me to wear home. This way my toes could dry and I wouldn't have to worry about smudging the polish when I put my shoes on. After my toes were polished, I was taken to another station entirely for the manicure. At this station there was this funny little dryer thing for me to rest my feet on. This was also supposed to help in the drying process and prevent smudging. At the nail station there were even more tools than at the pedicures station. The process was basically the same. First I had to soak my hands. The purpose of this is to soften the cuticles to make it easier to trim them. If was kind of awkward though. Every time I put one hand in, she would take the other hand and either trim or shape my nail. Then she would put that hand back in the water and take my other hand. Half the time, I had no idea what to do with what hand and my arms were overlapping each other all over the place. Anyway, I was surprised at just exactly how many supplies and tools were used during the manicure process. Inexpensive Manicure Sets With the hustle and bustle of today's crazy lifestyle, it isn't always possible to make it to the nail salon or spa to have our nails done professionally. Sometimes we find ourselves primping our nails on the go, like when we're driving to that all-important business meeting or flying out to the annual family reunion. While you certainly shouldn't attempt to give yourself a manicure while battling four lanes of 80 mph traffic, you can give yourself a great manicure if you know how and where to find good manicure sets. Ever notice how the tools and equipment at professional nail salons look so expensive and hard to get? The truth is they really aren't hard to come by and don't cost a fortune. (In fact, you will find that the expense of your professional tools pays for itself when you add up all the visits to have your nails done at a salon!) If you're looking to purchase manicure tools and sets that will last for years to come, then scout out where the beauty retail stores are in your area. These can easily be located through a search on the internet or by simply thumbing through your yellow pages. Beauty retailers will typically have the words "professional beauty supply" or something similar in their title. These are the places that sell the exact same tools and equipment to salons and spas, and while you may pay a little more money to shop here, the quality of the product is superior. These stores sell complete manicure sets, or you can choose to customize your needs by purchasing individual tools. If you're really looking for top-notch tools and equipment, they sell the fancy airbrush machines and electric nail buffers, too. Don't forget to pick out your favorite color of polish while you're there -- the brands of nail polish available at these stores are high quality and won't chip as fast as that bottle purchased from the department store. If by chance you aren't able to locate a professional beauty retailer, then purchasing your manicure set from a department store is perfectly acceptable if you know what to look for. You'll find a wide variety of manicure sets ranging in prices from a couple bucks all the way $20 and over. If you're looking for something to just keep stashed away in your purse or car, then go for the lower-priced sets. You'll normally get a small set of nail clippers, nail scissors, a small file, and a cuticle stick. These are great for taking care of those annoying hangnails or filing down a broken nail at the office. If you plan to do your own manicures at home on a regular basis, then consider purchasing a manicure set that's a little more expensive. You'll get all the tools found in the cheaper kits, plus a few extras such as nail polish, cuticle and hand cream, and nail designs. Finding a good manicure set is easy and with proper care, can last for years. Imagine all of the time and money you'll save by doing manicures yourself! Images and the manicure Why go through all of the trouble of getting a manicure you may ask. Well manicures are one of women's many secret weapons. One of my friends says that she gets manicures because they are cheaper than therapy. A manicure can be a nice quick pick me up when I am feeling blue. They also instantly make me feel prettier (or at least a little fancier). There are pictures everywhere of women with perfectly manicured fingers. You can't open a magazine or turn on the television without seeing a set of perfectly manicured digits these days. Maybe it's the ease of which we can now get manicures. There are nail salons popping up everywhere. They are so competitive that some salons offer a first time free manicure, while others have half price days. You see pictures of different types of manicures in magazines and catalogs. Lately, I have seen a lot of different images put on the tops of people's nails and toenails. The last time I got a pedicure, the manicurist asked me if I wanted a picture of a flower on my big toe for a special occasion. I thought about it for a minute before answering no. I guess it would have been cool to have a picture of a butterfly or a flower on my toe, but in the end I decided that this must be her way of getting me to spend more money. After all, I'm not the trendiest person in the world and I'm not exactly a teenager either, so I would have probably looked ridiculous with a picture on my nail or toenail. That being said, I think that pictures or images have their place in the manicure world. I've seen a lot of other people with these images, and it