What are the different manicure types?

manicure types

Manicures are fundamental to having healthy and beautiful nails. The hands are the first thing that is offered upon meeting a new person and a handshake is a common worldwide gesture. For this reason, it is imperative to keep the nails of the hands well cared for. Here I tell you what I have learned after a thorough investigation:

The types of manicures that exist are different according to the kind of enamel (French, Italian, Brazilian, American, etc.); according to the duration of the enamel (permanent, semi-permanent, or acrylic); and with false nails. The base of all of them is the basic manicure that takes care of the hands and nails.

I will now go into more detail and explain all the types of manicures that exist to have beautiful hands and nails.

Table of Contents

What is a manicure treatment?

The manicure is the name of the activity where your nails are taken care of and beautified. It consists of cosmetic treatment of the hands, especially on the nails, where you file or cut the nails' edges, paint them, and massage your hands.

This can be done at a specialized salon or at home, and hand care can be undertaken including hot oil treatments to soften, cleaning the cuticle, and application of kerosene wax to moisturize the hands' skin.

Tools to do a manicure

Tools to do a manicure

The basics of doing a manicure:

Nail clippers

A nail cutter is a metal tool that is used to cut the nails. Its use might be unnecessary, it may only be required to file them, depending on the nails' length.


A file is a tool formed by a support sheet on one side and a coarse-grained surface on the other. The most highly recommended is the wood file because the metal ones can mistreat the layers of the nails.

Container with liquid soap

This container must be round. and made of plastic or metal, and importantly it must have the depth and size to soak the nail without difficulty. This container should be filled with warm water with moisturizing soap.


The scissors used for manicures are small in size, straight or slightly curved, and usually ending in a point. There are two types of scissors:

  • For nails. These scissors are more robust.
  • For the cuticle. These scissors have a fine cutting end.

Cuticle pusher

There are two types of pusher: plastic and stainless steel, the most recommended being the stainless-steel pusher, as it is more resistant and can be easily sterilized as many times as necessary.

One end of the pusher has a rounded tip to remove the cuticle gently, and the other end is sharp to remove the excess of the cuticle.

Cuticle cutter

This instrument helps to remove the dead skin around the nail. The cuticle nipper is made of stainless steel and almost always has a plastic cover on the handles.


Enamel is used to decorate the nail. Try to have as many tones and shades as possible.

Nail polish remover

Nail polish remover is a substance that removes nail polish from the nails. You should always have a good quality nail polish remover to avoid damaging the nail and making it yellow and brittle.


Try always to have cotton at home. Keep it in a container to protect it from contamination.

Moisturizing cuticle oil

This oil’s function is to soften and moisturize the nail and cuticle. It comes in two styles: with a brush type applicator or roll-on.

Drying Gloss

Drying gloss is used to accelerate the drying of the nail polish on the nail. Some can completely dry the nail in up to one minute.

Moisturizing hand cream

Get a cream that contains a moisturizing formula for all skin types, or one that is specifically for your skin type.

Orange Stick

The orange stick is often a wooden utensil with a delicate but blunt tip. Its function is to loosen and pull back the cuticle and clean the dirt that accumulates under the nails.

Pumice (pumice stone)

Pumice is a volcanic rock of low density and it is porous. The pumice or pumice stone is used in the manicure to eliminate the calluses in the palm of the hand.

Cuticle softener

We use this product to soften the cuticle in a fast and safe way. It is usually found in liquid or semi-liquid formulas.

Transparent nail polish treatment

Transparent nail polish treatment is used on the nail with a small brush to penetrate the active ingredient that is within nail polish. They can be found in repairers, hardeners, revitalizers, and sunscreens.

How to do a manicure step by step

how to do the nails

Remove the old nail polish

  1. Wash your hands well first.
  2. Remove the rest of the nail polish with a cotton pad soaked in nail polish remover, pressing gently on the nails, for about 15 minutes to dissolve.
  3. Remove it with upward movements but not sideways, as it drags the color and could stain your fingers.

