There are various kinds of manicure on offer in spas, which may involve a different shaping of the nail, the use of a variety of oils and creams, or even of electro-pulse or hot-stone massage as part of the treatment. Some examples include:
American: a very natural-looking manicure which shapes the nails to your finger tip.
French: a classic manicure using clear or ivory-coloured polish on the body of the nail, with white at the tip. The nail is cut quite square.
Gel manicure and Shellac manicure: these type of manicure treatments have become really popular over the past few years - mainly because the gel polish stays on your nails for about two weeks without chipping. While the manicure process for gel nails is the same as it is for regular manicures, you need to place your nails under a UV lamp between coats in order to set the polish.
Hot stone manicure: this manicure features a hand massage using hot stone therapy to soothe and relax your hand.
Intensive paraffin wax: includes warm wax being rubbed into your nails, hands and wrists to moisturise and soften.
Luxury: this usually signifies a whole-hand treatment which includes a hand massage, softening paraffin wax and heated mittens or a wrap; the combination of heat and moisturising unguents warms and soothes your hands, and softens and hydrates your nails.
Try to give your nails a good clean and remove any traces of old nail polish beforehand using a good acetone or nail polish remover. This will stop the nail technician wasting valuable manicure-time doing it herself, so that she can get on with the good stuff! You might want to take off your rings, too, if there's massage with hand cream involved.
What is a manicure good for?
A manicure is good for improving the texture and health of both your fingernails and the skin of your hands, as well as leaving them looking polished and perfect.
Apart from making sure your hands and nails look and feel good, a manicure often has the side-effect of relaxing you; there are pressure points on your hands that correspond to other areas of your body.
If you have an injury to your hand - a wound, or joint or muscle strain, or a rash or broken skin -- you are well advised to wait until you recover before you have a manicure, or else make your manicurist very aware of your limitations.