Types of Manicure I Can Get
Nails, treated right, can be a thing of beauty, from the highlight of an outfit to its final touches. They can be as subtle or as expressive as you want them to be, from a basic beige to neon bright, add jewels, add art, keep them short or make them super long. It really is up to you.
Photo by sour moha
This ‘7 Types of Manicure‘ article is to help guide you on the types of manicures available to you when it comes to changing your nail colour, shape and style. The upkeep of your chosen manicure is also an important factor when choosing what type of manicure you can get. Some manicures will last days, while others weeks, some you’ll master at home, others you’ll need a professional who has already mastered the art.
For the health of your nails, and it goes for all types of manicure – do consider taking breaks between manicures, and always:
- Wash and clean under your nails.
- Moisturise your hands well.
- Exfoliate your hands and cuticles.
- File your nails, don’t clip.
7 Types of Manicure
Most manicures involve trimming, shaping and filing your nails. Cuticles are tidied up, which includes pushing them back and trimming them if needed, in most cases a cuticle balm, oil or cream is used during this stage. Your nails are then buffed and polished using the type of manicure you’ve decided. Here are seven types of manicure to choose from:
1. The Standard Manicure
Photo by Sarah Cervantes
The Standard Manicure explained: The standard manicure covers your natural nail and is a three-step process. A base-coat is applied, followed by a coat or two of polish, then a top-coat. A drop of quick drying oil to each cuticle to help your nails dry quicker and keep them smudge free can be added too. Nails are usually left to air dry in natural light, which can take as long as 20 minutes, but a nail dryer can be used to speed this up.
Popular types of manicure that go with the standard manicure include French Polish, which gives a natural hue to your nails along with an exaggerated white tip. Although these French Manicure ideas are the types of manicure we should definitely get behind!
Removing standard polish is simple, simply use cotton pads and a regular nail varnish/ polish remover.
How long does it last: A good, standard manicure should last about five days, using the tips below can help them last a week.
Top Tips: A manicure on short nails will last longer. If you need to wash dishes or clean, wear gloves. Moisturise your hands often, and to help keep your manicure from chipping, apply an extra layer of clear top coat every couple of days.
2. The Vinylux Manicure
Photo by Tiko Giorgadze
The Vinylux Manicure explained: A Vinylux manicure is similar to a standard manicure as in it covers your natural nail. Differences however include the absence of a base-coat, quicker drying time and its promise of lasting longer – important factors that could help sway you. In essence a Vinylux manicure is a two-step process of specially formulated polish and top-coat. However two coats of the polish are usually applied before adding the top-coat. No UV light is needed and the polish should be dry within 10 minutes. Polish is simply removed with regular polish remover.
How long does it last: Seven days or longer
Top Tip: This option of manicure is perfect for those who want a manicure that lasts longer than a standard manicure but still want to be able to remove it or change their colour easily.
3. The Shellac Manicure
Photo by Daiga Ellaby
The Shellac Manicure explained: As with a standard and Vinylux manicure, a Shellac Manicure covers your natural nails, and does not add length. Like a standard manicure a Shellac manicure is a three-step process when it comes to coats. A base coat is followed by two coats of polish and finished with one coat of top-coat.
However the difference between the manicures is the special Shellac formulation, which is a polish and gel, along with the addition of LED or UV Light. The gel of the Shellac manicure provides lasting power, the polish provides the colour and shine. Each coat is dried or cured under a LED or UV Light before the next coat is added.
How long does it last: Two weeks (or longer if you’re gentle on them)
Top Tip: Want to remove your shellac manicure yourself? Here’s a guide on ‘How to Remove Shellac Nail Polish at Home‘
4. The Acrylic Manicure
Photo by designecologist
The Acrylic Manicure explained: An Acrylic manicure is perfect for those who wish to add length, shape and art to their nails. Acrylics nails are an extension of your natural nail. Your natural nails are filed creating a rough surface suitable for the nail tip or mould to be glued. A ‘nail form’ can also be used to create the acrylic extension – a peel off sticker that guides the nail extension.
The special acrylic formula, made from a liquid monomer and a powder polymer is then combined together to form a paste. This paste is then added to create the nail extension. Shape, that provides both length and thickness is then given to the nails. Nails then cure, dry and harden naturally. Once dry the fun begins with colour and art.
How long does it last: Without additional fillers, up to three weeks. With additional fillers, Acrylic nails can last up to eight weeks before they are removed.
Top Tip: For some, the bigger and thicker brushes are harder to use – if you are finding difficulty using this style of brush go a couple of sizes smaller. And remember practice makes perfect.
5. The Gel Manicure
Photo by Asiya Kiev
The Gel Manicure explained: You could say that Gel nails are a cousin to the Acrylic nails. However there are some differences when it comes to the application, durability and affordability. A Gel Manicure, uses a specially formulated gel polish that is cured and dried on nails using a LED or UV light. And there are two types of gel polish, hard and soft.
The soft gel polish is used on short or long natural nails. And the hard is used like Acrylic nails, to extend the nail by means of a tip. Although not as affordable as Acrylic nails nor as durable, Gel manicures are popular due to their flexibility with nail shape and their lasting staying power.
How long does it last: Approximately three weeks, or four to five weeks with special care given.
Top Tip: Soft gel can be removed easily at home using acetone. Hard gel polish needs to be filed off, so keep this in mind when it comes to changing your nail colours and styles.
6. The Dip Powder Nails Manicure
Photo by allison christine
The Dip Powder Manicure explained: The Dip Powder Manicure is another long lasting manicure and it gets its name from its application process. Like Acrylic and Gel nails, Dip Powder nails last approximately three weeks and sometimes longer. Like Gel nails, Dip Powder nails can use the natural nail or nail extensions can be added. Unlike Gel nails, LED nor UV Light is needed to cure or dry the manicure. The process is quite simple to explain but quite lengthy in process.
First a bond polish is applied to the whole nail to make sure the colour sticks. This is followed by a base coat. Next, the nail is dipped into a primer-like natural powder, then another coat of bond polish is applied. After that the nail is dipped into the powder colour of your choice. Excess powder is tapped off and another coat of base polish is added. Dipping and coating is repeated until the preferred colour intensity is achieved. Nails are then air dried.
How long does it last: Three weeks, or four depending how light-fingered you are.
Top Tip: Like all nail applications it’s a good idea to give your nails a break from long lasting polishes and manicures every few months. This will help them strengthen for your next bout of manicuring adventure!
7. The Polygel Manicure
Photo by Oleg Ivanov
The Polygel Manicure explained: When it comes to types of manicure – Polygel nails could be described as an Acrylic and Gel hybrid. Polygel are thought to be lighter and more flexible than Acrylic, and more durable than Gel.
Like a Gel Manicure, it can be applied to both natural nails or nail extensions. To create the later, Polygel nails are applied the same way as Gel nail extensions – a ball of Polygel is moulded and shaped over a nail tip, mould or form to create an extension of the nail. It is then cured and set with the use of a LED or UV Light. After that, the nail is filed and buffed until smooth, and ready for colour and art if chosen.
How long does it last: Up to three weeks
Top Tip: Polygel nails are buffed off and not soaked off. To remove at home, cut the extension and then buff the remainder of the polygel
What’s your ‘go to’ types of manicure? For more Health & Beauty guides and tips visit The Life of Stuff Health & Beauty Page.
Pin 7 Types of Manicure You Can Get
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