Shape the nail with a file

Shape the nail carefully, making sure it is completely dry. If you soak it in water before, it will become soft and porous. If you want to file the nail, it is advisable to do so in only one direction so as not to damage it.

Try not to leave the nail too long and pointed because they will be more brittle and challenging to care for. When the length of the nails is excessive, use small manicure scissors or nail clippers.

Soak the nails

  • Immerse your fingers in a bowl of warm, soapy water for a few minutes. Try not to leave the nails submerged for too long as they can absorb a lot of water and become soft.
  • Dry them very carefully and apply a cream or specific oil for nails, especially massaging the cuticle area to moisturize it.

Do not cut the cuticle

Do not cut the cuticle; there may be a risk of infection if you break it. It would be best to not cut it as the cuticle's purpose is to protect the edge of the flesh with the nail. If it is broken, it produces a thicker layer. The cuticle is gently removed by pushing it with an orange stick or manicure spatula towards the edge.

Cut off the dead skin

If around the nail you have dead skin or hangnails, use manicure pliers to cut it. It would be best to do this step with great care, so as not to cause any damage. Then massage the area with cream or oil, repeating this massage once a day until it disappears.

Moisturize the nail

Apply a specific revitalizing oil or cream, to the nails and hands by massaging them. Wait a few minutes until it is absorbed. Then remove with a tissue the excess oil before applying the polish.


  • When the nails are dry, start painting them with a brush from the center outwards.
  • Then paint both sides, trying carefully not to touch the end of the skin so as not to stain the edges.
  • When the first layer is dry, apply a second layer.

If the glazes are semi-permanent, they won’t last more than a week, so remove them when they start to flake off.


If you want the enamel to last longer, apply a protective base before painting it. After painting it, use a base color protector. That will help to make the drying faster.

You may be interested in "How can I make my natural nails look nice?"

Types of Manicure

Basic manicure

The basic manicure is the foundation of every manicure. This manicure helps you start taking care of your nails, and from this, you can elaborate on the manicure finish you like. How is the basic manicure achieved?

  1. The first thing you do is remove any old nail polish with nail polish remover.
  2. A cream or oil is applied to the cuticle and soaked in warm water for 5 minutes, which cleans the cuticle.
  3. Cut the nail, clean it, and give it a shape.
  4. Quickly massage and apply a base coat to the nails.
  5. Apply the nail polish in the color of your choice.
  6. Finally, seal it with a layer of clear nail polish.

Manicure according to the type of enamel:

French manicure

This type of manicure is one of the best known and most requested because it brings an elegant and simple touch to the nail. To perform it:

  1. Submerge the nails in warm water, remove the old polish, clean them, cut them, and then shape them with a file.
  2. When you apply the nail polish, first apply the base coat, and then apply a neutral nail polish layer to the nail.
  3. Paint it with a thick white stripe at the tip, in the shape of a half-moon.
  4. Finally, apply a transparent layer that covers the whole nail. You can combine any colors you like.

Reverse French Manicure

To perform this type of manicure, you must have long nails. In this case, the stripe of a different nail polish color, which was put on the French manicure at the end of the nail, will now be on the bottom, the one that is in contact with the cuticle. That should have a crescent moon shape painted over the darker shade at the base of the nail.

American Manicure

The American manicure has a more natural look than the French one but uses almost the same products. The only difference is the order in which we use them. The preparation of the nail is the same as the French manicure.

  1. First, the base coat is applied.
  2. Then the nail is painted white.
  3. When the tips are dry, neutral nail polish is applied to the nail's end, followed by a topcoat. We use neutral nail polish to give more uniformity and a much more natural look.

Italian Manicure

This type of manicure is the same as the French one, apart from the strip done at the end of the nail. This time the nail will be painted from one side to the middle of the nail, giving it a more elegant look. The stripe looks great when it is bright.

Brazilian Manicure

The purpose of this manicure is to try to make the nail last as long as possible and so we don’t notice the nail's growth. The procedure consists of removing the cuticle entirely and making the enamel contact the skin as deeply as possible. Then the enamel that is in contact with the skin is removed.

