Have you ever noticed you hold your newly manicured hands differently? Not the "I'm not sure if my nails are wet" hold, rather the "every time I use my hands I must accencuate my mani" hold. There's nothing quite like having your nails done to give you a lift.
But do you know what you should expect from a salon manicure?
1. The salon should be spotless. There's an unwritten rule of the industry - if you have nothing to do, you clean. All tools should be disinfected between clients. If the salon doesn't gleam, walk on by.
2. As with any service that involves direct contact with a client, you should feel comfortable from the moment you walk in. Check out our article The Role of a Beauty Therapist for more information on this.
3. Prices for manicures vary dramatically from a regular Beauty Salon to a chain of nail bars. You can expect to pay around $35 for the latter, and up to $70 for a salon offering a full range of services. It really depends on the experience you will be happy with, but it is safe to say, you get what you pay for.
A manicure can take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half.
1. Your manicurist will wash her hands and apply sanitiser to yours.
2. Any existing nail polish will be removed and your nails will be shaped with a file. Decision 1 - what shape nail do you prefer? Round, square, oval, squoval, points? If you're not sure your therapist will be able to help you decide what is best for you.
3. Cuticle oil or cream will be applied and your cuticles will be gently pushed back. Decision 2 - Do you want your cuticles trimmed? It's generally recommended that you don't, unless there is a pressing need. Even the steadiest hand can accidently nick the skin, which will be sore and could lead to an infection.
4. You will most likely be soaking one hand while the technician works on the other. Some salons will exfolliate the skin before soaking it. You shouldn't be soaking for more than 5 minutes, otherwise the nail bed will swell and any nail polish applied with crack as the nail bed dries and contracts.
5. It's massage time! Sit back and enjoy the hand massage, which will most likely include reflexology.
6. It's time for polish. Decision 3 - What look do you want to rock? You'll probably be overwhelmed by the choice of colours! If you're nervous about a bright shade the French Manicure is the eternal classic - but again ask your Nail Technician for advise. Many are very skilled and will be able to suggest a fun twist on a classic look, a feature nail or even a little bit of nail art.
7. You'll probably end up sitting with your hands under a UV light. UV light helps your nail polish to dry and harden. You'll probably be under the spotlight for 5 minutes - but you'll want to be careful with your nails for the next few hours. If you do get a chip in the hours after a manicure, don't be afraid to call the salon. Many will offer to fix up the nail for you.