What Is a Manicure? Everything You Want To Know

What is a manicure? is a simple question but will be widely discussed by explaining the different types of manicure, the required tools and supplies and the efficient application steps of a manicure process.

What Is a Manicure

What is a manicure

Manicure is the English word that replaces the French word Manucure.
Manucure means “care of the hands” which is considered a mixed word between the Latin words manus, for “hand”, and cura, for “care” but as a process, what is a manicure means?

A manicure is a cosmetic treatment for both hands ­and fingernails that could be done at home or in a nail salon. A manicure includes shaping and painting the nails, removing the cuticles, using different liquids for treatments, massage of the hands for skin softening and applying fingernails polish.
In a lot of places, manicurists should be licensed and follow regulations. That’s because of the possibility of spreading infection throw skin by using the same tools across many customers. So, having sanitation may pose serious issues.


Dealing with sanitation



  • The first option is that many nail salons in some countries offer to buy personal nail tool kits to limit the sanitation issues in the salon. The kits are kept in the salon, taken by the client or thrown away after using them.
  • Another option is by giving the client the wooden cuticle sticks and files after doing the manicure.

There are two general ways for applying manicure, the first way by painting designs on the nails or applying imitation jewels, the other way by applying artificial gel nails, tips, or acrylics.

Manicure Types

French manicure


The professional nail brand “ORLY” is founded by Jeff Pink, it is credited by creating the look of the natural nail, and in 1976 it is called the French manicure.

Jeff Pink was tasked in 1970 by a film director to provide a universal nail look that could save actresses from having to spend time to get their nails redone. Inspired by the brightening effect of applying a white pencil to the underside, Jeff Pink found that the solution was to apply the same neutralizing principle to the top of the nail.

The Natural Nail Kit, as it is called by Pink was among movie stars and studios as they found that the time-saving strategy is indispensable. Finally Pink took the trend to the catwalk crowd in Paris, Who liked it too.

A French manicure is applied to nails characterized by a lack of artificial base color and white tips at the edge of the nail so they are sometimes called French tips. The nail tips are white while the remaining of the nail is polished in pink. French manicures can be done with artificial nails. But, it is common also to perform French manicure on natural nails.


Artificial nails are extensions placed over fingernails as accessories. There are two ways of using artificial nails, either by attempting to mimic the appearance of real fingernails or by offering an artistic look.

The artificial nails could be classified to different kinds:

Gel Nails



The gel is classified into two types, hard gel, and soft gel.

Hard gel is tough enough to be made into a nail extension once it is cured, a nail extension is an artificial nail made by using a nail product that extends the nail past the natural nail edge.

Soft gel points at the gel products that are soft enough to create a nail extension including gel polishes that are used for gel polish manicures in addition to thicker gels meant for gel-overlay services.
All types of gel need hardening under ultraviolet light, by either LED lamp or conventional bulb. Ultraviolet hardening refers to the chemical process that happens by exposing photoinitiators within the gel itself to the ultraviolet or blue light. The light produces energy that breaks certain bonds in the initiator molecules. This process forms free radicals as a result. The radicals attack double bonds in the gel’s component molecules. A polymerization reaction begins and finally, it encompasses all of the gel molecules. Gels contain a mixture of acrylic monomers and oligomers that combine together and form long chains during the polymerization. These long chains make the gel hard and resistant. After finishing nail extension and gel manicure, there is a remaining tacky layer called “inhibition layer”, it is removed by a lint-free wipe soaked high concentrate alcohol. The end of the process is by applying cuticle oil on all fingers to bring nourishment back into the cuticle after applying harsh alcohol.

Acrylic nails


Acrylic nails are referred to as “liquid and powder nails”. The most popular acrylic nail service is pink and white that creates a long-lasting look of the French manicure. Acrylic nail extension is created by forms to create sculpted nails. These forms are certain stickers placed at the end of each finger, under the fingernail and secured in a place where wet acrylic could be sculpted into a nail extension at the edge of the fingernail. Then, each nail extension is sculpted. Mass-produced plastic nail tips are adhered to the edge of fingernails using nail resin. Each tip is filled into shape before wet acrylic is applied and a nail extension is made.

Fiberglass and silk wraps


This product is laid on top of the existing natural nail. In this type, the manicurist cut pieces of fiberglass or silk and then adhere to the nail. In cases of broken nails or stretching the natural nail, this service is used.

Hot oil manicure


Hot oil manicure is a manicure type that cleans the cuticles then uses oil to soften them. There are different types of oils that could be used in this process

  • Mineral oil
  • Olive oil
  • Some lotions

Dip powder manicure


Dip powder manicure is an alternative to both acrylic nail and gel polish. Dip powder is applied easily so that it becomes popular to use. This type is similar to traditional silk or fiberglass but the fiber is replaced by acrylic powder. Both dip powder manicure and traditional silk or fiberglass depending on layering cyanoacrylate over the natural nail in addition to encasing either the fiber or acrylic powder.

Manicure Tools and Supplies

Manicure tools


  • A bowl of warm water or finger bath
  • Cuticle pusher
  • Cuticle nipper
  • Manicure table
  • Nail brush
  • Nail art tools
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail buffer
  • Nail file
  • Nail scissors
  • Orangewood stick
  • Rubber thimble-like object

Manicure supplies


  • Cotton balls
  • Cuticle remover
  • Hand towels
  • Hand cream
  • Nail jewels
  • Nail polish
  • Nail polish remover
  • Nail art cane slices
  • Massage lotion
  • Mild scrub
  • Flocking powder
  • Glitter
  • Sanitizing spray
  • Small dried flowers

How To Do a Manicure

1) Clip fingernails.
by using a nail clipper for cutting and shaping nails, fingernails should be given a curved shape.


clip your nails

2) File nails.
after the nail has been cut using a nail clipper, a tool called nail file is used to grind down and shape the nail edges.



3) Buff nails.
nail buffing is conducted to polish the nails using buffers for the purpose of making nails look shinier, then a paste is used to file ridges on the surface of the nails.



4) Nail soak.
it is very important to soak nails before pushing cuticles not to expose them to damage.
Nail soak is done by placing a few drops of almond oil in a bowel contains warm water, soak hands, then make them dry.

5) Removing nail cuticle.
the cuticle is located at the bottom of the finger. It is known as the nail bed. The importance of this process is to protect new nails against bacteria when they grow from the root of the nail.



6) Moisturize nails.
this process comes after removing polish and it is done by using lotion on nails. If not hydrated enough, a hand cream should be used to make sure that nails are moisturized.



7) Nail clean and prep.
nail prep or nail dehydrator is a liquid that is used to dehydrate the surface of the natural nail during nails extension.



8) Base coat of nail polish.
this process helps the polish to stick easier to the nails. It also creates a barrier that helps in protecting nails from nail polish damaging effects.



9) Color nails.
if you are unsure about selecting the color, so the French manicure could be the perfect selection. It provides a slight line of color that ranges between white to pink.



10) The top coat of nail polish.
the topcoat is the last applied layer in the manicure process. The top boat is considered as a sealer to the colored polish. When it is sealed, it doesn’t ship. Finally, the topcoat is the stage when the nail polish is used to provide the shining appearance of the manicure.


Finally, I hope that this article has managed to provide information for thoughts that are going in your brains related to “what is a manicure?” question. And all your questions are welcome to be asked in comments and will be attached with reasonable answers.


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