looks great on them. Every time I open a magazine I see a picture or an ad for a new type of polish. Some polishes promise to be chip proof, while others advertise long lasting shine. I even saw a picture of a dog with its nails polished. I though it was pretty cute, as a dog lover myself. The product they were advertising was called dog pawlish. Get it? Like, polish for the paws. Anyway, I thought it was really cute and would have bought some, but my dog is a boy. Dogs aside, manicures are important to all women at some point and time in their lives, even if they won't admit it. One time when every woman considers a manicure to be of the utmost importance is when she first receives an engagement ring. I remember getting more manicures that first month, of being an engaged woman, than I did in the past year. It's always fun to have freshly painted nails when you are going to be heavily photographed. Manicure and pedicure parties are becoming a staple of all bridal parties. Even if you aren't the bride everyone wants to compare rings with the other married women, so it's a good idea to have those digits polished. How to Give a Manicure If you are interested in learning how to give a professional manicure, then you should enroll in classes, as this type of profession does require a license. If however you just want to learn how to give an at home manicure, then I have some great tips for you. First, when giving a manicure, you should start by removing any existing polish. You will need cotton and fingernail polish remover. Some heavy duty salon polishes have acetone in them, and will require a heavier type of remover, most polishes, however, can be removed with a basic non- acetone remover. If you happen to have an aversion to cotton (some people do) you can use those plastic jars that contain finger nail polish remover. Most cosmetic companies have there own version of them, like Sally Hansen or Revlon for example. Next you should soak your hands in water. You may add some oils or cleaning solution to the water, or you could simply use tap water. Allow your fingers to soak for at least five minutes. The purpose of this soaking is to allow your cuticles to soften in order to make it easier to push them back. Once your fingers have soaked, you should dry them thoroughly before trimming and shaping your nails. Some people like to use a buffer on the nail to smooth it, before shaping. Next, while your cuticles are still soft, use an orange stick to gently press your cuticles back. This will not only give your nails a more groomed appearance, but will also allow your nails to grow longer. Also use the orange stick to clean any remaining debris from under nails. The next step in giving a manicure is to shape the nails. You may shape your nails any way that you like. Some people prefer to round their finger nails, while others prefer a more squared off look. Whichever you choose, be careful to only use the emery board in one direction. If you go back and forth with the board, it may damage the nail. This may take a little longer, but the results will be worth your patience. Now, you should apply a moisturizer to your hands. There are tons of different moisturizers to choose from. Just pick one that works well for you. Now you are ready to polish those digits. I would recommend at this point if you are going to polish your toes as well, do the toes first. This way it lessens the chance of you damaging your freshly polished fingers. Before using color, you should first apply a base coat to the nail. This will smooth out any imperfections and help the color bond better to the nail. Wait a few minutes for the base coat to dry, and then apply one layer of color. When applying color, less is more. You don't want to put it on too thick. You can always come back and apply another coat later. Lastly, you may want to apply a clear coat to prevent chipping and add extra shine. Try to sit still and touch nothing for about an hour in order to keep your nails from smudging.
French Manicures Mention the words "French Manicure" around nearly any woman, and you'll immediately see their face light up like a kid on Christmas morning. This is because many women regularly indulge themselves in this classic beauty routine, whether they go out to a salon or do it themselves at home. It has become known as a common form of manicure in the United States, as it most resembles a "natural" look for fingernails. It's very universal in that the look is ideal for day-to-day life, weddings, proms, special events, or nights out on the town. The history of the French Manicure is thought to go back to the mid 1970's when a man named Jeff Pink, president of the popular manicure company Orly, attended a fashion show where he noticed several of the models were using a white pencil to whiten the tips of their fingernails. He immediately realized this could be major fashion trend and brainstormed a way to recreate the look. The result was a kit that contained two shades of polish; a light pink base and white polish to paint the tips of the fingernails. He also included adhesive strips to place at the baseline of the nail so that women could effortlessly create a stunning, perfect look when applying the white paint. French manicures are still sold in this form today, but have varied slightly since their beginning. Today you can choose from a classic light pink shade, a nude base, or you could even choose a pearl-based shade to add a bit of glamour to this classic manicure. Several kits contain jewels or