Before You Get a Manicure, Read This

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When you go to the nail salon, it’s important to pay attention to safety. Before you get a manicure or pedicure, make sure the salon is certified.

Pick a reputable salon that has technicians who have been trained and licensed to do manicures and pedicures.

Salons should also be inspected regularly by your state’s board of cosmetology.

Before you start your manicure or pedicure, ask your technician if they’re certified by the state and if they sterilize their tools before each customer.

Your technician should wash their hands and put on gloves before starting your service, especially if they’re removing old polish from your nails. They should also use new files, buffers, and pumice stones on each client.

You would be surprised at how many people do not know how to properly get a manicure or pedicure. Here are some common mistakes you should try to avoid:

1) Do not trim your cuticles! Cuticle is there for a reason, it protects the nail and nail bed from germs and dirt. Trimming it leaves your nails susceptible to infection, and can cause hangnails.

2) Do not cut your cuticles! This can also cause hangnails! Instead use cuticle oil to soften them and push them back with an orange stick.

3) Do not let the technician use clippers on calluses! They don’t have the training to safely remove calluses, so they aren’t paid enough to take responsibility for this task. If you need a foot file, ask for one.

4) Do not get gel polish if you’re pregnant! Gel polish is cured by UV light, which has been shown to cause birth defects in lab animals.

5) Do not shave your legs right before getting a pedicure! You’ve just opened yourself up to possible infection by scraping off the top layer of skin.

For the past few years, I’ve been getting my nails done at home. I’ve had a few manicures, but nothing has compared to the amazing results I get from polishing my own nails. Here are some common mistakes and tips on how to avoid them:**

1. Choosing the Wrong Color for Your Skin Tone. If you have fair skin, you can pull off a wide range of colors, but you may want to go with softer shades like pinks or nudes. A pale blue will make your hands look older, while a bright red may clash with your skin tone. If you have medium skin, use rich, vibrant colors like browns and deep reds. If you have dark skin, try bold and bright colors to really make those nails pop.**

2. Skipping the Base Coat. It’s tempting to just apply polish without putting on that base coat first—after all, it adds an extra step! But if you use a base coat before painting your nails, it will help protect your nails from staining and keep them looking healthy for longer.**

3. Putting Polish in the Cuticle Area. This is one of my biggest pet peeves: when people paint their cuticles instead of their actual nail bed!

If your nail technician is rushing through the process, don’t be afraid to speak up. “You get what you pay for,” says manicurist and nail technician educator Holly Schippers. “Honestly, there’s no reason rush through a manicure and pedicure.”

This is really important, as cutting corners can lead to a whole slew of issues, like painful ingrown nails, infections, or worst-case scenario: losing a finger. “If the nail technician doesn’t clip the cuticle correctly, you can end up with an infection that could potentially make you lose your finger,” Schippers says. “Cuticles are there to protect the nail bed, so don’t let them be cut too low or aggressively pushed down.”

That being said, it’s also crucial not to skip this step entirely. “If the cuticle is too long then it could catch on things like sheets and towels and cause your nail to rip,” adds Schippers.

Did you know that it is recommended to wait at least 24 hours before getting your nails wet after applying polish? This will allow the polish to dry completely, creating a protective coating.

If you don’t want to wait 24 hours and want to speed up the process, try using a quick-dry spray. Just spray onto your nails and it will help speed up the drying process.

The blog also addresses common mistakes such as not filing your nails before painting them. Filing helps create a rough surface which allows the polish to adhere better.

In the majority of cases, I can tell which salon you frequent by the state of your nails. If they’re consistent and you don’t have a lot of problems with them, it means you’ve found a good salon. But if you have acrylics that lift, change colors or require frequent fill-ins, it’s time to take a good look at which salon is doing your nails. Here are some common manicure mistakes that I see over and over again:

1. Not drying nails after application of polish remover.

2. Applying nail polish too early in the process.

3. Dipping fingers into water after applying nail polish.

4. Not filing nails correctly and/or using dull cuticle scissors.

5. Using cotton balls instead of cotton squares for removing polish or applying lotion or oil.

6. Leaving nails in acetone for too long during removal of nail treatments (acrylics, gels).

1. You’re not using a buffer.

2. You’re using the wrong color.

3. You’re not wearing enough sunblock.

4. You’re not wrapping your nails correctly.

5. Your nail polish is too thick.

6. You don’t use enough coats of polish to make it last for more than a week at a time!

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