What to request to get the most out of your manicure

17 November, 2021 / words by user

Written by Melissa Holdbrook-Akposoe

Image by @ManicuredByChristina

Finding a good manicurist these days is HELL! I stopped going to high street salons because I soon realised that with them, it’s a numbers and efficiency game and not one of excellence. The likelihood of me getting the luxury manicure I desired from them was unlikely to say the least.

The number of times my nail beds have been burnt with a drill or painted over by someone who was rushing to the next client (yes, they painted on my skin!) led me to leave those salons completely and revert to a session manicurist. I needed to see someone who had a certain level of skill set and respect for their craft to give me the service I was after.

If you look at all those amazing nail sets on Instagram, the majority of them have had full prep done prior to any painting or nail art. This can sometimes take up to an hour! That’s why the nail bed looks super clean and elongated. A lot of the time, this style of manicure is referred to as a ‘Russian manicure’. As time went by, I realised that that’s why my nails didn’t look all that glamorous! A lot of the salons I was going to simply didn’t have the time to do it because they were more concerned with the number of people they could get through the door rather than the job that they were doing. 

From the mouth of my manicurist Christina Pinnock herself; a good manicurist will know that preparation and process is key in delivering a perfect finish.

As a rule, all nail services should include a push back and tidy of the cuticles for a neat application result. If this is offered as an add-on, CHOOSE IT! This step is an essential step to flawlessness. 

Images by @HarrietWestmoreland

Upkeep is just as important as the day you get your nails done. I like to use a body/hand scrub on my hands twice a week to ensure that I scrub away any dryness underneath my nail bed and around my cuticles. This is really great to do if you find that you suffer from dry/peeling skin on your hands and especially perfect to do during the wintertime! Trust me on this with consistency, the texture of your hands will change completely!

Cuticle oil is another thing everyone should have close by. Most hand creams simply will not nourish your cuticles in the ways you need them to. I always leave cuticle oil in my bathroom, every handbag I own, and in my car to remind myself to apply twice daily. You’ll see a massive difference in the longevity of your manicures if you start to use cuticle oils twice daily. 

Another little cheat that I do too is more about the skin on my hands than my nails. I use a retinol-based cream on my hands once a week. Retinol is meant to be anti-aging right? And it’s said that your hands show your true age,… So why not slow down the ageing process by introducing some retinol into the mix? These days, they even make specific retinol-based cream for the hands! I leave a tub by my bed and apply it once a week before I sleep. It’s really important to use SPF when you’re using retinol, so I also keep a sprayable SPF in my bathroom and in my car to remind myself to apply it.




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