4 things that make a good manicurist

I used to bite my nails all the time. Then, one day, I got bored and decided that I wanted to try out having long nails– I wasn’t playing piano all the time anymore and I wanted to make my hands look a little more “grown-up.” First, I got artificial nails (silk wrap) and got regular fills (acrylic). I kicked my nail biting habit and my natural nails were able to grow out underneath the acrylic. Once my nails actually became long and strong enough, I switched to natural nails. Now, I faithfully get a manicure every two weeks and a pedicure every month and frequently get complemented on my perfectly polished and shaped nails.

Of course, some, including me, say that now I have an unhealthy obsession with taking care of my nails.

Well, I owe everything to my manicurist– here are 4 essential things that make a good manicurist:

  1. Hygiene & cleanliness. All implements should be clean and constantly sanitized. Same goes for the manicurist. If she sneezes, coughs, etc., she should be washing her hands or using hand sanitizer. There are a million places on your hands and feet where germs can enter, especially when removing skin and cuticle material. This is especially important for diabetics.
  2. Attention to detail. There’s a reason why they have those magnifying lamps. It may seem obsessive, but it drives me crazy if there is the slighest imperfection in the nailbed or shape of the nail (crooked, uneven, etc.). It becomes especially problematic after putting on polish and letting it dry– those imperfections will be even more noticeable.
  3. Health conscious. Well, at least when it comes to your skin and nails. Your manicurist should be looking out for you and making sure that not only do your nails look good, but that they also stay healthy. She should be making sure your cuticles aren’t drying out and that ingrown nails are taken care of. If your nail splits, she should be helping it stay clean and dry so it can heal– otherwise, fungus or infection can develop. If you have artificial nails, you should make sure your manicurist isn’t filing the nailbed too much. She will have to file it a little bit when putting on your full set and then each time she does a fill so that the artificial nail product has a slightly rough surface to bond to, but otherwise, your manicurist should be trying to keep your nailbed in tact. Your nailbed shouldn’t be flat and it shouldn’t hurt when filed. And your manicurist should be applying cuticle oil (and encouraging you too as well) to keep your cuticles moisturized without softening the nail.
  4. Confidante. Your manicure/pedicure time should be the opportunity to relax, whether that means you just close your eyes and let your manicurist do all the work or you talk about all the good and bad things going on in your life.

Current nail color: OPI‘s Route Beer Float.