other accents to add to your newly manicured nails if you are looking to "kick it up" a notch or two. Of course these kits are meant to be applied at home, but if you'd rather head to a salon, you'll find French Manicures to be a popular choice among salon clients. Sometimes nail technicians at salons will use acrylic tips when providing a French Manicure. This is usually done when the actual nails are not long enough to get the stunning white tip look. The technician will place long tips on your fingernails, cut them down to your requested size, and sand them down so that tip blends with your actual nail. They will then apply an acrylic foundation that hardens your nails to make it smooth and even, then proceed with the French Manicure techniques. After painting your nails with a base shade, the technician will then add the white paint to your faux tips and finish them off with a drying spray. For a French Manicure without acrylic tips, prices usually range from $10-$15. You can expect to pay around $30 at a salon for a French Manicure using the tips. The kits to do it yourself at home are sold at any drug or department store for around $8. If you decide to go to a salon, you can rest assured that nearly any nail salon will be trained in the French Manicure application. 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. 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. Popular French Manicure Designs French manicures are a popular trend among women in America today. And for very good reason -- the French manicure is very universal, and is just as appropriate for jeans and t-shirts as it is a wedding or prom dress. The classic French manicure has a light pink or nude base coat, with the tips of the fingernails painted bright white. Nearly every nail salon in America is familiar with this manicure and provides them to clients on a daily basis. But sometimes women like to add a bit of glamour to the French manicure, and this is easily accomplished by incorporating designs to their nails. French manicure designs are normally done in nail salons. This is because salons carry all the equipment (and talent) to create some amazing designs. A popular method of applying a French manicure is through an airbrush machine, which gives the nails a smooth, even line when painting the tips white. Often manicurists will use the airbrush machine to create stunning designs. For example, instead of airbrushing a classic white line on the tips, you can use a stencil to create upward points (resembling triangles). This gives you the classic look of a French manicure while providing a special and unique touch. If you prefer to add color to your French manicure, you could have the manicurist draw or airbrush a small design on your fingernail. Popular designs include symbolic holiday designs, such as Christmas trees for the winter, pumpkins for the fall, or hearts for Valentine's Day. Other designs frequently used for French manicures are flowers, palm trees, or letter initials. Other designs popular among French manicures include the application of tiny gems or stones. These add a small touch of "sparkle" to your manicure. The stones can be applied singly or with a painted design to complete your desired look. The manicurist applies them using small tweezers and a bit of nail glue, then coats them using a clear top coat. This helps to seal the stones and prevent them from chipping off. You can choose to add these to one fingernail on each hand, or apply them to all ten nails for extra special glamour. Another popular design used on the French manicure is known as "nail tattoos." These are transfers rubbed onto your nail directly from printed paper. They are very similar to the application of faux tattoos, and are then covered with a top coat to help maintain longevity. These come in a wide variety of designs, and the salon should be able to provide you with a selection of available nail tattoos. Finally, for those looking for a more extreme approach to nail designs, a popular trend called nail piercing is now available at several nail salons. Nail piercing is usually done on acrylic nails rather than actual nails. This is because once a real fingernail is pierced, it is nearly impossible to repair the nail later without having to cut it down. Using a small ear piercing gun, the manicurist pierces the nail with a tiny earring. These are usually studs or small gems. This procedure costs about $10 extra to your manicure. With so many options available for French manicure designs, women now have the ability to customize their manicure and go beyond the classic look. Ask your manicurist for ideas on different nail designs. 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. 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 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. 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! 