Decorated manicure

The decorated manicure is very fashionable, and you can use different colors, shapes, prints, ornaments, flowers, hair, or whatever your imagination desires. The only limitation is space and your vision.

Mirror manicure

When you have completed all the necessary steps of the manicure, apply a thick layer of black or any other dark-colored nail polish. For a more lasting effect, use gel nail polish. When the nail polish is dry, apply a thin layer of chrome colored nail polish. To achieve the mirror effect, dry it under a UVA lamp.

Manicure according to the duration of the enamel

Permanent manicure

You can wear this manicure for weeks without having to use false nails. We use a long-lasting effect polish by combining a regular polish and the gel to form the artificial nail. We also use a UV lamp to dry it and fix it on the nail, making it permanent from the first moment.

This manicure is done in the following way:

  1. Remove all previous nail polish.
  2. Apply a transparent base enamel, which dries with a UVA lamp.
  3. Apply two thin layers of colored polish to the nail and dry it again with a UV lamp.
  4. Finally, a layer of clear nail polish is applied to seal the colored polish, which also dries under a UV lamp.

To remove this type of polish more easily, immerse the nails in a container with acetone for 10 minutes. However, you can remove it quickly by rubbing the nail with acetone-soaked cotton.

Semi-permanent manicure

The semi-permanent manicure is one of the most popular. It lasts longer than a traditional manicure but less than a permanent one. That allows you to change the color of your nails more frequently. This manicure can last up to two weeks and allows the nail to have a great shine and hardness.

The application time is long and requires a UVA or LED lamp to dry the nail polish between coats. Abuse of semi-permanent nail polish can weaken the nail. For this reason, I recommend you let the nail rest for a short period between treatments.

Manicure, according to the type of artificial nails:

Acrylic nail manicure

An acrylic nail manicure is a good resolution if you have short nails. It consists of applying a hard coat of acrylic on the nails. We use a powder polymer and a liquid monomer to form a hard acrylic layer on the nails. To make it:

  1. First, the nail surface is worn down with a file. This makes it rough so that the acrylic nail adheres easily to the original nail surface.
  2. The acrylic mixture is carefully applied to the nail with a brush, giving it the desired shape. The rough ends are smoothed out with the brush.
  3. Finally, when it is properly dry, nail polish is applied, and cuticle oil is gently massaged in.

Gel Nail Manicure

Of all types of false nails, gel ones give the most natural result and have a significant duration.

The application consists of placing the gel on the nail in the cold that perfectly adheres to the shape and leaves a thin layer at the end. This must be hardened with ultraviolet light.

The advantage of this technique is that when the nail is growing, you can fill in the part that is growing and retouch it so that it looks good, and then the nail polish is applied with the technique you choose,

Manicure for the care of your nails:

Kerosene Manicure

Kerosene manicure is used for dry or tired hands and nails.

  1. Before the polishing process, the hands are immersed in hot kerosene until an even layer is formed.
  2. They are then covered by a plastic bag and some mittens for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Finally, the kerosene is removed, and the nails are massaged with natural oils to moisturize them.

You may be interested in "How to grow your nails fast and strong naturally? 10 Tips."

Manicure with hot stones

Hot stone manicure is a technique used to relax and care for the hands during the manicure. The hands are massaged with two hot stones placed on top of them to relax all the muscles and tendons of the hand.

Spa Manicure

This type of manicure is the most complete because it includes different treatments for the hands and nails, such as massage, exfoliation, hydration, nutrition, as well as applying the enamel of your choosing. This manicure is different from others because it includes aromatic massages or moisturizing masks for the hands.

  • With salts, rub your hands and forearm.
  • Then a warm towel is placed on the skin to help it penetrate better.
  • The hands are then washed, and a moisturizing hand mask is applied.
  • Finally, the cuticle treatment is applied, the nail is cut, filed, and the enamel is applied.


There are several types of manicures. You just have to choose the style that best suits your needs and tastes. You can do it either in a specialized place or at home. You must always have the necessary materials to get a good manicure.