A manicure is a cosmetic beauty treatment for the fingernails and hands. A manicure can treat just the hands, just the nails, or both. A standard manicure usually includes filing and shaping of the nails and the application of polish.
As part of the manicure, treatments for hands usually include soaking in a softening substance and application of hand lotion. The word “manicure” comes from the Latin manus, meaning “hand,” and cura meaning “care”.
The process for a manicure 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 a manicure 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 of a manicure, the fingernails are then trimmed and filed to the desired length and shape using a fingernail file. Metal nail files can be used for rapid removal of nail 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 of the nail 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 fingernail matrix. Orangewood is the preferred material because of its softness.
In this phase of the manicure, 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.
To conclude the manicure, in most cases, the manicurist applies at least one layer of either clear polish meant to strengthen weak nails or several layers of color polish and top coat. A manicure is usually finished with a hand massage using hand lotion or oils.
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