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. The Lurking Dangers of Manicures and Pedicures Manicures and pedicures have become a common luxury among Americans. Not just for women either; it isn't surprising to see a male having his feet pampered at the local nail salon. It's a treat available even to those on a budget, as it's easy to create your own makeshift spa in the comfort of your own home and create amazing manicures and pedicures. However, if you plan to head out to your favorite salon or spa for your next manicure and pedicure, there are a few things you should be aware of before dipping your feet into the pedicure whirlpool. First and foremost, it's a fact that not all nail salons and spas are created equal. They may look the same on the inside or outside, have employees with the same salary, and charge the same prices, but there are major differences. Think of the restaurants in your town -- at least one of them probably has (or has had) a failing health inspection score that you're blissfully unaware of as you scarf down that plate of spaghetti you've eaten many times before. Well, the same holds true with nails salons and spas. You won't catch salmonella or see a health inspection score posted when you walk in, but there are standards that these places must hold up in order to safely serve their clients. When going to a salon for a manicure or pedicure, be observant of the staff and your surroundings. After the completion of a pedicure, make sure the foot bath was drained and thoroughly cleaned using an anti-bacterial solution. Watch the employee to ensure that the bath was not just effortlessly wiped down, but scrubbed with a brush and cleaner. As luxurious and comforting as those warm foot baths may seem, they are an ideal residence for many types of bacteria when not cleaned properly. Not only do these footbaths harbor such infectious bacteria, but they also contain hair and skin pieces from previous clients. One reputable salon in California was shut down when women began experiencing large, painful boils on their legs after receiving a pedicure. This was found to be due to improper sanitation of the footbaths. With manicures, the instruments used (tweezers, nail files, cuticle sticks, etc.) should be soaked in a sanitizer to prevent the spread of germs from one client to the next. If a client is nicked during a manicure, it provides an entry for harmful bacteria and can be very dangerous if the salon fails to properly sanitize their equipment. In addition to thoroughly cleaning their tools, manicurists should also ensure their workstation is properly cleaned between clients. This means that clean paper towels and a cleaning solution (such as Lysol or Clorox) should be used to wipe down the work area to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. Before you go get your next manicure or pedicure, there are some tips to follow to protect yourself. Ask around about the salon or spa you plan to visit and see if there any complaints about the service. Once you're there, ask to see the manicurist's license and look for disinfectant containers -- be sure the solution is fresh and not old. It's perfectly acceptable to bring your own manicure tools, just to stay on the safe side. One Minute Manicure Is it really possible to get a one minute manicure? The answer, surprisingly, is yes. I too was a skeptic until I tried a few of the products out there that promise a one minute manicure. These products are aimed at the target market of busy women. Well, these days, what woman isn't busy? The suppliers of beauty products know that the busy woman is a huge target audience. What with careers, family, and fitness, who has time to keep those hands looking gorgeous? Well, thanks to these new at home products on the market, we all have time to pamper our digits. There are many products ranging in price from a few dollars to well over thirty dollars. They vary in scents, as well. You can find anything from sea salt to cucumber and melon. You can purchase these products just about anywhere. You can check department stores, drug stores, and lastly don't forget about the internet. You can buy that one minute manicure product without leaving the comfort of your bedroom. There are even huge retail chains devoted to helping us to keep our hands and bodies looking their best. Most of these stores offer their own variation on the one minute manicure. But do you really get a manicure in one minute? Well, not really. Minus the polish and the salon, the results are similar to a professional manicure. I have tried Sally Hansen one minute manicure and pedicure products. They are available at a wide variety of stores from drug stores, to discount stores, and even the local grocery stores. Basically, you just rub this product, which is an exfoliating scrub, onto your hands. The tube says that you can either start with dry or wet hands. I have found that if you start the process without water, the treatment will result in a deeper exfoliation. For the few dollars that I spent on the product, I would say that the results were satisfactory. I would not compare this to an actual salon manicure, but, if you are looking for a quick fix, it works nicely. Another product that I have tried is by Beauty Control. Now, I don't know too much about Beauty Control, I think that you have to buy the products through a representative, similar to Avon. I have to tell you that I was thoroughly impressed with the product. The "manicure" consisted of two steps. The first step was similar to the Sally Hansen product, in that it was an exfoliator; however, it also had some essential oils in it. The oils left my hands feeling smooth, but not greasy. The next step in the one minute manicure is to put on a lotion. I was amazed. In just a couple of minutes, my hands felt like I had just had a salon manicure. My hands continued to feel great for the rest of the day. Even after washing my hands several times, they still felt great. Unfortunately for me, however, they don't offer a one minute polish. Men and Manicures -- Not Just for Women Anymore! When passing by a nail salon, typically all you see are women at first glance. You'll