If you are new to receiving manicures, start with a typical basic manicure, without all the extras. A nail technician will apply a cream, oil, or lotion to the cuticles first, and place the hands into a dish of warm water for about five minutes to soak. After the soaking process is over and the cuticles have been tamed, the technician will dry the hand, and ask what nails and length you prefer. You can choose from square, oval, squoval (a combination of square and oval), or the popular stiletto shape.
At this point in the manicure, the shape of the nails has been defined and it is time for a massage. When the massage has been completed, a base coat will be applied first. After that, a polish of your choice is applied usually twice. Last, a top coat is applied. Once the nails have been polished you will place your hands under a nail dryer to complete the drying process.
The ever-classic French manicure is destined to give you the clean, gorgeous look you want. A clear, pale pink or beige polish is applied over the entire nail, and white polish along the tip. The end result is healthy, vibrant and perfect for all occasions - you definitely can't go wrong with this look.
An American manicure is similar to the French, but the shape and color of the nails differ. In the American manicure the tips are sometimes rounded, and use more neutral or off white colors on the tips, instead of the drastic bright whites used in the French manicure.
If you want a long-lasting manicure without the commitment (or potential damage) of having acrylic nails applied, getting a gel manicure is a good an option. All the steps of a basic manicure are taken, except a special polish that requires curing under a UV light is applied. This cured polish typically lasts days longer than the polish used for a basic manicure, and is less prone to chipping.
A paraffin manicure is a must for anyone with dry or overworked hands. Paraffin wax is used to infuse the skin with instantaneous moisture, leaving it smooth and supple. The manicure also includes a stimulating hand massage and finishes with a chic basic manicure polish look. Some paraffin treatments include the addition of various oils, like grape seed, for extra moisturizing benefits.
Hot Stone Manicure
If you're dreaming of something ultra-pampering or want to give a great gift to a pal, consider a hot stone manicure. This indulgent treatment includes all of the delights of a basic manicure, plus the addition of heated stones, which are placed over the hands to provide relief and comfort. You can also give yourself a hot stone manicure at home.
You can further personalize your manicure - whatever type you chose - with embellishments. Adding that extra something to your nails that make them pop is always exciting. Many salons will either have a mannequin hand with a full set of nails applied to it, or a display of nail tips to showcase all the different types of nail art services they offer.
Airbrushing is a very quick method of applying designs to the nails. The nail technician may use a stencil or freehand the designs. Don't be afraid to bring in your own stencils or unique designs if you have any.
This type of nail art is very innovative. You can pick bow-ties, hearts, happy faces, or whichever design your nail shop has in stock to be applied to your nails. You can walk around with your own pint-sized works of art on each finger if you chose to do so. With 3-D nails, you and your nail technician can be as creative you wish.
Adding gems and rhinestones to a manicure can make even the simplest manicures pop. They can be used to enhance other types of nail art, or become the main attraction by putting them over the entire nail.
A manicure is not typically given when receiving a set of artificial nails, because it interferes with the bonding process between the extensions and the acrylic. If one chooses this option, choosing nail tips can be a fun experience that allows for personalization of the look. Many nail salons have the basic French tips, but they also have more exciting ones that come with pre-made designs and in a variety of colors.