If you’re looking for a quick beauty treatment that leaves you feeling relaxed and pampered, a manicure may be the perfect way to go. But if your manicure looks less than stellar, you may wind up feeling more stressed out when you leave the salon than when you came in. To get the best bang for your buck, these are the most important things to look for to get the best manicure:
The Right Filing Technique
The first step of any manicure is shaping and filing the nails. To start your manicure off the right way, your manicurist should follow these three practices:
1) Follow the natural shape of your nails. This will keep your nails strong and prevent breakage.
2) Don’t grate the nail file back and forth. Instead, the manicurist should start filing the outside corners of each nail and work in toward the middle. This will help keep the nails from splitting. The tops of your nails shouldn’t be filed, either. It can actually damage the top layer of your nails and lessens the grip of your nail to the polish.
3) Use the right file. Nail files aren’t one size fits all. A course grit file should be used on acrylic tips while an ultra-fine grit file is perfect for natural nails.
Care for Your Cuticles
To cut or not to cut? When it comes to a manicure, that’s a long-debated question. Some manicurists may insist on trimming your cuticles, but don’t do it! Your cuticles serve an important function by preventing bacteria from entering your body and infections from developing around the nail bed. Instead of cutting your cuticles, your manicurist should rub them with cuticle remover and soak them in warm water before gently pushing them back.
A Good Hand Massage
Let’s face it — the hand massage is the best part of a manicure. It feels great and relaxes your hands, making them easier to work with during the manicure. The manicurist should use reflexology or acupressure techniques by applying light pressure to certain parts of your hand that correlate to other parts of your body. For a few extra dollars, you can usually upgrade your massage to include paraffin wax or hot stones to moisturize and soften your skin.
The Perfect Polish
After the cuticle soak and massage, your nails should be completely dry before polish is applied. This allows the polish to adhere better to the nail, leading to a longer-lasting look. Once your nails are dry, a clear base layer should be applied to prevent chipping. Then, two thin layers of color polish should be added followed by a thin, clear top coat. This will seal in the color and further prevent chipping. Thick layers, or too many layers, and the polish can fall off easily and look unprofessional.
The real key to a quality manicure is clean tools. Before the manicure begins, ask to see the tools and how they are sterilized. The salon should use hospital-grade sanitizer or an autoclave, which sterilizes through high pressures and temperatures, to clean its tools. One-time-use tools, such as emery boards and pumice stones, should be replaced after every manicure. If the salon doesn’t follow these practices, don’t hesitate to leave and find another salon.
If you enjoy getting manicures, you may enjoy giving them as well. At Salon Success Academy, we’ll provide you with the training and tools for a successful career as a manicurist or nail technician through our Manicuring/Nail Care Program. Call 1-877-987-HAIR (4247) to learn more.