see them having their nails painted or soaking their feet in the amazing relaxation of a footbath. But sometimes if you take a second look, you'll see a man in the middle of all the estrogen. And no, he isn't there waiting on his wife to get her manicure. He's getting a manicure himself! It's not totally uncommon anymore to see this type of thing at nail salons and spas. And contrary to popular belief, it usually has nothing to do with the man's sexual preference. Although it's not yet something every woman is accustomed to seeing, it certainly doesn't make the man any "less of a man". If women have the privilege of getting pampered through a manicure, why can't a man have the same right of passage without being labeled or laughed at? Granted, a man having his nails painted pink might just send out a snicker or two, but this usually isn't the case when men get professional manicures. In fact, it isn't uncommon for men not to have the actual manicure as a top priority when visiting a nail salon. If you were to ask any random guy if he would ever get a manicure, a good majority of them would probably say no. Why would they risk that type of judgement? But in the back of their mind, they're thinking, "sure, why not?" Some men will even admit to having a manicure with no shame. Unlike women, they don't visit their nail salon to have a French manicure or leave sporting the latest shade of ruby red. They are there to relax, unwind, and perhaps even to impress a lady for occasions like date nights or weddings. Everyone knows that getting a professional manicure is fun and enjoyable. You get to sit in a big chair that massages your back, sip on bottled water or tea, and enjoy the temporary escape from the world by having your hands and arms massaged with aromatherapy oil. Some nail salons even let you watch TV as you get pampered. And although the home should be a haven, you can't get this kid of star treatment when you've got kids and laundry piled up on the floor. It's the perfect mini-getaway for males and females alike! A typical manicure for a man includes all the pampering the ladies receive, minus the nail painting and acrylic tips. Men are usually given a thorough inspection to remove any hangnails and calluses, followed by their nails being filed down and buffed to add a natural shine. Pedicures are usually performed in the same manner, as men enjoy the deep relaxation a foot massage provides. This is the real treat behind their visit to a once all-women escape place. There's nothing wrong with this type of pampering, regardless if you're male or female! Men experience stress just the same as women, and everyone has a desire to look and feel their best. What better way to fulfill these needs? Men's Manicures in Phoenix The process of getting a manicure is something that is frequently done by women. Women of all different types get manicures. Whether they are professional women who get regular manicures, or perhaps teenage girls who get manicures for special occasions, it is not uncommon for you to hear about a woman getting a manicure. Surprisingly, the same is becoming true of men. What was once considered to only be for women is now becoming a little more gender neutral. I am not trying to say that you will walk into a nail salon in Phoenix and see more men than women in there receiving a manicure, but I am saying that it would not be uncommon to see one man in the nail salon. More and more men are receiving manicures. I wouldn't argue that is becoming mainstream, by any means. However, men in professional positions like management for example have been known to get a manicure on occasion. I think it is a sign of strength to seen a man with nicely groomed hands. I am not arguing that it would be nice for men to have pretty pink polish like we women, but it wouldn't be so bad to have those jagged edges smoothed out once in a while. It would also be nice to have those dry hands be a little smoother and less cracked. It could only add to the value of a good strong hand shake, if that hand shake was given by a smooth hand. I think that men in Phoenix are more likely to give themselves an at home manicure than they would be to go to an actual salon and receive a professional manicure. It's sometimes easier for a man to pamper himself in the privacy of his own home than in a public salon, especially one that is filled with a bunch of women. Some men probably even solicit the help of their wives or girlfriends in getting an at home manicure. I think that could make for a nice romantic date night. You could have dinner, a bottle of wine and an at home manicure for two. It's probably a good idea to skip the candlelight; however, you wouldn't want to risk cutting your partner's finger in the dark. That being said, I don't actually think that men in Phoenix are really more likely to get manicures than men in any other city. Perhaps if some of the stigma were removed from this traditionally female ritual, more men would be likely to receive manicures. Maybe someone should open a nail salon that would cater specifically to men. Instead of serving wine and water to its clientele, they could serve beer and pretzels. Instead of playing soothing spa music, they could have multiple televisions showing a variety of different sporting events. Perhaps another good idea would be to have a salon service, where the manicurist would come to the men. They could have a professional manicure in the privacy of their own home.
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