What Are The Basic Types Of Manicures? | 8 That You Need To Know

Types Of Manicures

A good knowledge about various types of manicures is very important because only a beautiful and appropriate manicure can make your look complete. It will not only get you an attractive palm, fingers, and nails but will also help to maintain healthy nails.

In a beauty salon, the start for all manicure processes are mostly the same, but all types of manicures have some intricate steps, which makes them different. Through proper knowledge, you can easily recognize the types of manicures applied to you in a salon or even you can try them at home. In this article, we will discuss some essential elements of good manicure kits along with different types of manicures.

Manicure kit

The right selection of a manicure kit is an important factor for long-term application with the most cost-effective outcome. The selection of a manicure kit depends upon the condition of your nails and expectation of outcome and budget. The cost for manicure kits differs depending upon the tools present in that kit and their quality and durability.

The tools that are in a professional nail kit are designed to shape your nails, trim cuticles, cut down hangnails, and maintain the skin perfectly around the nails. The kit largely contains nail scissors, clippers, emery boards, cuticle nippers, tweezers, cuticle pushers, ear scissors, nail decorative materials and other beauty tools.

Buying a manicure kit is the most economic and time-saving because you can perform a manicure at any of your free time without going somewhere else. It is said that there is nothing that can improve the mood of a woman like the fresh and new manicure. Nowadays, even for men, the manicure has become a part of the fashion regimen. Therefore, the manicure kit is now considered as a unisex option for gifting.

8 Types Of Manicures That Are Popular In 2020

Basic Manicure

Basic Manicure

The basic manicure is a standard procedure followed before performing any specific types of manicures. Beauticians usually refer folks for the basic manicure who may be beginners or those who have never had a manicure before. This helps to give an idea of the standard of manicures and you can identify the basic difference between prior manicure hand look and post manicure hand appearance. The following steps are followed in a basic manicure:

  • First, remove any previous coats of nail polish already present in the nails by using nail remover and cotton
  • Cuticle lotion or oil is applied to the nail cuticle.
  • Then, place the hand in the warm water tub and soak into it for 5 – 10 minutes
  • After soaking, dry the palm by using a hand towel. The cuticle becomes tamed and it is clearly noticeable.
  • Then fingernails need to be cleaned properly. Then, clip and file them.
  • Depending upon the preference of length and shape such as oval, square, stiletto or a combination of the three, this is when a definite shape is given to the nail.
  • Then a gentle oil massage is provided to the palm for smoothing the hand skin.
  • The base coat is applied over the nails
  • Depending on the color choice (usually light colored) of nail polish, put two coats on the nails. Completely cover the base coat during polishing your nails with nail polish.
  • Then place the hand under a nail dryer for fast drying of the nail polish.

Practice makes perfect, so don’t get discouraged if you try your own manicure at home. Keep at it and you will soon learn quick little shortcuts to help you perfect your own manicure.

French manicure

French manicure

The French manicure aims to provide a natural appeal of healthy nails. It is one of the most elegant manicures with an enhanced feminine appearance. After completing the basic manicure steps, the uniqueness of this manicure comes from the selection of nail polish.

In a typical French manicure, the natural nail color is selected to paint the nails. The tips of the nails are painted with a crisp white color. Acrylic nail paints are usually selected for a French manicure.

This is a delicate procedure, so practice and experience are required to perform this. Ideally, the French manicure is preferred when wanting a more professional appearance.

Reverse French manicure

Reverse French manicure

Reverse French manicure is usually applied if you are looking for a trendy nail style. Reverse French manicure is usually best for round shaped lengthy nail patterns. So when you shape your nails, be sure to clip them to the desired length.

The basic manicure steps include dipping the hand into the warm water bowl. If needed, use a cuticle pusher to push back the cuticle. Pushing of the cuticle is a necessary step in a Reverse French manicure, as the half circled nails are set over the cuticle.

In a Reverse French manicure a bright colored nail polish is selected. Before applying the base color, completely cover the nails with clear base coat and then apply base color in a more defined way. Completely dry the base color and then decorate the nail with nail art.

