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A manicure is a cosmetic beauty treatment for the fingernails and hands. It can treat just the hands or both. A standard treatment usually includes filing and shaping and the application of polish.
As part of it, treatments for hands usually include soaking in a softening substance and application of hand lotion. The word comes from the Latin manus, meaning hand, and cura meaning care.
The process begins with ensuring that the working area and tools are sanitized and conveniently located. This might include sanitizing the working surface, such as a table top, placing clean metal implements into a jar with sanitizing liquid, and having sanitized towels and such near the working area.
Normally it starts with sanitizing of the subject's hands. Old nail polish or artificial nails are removed. The hands are then cleaned with soap and hot water and rinsing with hot water.
During the next phase, the finger nails are then trimmed and filed to the desired length and shape using a file. Metal files can be used for rapid removal of material, however, fine glass files are preferred. Disposable two-sided emery boards can also be used.
Proper filing technique starts with the file at the outer edge of the nail, moving towards the center. This is repeated from the other side to the center. The file should not be moved back and forth in a saw-like motion.
The cuticles are then pushed back with a cuticle pusher. A cuticle pusher is simply a wooden stick with a flat end, sometimes wrapped in cotton. Metal cuticle pushers should be used with great care, as they can damage the matrix. Orangewood is the preferred material because of its softness.
In this phase, the fingernails are polished with a polishing board made of hard foam, paper, or plastic. A softer foam layer is added to each side, and fine polishing surfaces are placed on the foam.
Other treatments may include the application of artificial tips, acrylics, or artificial gels. Some can include the painting of pictures or designs or applying small decals or imitation jewels.
A French falls into the ‘if you're not going to do it right, don't do it at all’ category. Thick, pasty tips with smudgy edges do not an elegant statement make.
If you're going to do it at home, set aside a bit of time. It'll take more than five minutes. How much more depends on whether it's your first time or your fiftieth, but the steps you'll follow are the same either way.
A quick top coat will give a finished look. DO NOT do anything with your hands until the polish is completely dry. You'll just mess up your hard work.
This home treatment will probably save you money. But if it's not a choice between feeding your kids and getting your nails done, you might want to splurge on a pro job.
To conclude, in most cases, the manicurist applies at least one layer of either clear polish meant to strengthen or several layers of color polish and top coat. It is usually finished with a hand massage using hand lotion or oils.
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