Spoiling myself at the salon

An Overview Of 4 Popular Types Of Manicures

by Keith Fox

If you like the idea of getting your nails done but feel a bit overwhelmed with the many types of manicure available, have no fear. There's a perfect manicure for everyone, and you don't need to wing it while trying to find a style you like. Here's an overview of four popular types of manicures.


Gel manicures start with your nail technician filing, buffing and massaging your hands with hand cream to soothe your nails, clean the cuticles and soften your skin. A base coat, gel colour coat and top coat are then applied to your nails, and your hands are placed under a UV light to cure the polish and help it to last longer by making it more hardwearing. Gel polish lasts longer than standard nail polish, so the finished look will last a few weeks when you take care of your nails. Gel polish should be removed with acetone, and you can do this yourself or have your nail technician do it.  


An acrylic manicure follows the same initial steps as a gel manicure, but an acrylic overlay is attached to the natural nail before a colour coat and top coat of polish is applied. The overlay consists of a combination of powder polymer and liquid monomer, which mixes together to create a strong overlay that will not break or bend easily. An acrylic manicure can last a few weeks, and the overlay should be removed by your nail technician with acetone to prevent damage to your natural nails.

Dip Powder

A dip powder manicure is a cross between a basic file and polish and an acrylic manicure. After the base coat is applied, your nails are dipped into a coloured powder. The powder replaces the colour coat and comes in a variety of colours, but dip powder manicures tend to look best when you select a sparkling or shimmering powder, as solid-colour powders can look a little uneven in their coverage.  A top coat of polish is then applied to seal your nails, and your manicure will last for a couple of weeks. You can remove a dip powder manicure at home with standard nail polish remover.


The classic French manicure is experiencing a resurgence in popularity, which is likely due to its timeless, elegant look. With a French manicure, you don't have to worry about picking a colour coat you like, as a sheer pink or beige colour coat is applied on top of the base coat. A white polish tip is then added to each nail before the nails are sealed with a clear topcoat. This type of manicure will last for a couple of weeks, and you can remove the polish yourself at home with nail polish remover.

When you go for your manicure, your nail technician will give you tips on how to keep your nails looking good for as long as possible. They will also provide advice on how to care for your nails when your manicure is removed, as keeping them moisturised and nourished will offset the impact of having a chemical-based product on them.

For more information on manicures, visit a local nail salon.