A manicure can refer to different techniques and procedures. It can refer to filing and shaping your natural fingernails, or to the enhancement of your nails to be thicker, longer and colored. The cost varies, but there are many quality products you can use at home that yield results similar to nail salon manicures.
Women have long since enjoyed being pampered, and manicures are one way to indulge and improve the appearance of your nails. Depending on the salon you go to, a natural nail manicure can cost anywhere from $10 to $40. A manicure with acrylic or fiberglass will range from $30 to $60, and a fill ranges from $20 to $40. At-home kits can be priced as reasonably as $15 and can last through multiple treatments.
The procedure varies by salon and by type of manicure. All manicures begin by removing any dirt or color from your fingernails. Then a manicure technician files your nails to the appropriate shape after soaking and grooming the cuticle around your nail. Nail lacquer is applied in coats starting with a primer or base coat, adding a color coat and finishing with a top coat to seal and shine.
If you are having your natural fingernails manicured, the technician will create the desired shape and make the nails all a uniform length. Some salons offer a moisturizing hand massage as part of a manicure package. This procedure is not just for women anymore. Many men have utilized this service for a well-groomed look.
Acrylic and Fiberglass
These materials are used to enhance your natural nails. Your natural nails are trimmed down and filed with a rough file so the acrylic or fiberglass will have something to grip. White or clear plastic tips are glued to your nail to add length and shape. Acrylic or fiberglass powder is moistened with liquid and applied onto your nail and tip. It is then shaped with a brush and allowed to dry. The nails are filed and shaped as you request.
Nail art can be added to your manicure. White tips can be airbrushed onto your nails to create a French-style manicure. Many technicians are trained to use stencils, stickers, jewels, and nail lacquer with special brushes to create stripes, flowers, and entire scenes on your nails. All of these are finished with a shiny top coat to seal the design and prevent chipping and peeling.
Natural manicures are fairly easy to maintain because they can be done at home with fingernail files and nail polish. The full set manicures using acrylic or fiberglass require frequent upkeep. As your nail grows, the empty space must be filled in and the length and color or art maintained every 10 to 14 days.
Be sure that the salon you go to uses sterilized files and brushes. Nail fungus and other diseases are easily transmitted through improperly sterilized tools. Since the acrylic or fiberglass nails are adhered to your natural nail, when a nail is broken or ripped off, there is a possibility it will take a portion of your natural nail with it. When enhanced nails are removed, your natural nails will be damaged and very thin until they grow out. Some people are allergic to acrylic, so pay attention to how you react to a full set manicure.
Melanie Beach has been a writer in various fields since 2003. Her articles can be found on eHow and Answerbag, focusing on a range of topics, including composition, education, fitness, diet and nutrition, veterinary medicine and disability benefits. Beach received her bachelor's degree in English from California State University in Sacramento.