Paraffin manicure

Paraffin manicure

A paraffin manicure is a perfect choice for those having dry and rough hands. Paraffin manicure is an alternative way to give your hand a spa. The following steps are followed in paraffin wax:

  • Firstly, the paraffin should be melted completely in a wax melting device and liquefied.
  • Next, let the wax sit for some time to lower down the temperature. In between this time you can massage the hand with hand lotion or oil.
  • Then, check the temperature of the liquid paraffin and if the temperature is bearable, then completely dip the hand palm in liquid paraffin.
  • Lift your hand and wait for few seconds for the paraffin to completely dry and dip you hand in the wax again and let it dry. Follow this process for until you have formed 5 to7 layers of paraffin on the hand. At this time, the hand will be completely covered in paraffin.
  • Then, relax for at least 30 minutes for the best result. The same process is applied to the other hand.
  • Finally, shape your nails and put on the nail polish of your choice.

Paraffin manicure not only softens the rough and dry skin on hand, but also has therapeutic benefits. It helps to heal swelling or aching pain in the hand.

American Manicure

American Manicure

American manicure is little different from French manicure. However, both manicures give an elegant look to the nails and hand. The main difference is that American manicures provide a more natural look than French manicures.

The tip of the nails are not crispy white as in French manicure. The color of a stark-white tip with an off-white, ivory or pale nude is what makes the American manicure unique.

In American manicure, the creamy white color of the nails gives a more natural look. To obtain this, shape your nail tips round instead of rectangular shape like a French manicure.

Then after completing all the initial steps in basic manicure process you will paint the nail tips with a color similar to Essie in Marshmallow. You will then color the entire nail with light skin color tone like (Essie in Ballet Slippers).

Gel manicure

Gel manicure

For a Gel manicure or gel overlay , first you should complete all the basic steps of manicure including shaping, buffing of nails with a file, pushing back cuticles for extra cleanliness and polishing the nails with a base coat. Then choose a color of gel polish and apply two coats to your nails.

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Proper drying of the nails is essential after each coat of nail polishing. For this, a UV light is used. This makes the drying process more perfect and complete. You have to just put your hand under a UV light bed and the drying process is completed within few minutes.

OPI and Bio Sculpture Gel are some great brand names that make gel nail paint. Gel manicures provide a fresh look to your hand that can be maintained for more than two weeks until the cuticles start growing out.

The texture of the gel paint is more intact and durable than the other nail paints, which maintain that WOW! factor even when a normal manicure is fading.

Mirror manicure

Mirror manicure

Mirror manicure provides an ultra shine to the nails. This manicure gives a mirror finish image of your nails. In a mirror manicure, most people go with a silver shaded gel top coat. However, some may even prefer “chameleon” look.

Firstly, double coating of gel nail paint is imperative on the nail. Perfect drying can be obtained by placing the hand under the UV lamp which can be done after each coating is completed. The gel layer creates tackiness which can be wiped by a cotton pad.

The best part about the mirror manicure is the ability to bring the ultimate shine. Your treated nails have to be rubbed carefully with a sponge and initially dipped into a pot of chrome.

A continuous buff is essential to convert it to a smooth, super shiny surface. To get the ultimate look put a cured gel topcoat on with finesse.

Acrylic manicure

Acrylic manicure

If you don’t have naturally long nails, then the acrylic manicure is one of the best options to choose. But make sure, if you are not a professional manicurist, to have it done in a salon by an expert manicurist.

In this manicure process, leave a few centimeters of cuticle to make sure that the nails extension will have space to properly adhere. Roughen the nail surface by buffing it will also allow the acrylic nail to easily stick to your natural nail.

Apply some nail primer on the surface of the nail to remove all the moisture content. After your nails are filed, place the gum carefully to avoid it sticking to the skin. Then carefully brush the acrylic mixture on. Take necessary care to avoid any air bubbles. Then properly dry it and give the final touch by applying nail paint.


  • Concentrate on the brush movement during polishing your nails and also move your fingers slightly according to need. Keeping your hand loose helps you when applying polish.
  • To make your nails look more professional, you can choose a natural-looking nail polish. Or choose a contracting color to really make your nails pop. You can also use designs for each holiday or occasion that you are attending.
  • Glittering is one of the easiest and most attractive ways to decorate your nails.
  • Do not use acetone-containing nail removers, as this chemical is harmful to nail health.
  • Use acid-free nail primer for avoiding skin burning.

I hope this article gave you a good understanding of the different types of manicures. You can easily give yourself an at-home manicure by choosing a quality kit and practicing varying techniques.

Most people prefer to go to a salon to have their nail professionally maintained. Whichever you choose, use the information in this article to better prepare yourself for all of the choices when deciding on the type of manicure you will go for.