Manicure Routine

  • Wash your hands and wrists in hot water with liquid soap for 20-30 seconds followed by a thorough drying with paper towels.

  • Wipe over both sides of the client’s hands with a mild antiseptic to clean the hands without softening the nails. Ask your client to remove any jewellery and store away safely.

  • You may need to remove any nail varnish before assessing the condition of the client’s nails. Check for any contra-indications and discuss any conditions which may need addressing during treatment. The manicure procedure may commence on either the left or right hand.

  • Apply nail varnish remover with a cotton wool pad. Press the pad firmly onto the nail for a few seconds then slide it off the nail, squeezing gently against the nail plate to remove all traces of dissolved varnish. Carefully, pull back the nail walls from the sides of the nail plate to expose any hidden varnish. Use cotton wool wrapped around an orange stick, which has been dipped in nail varnish remover, to work around the nail border to ensure it is completely clean.

  • Long nails may need trimming before filing. Discuss the desired length and shape with your client before cutting.

  • The most important thing to remember when considering nail shapes is what the client requires. Always ask if they have a preference and talk them through the options.

  •  A new mother, for example, will probably be best to avoid sharp points. Filing the nail into some styles will make it weaker and so is not recommended for those doing a lot of heavy work with their hands. It is worth having a board of tips which demonstrate the different shapes available.

  • A traditional rule of thumb when choosing nail shapes is for the free edge to mirror the shape of the eponychium. This should create a style best suited to your client’s hands. However, changing trends will affect what your client wants. Whilst you can advise them what would be best, it is essentially the client’s choice.

  • The rounded tip is a resilient and common shape which elongates the fingers, whilst the most classical style is known as the almond. This is filed away at the sides and is softly pointed at the tip. However, by filing the sides of the nail, you will be weakening it, and so your client should be warned accordingly. Square nails are extremely popular, especially with a French polish. These are created by filing straight across the tip. This is better suited to longer nails, to avoid making hands look square. For those who like this style but are less adventurous, the ‘Squoval’ is a better option as the corners of the nail are rounded off.

  • Before cutting nails, you should consider using safety glasses for yourself and the client to prevent eye injury from nail clippings. Apply slight pressure from above when using the scissors to minimise disturbance at the base of the nail. Cut across the free edge, leaving the nail slightly longer than required.

  • File the nails from the sides to the centre towards the nail tip. Hold the file as near to the end as possible to produce long, flowing strokes and give the nails a smooth edge. Never saw backwards and forwards. Remember to check that your client is happy with the shape before proceeding to the next stage. Check that the free edges of all the nails are totally smooth and even.

  • The buffer can be used to stimulate blood supply to the nail bed and smooth the nail as well as creating a shine. Apply between 15 and 20 light strokes per nail in one direction towards the free edge.

  • Buffing paste can be used in addition to the buffer to smooth out irregularities in the surface of the nail and give the nail a shine.

  • Use an orange stick to add cuticle cream to the client’s nail.

  • Massage into the cuticles using your thumbs.

  • Soak the fingers of the hand that you are working on in a manicure bowl filled with warm, soapy water while you repeat steps 1-7 on the other hand.

  • Dry the hand thoroughly.

  • Apply cuticle remover to the end of an orange stick tipped with cotton wool. Using the hoof stick resting on the nail plate, gently push back the cuticle working in small circular movements.

  • Once this has been done, use a wet cuticle knife to gently loosen the eponychium from the nail plate. Work around the border in small circular movements, keeping the cutting edge towards the main body of the nail, and then repeat the procedure on the other hand. Hold the cuticle knife at a 45-degree angle to the nail plate and stroke in one direction only. It is important to use the correct technique when using the cuticle knife to prevent damage to the nail plate.

  • Use cuticle cutters to remove any excess cuticle by placing the pointed end of the cutters under the lifted cuticle and make a clean cut.

       Note: if the cuticle is cut and bleeding occurs, you must first put on disposable gloves before cleaning           the area with antiseptic wipes. Any contaminated waste must be disposed of safely and separately from           general waste.

  • The basic procedure of massage is made up of effleurage and petrissage movements. Effleurage movements are long and flowing and are performed with the fingers and palms of the hand using little pressure. You should both begin and end the massage with effleurage as it soothes the nerve endings and removes loose surface skin cells.

  • Petrissage is a deeper, circular kneading which has stimulating effects. It increases the rate at which blood flows through the skin and muscles and removes loose surface skin cells and waste matter.

  • Support your client’s arm with a bolster and then apply hand cream to the hand and forearm before beginning the massage.

  • Begin your massage by using effleurage movements from the fingers to the elbow.

  • Follow on with palmar kneading (petrissage movements) the extensor muscles and the flexor muscles of the forearm.