Manicure and Pedicure
Manicures and pedicures among men have gained a surge in popularity over the last decade. However, their histories can be traced as far back as ancient civilizations of Egypt, India, Babylonia, and Rome. More recently, it was commonplace for French nobility of the 18th century to get manicures as a sign of their high place within society. Hence, the designation French manicure. Today's man need not be aristocratic to maintain the level of cleanliness and refinement that manicures and pedicures can provide.
There are many connotations associated with caring of the nails that give some men pause. There are even women who disapprove of their men getting manicures and pedicures at salons or spas. This guide is not meant to persuade you to visit your local day spa, though you are certainly free to do so. This guide is meant to provide you with some structure in how you maintain your fingernails and toenails in the comfort of your own home.
Please Note: If you bite your nails, stop it. Just.. just stop it. OK. Thank you.
The hand is one of the first places on your body to show signs of aging. There is little that can be done to show immediate improvement on the natural aging process. Fortunately, that doesn't hold true for your nails - the returns are immediate. Your nails are subtle clues as to your attention to detail and selectivity. You cannot practice good hygiene but have dirty, unkempt nails. People do notice. For those of us whose appearance directly affects our ability to do business, it cannot be overlooked. Depending on your line of work and lifestyle, this may not be important. Nevertheless, if you were to attend a formal event, you would have to adjust your appearance accordingly.
Before you can start, you must first have the proper tools. A basic kit will include:
- Nail clippers
- Nail scissors
- Nail file or Emory board
Larger kits can include:
- Cuticle trimmer
- Nail buffer
- Nail brush
- Cuticle pusher or orange stick (Orange stick is a soft tool used for pushing the cuticles back and cleaning under the nails.)
Prices can be as low as $19.99 to as high as $219.99. A quality stainless steel kit runs for about $50. I wouldn't venture too far below that. The biggest issue that may arise with cheaper kits are that the edges don't stay sharp. Imagine shaving with a dull blade. The same premise follows with a low quality nail kit. If you so desire, you can just buy separate pieces and build a kit one by one.
Some brands include DOVO, Rubis, Zwilling/J.A. Henckels. I mismatched Seki Edge pieces, a Japanese brand, because their set is lacking but their individual pieces are stellar. One set, however constituted, should last you at least 10 years. These kits aren't shaving soaps - you don't need 20 of them. You probably don't need 20 shaving soaps either but that's for another guide...
- You have two options to start. If your nails aren't that long, you can use a steel nail file or Emory board to file the nail down. If your nails have been neglected, you may need to use nail clippers or nail scissors to trim them. After which, you will file them down.
- Slightly round the corners for a basic look.
- In either case above, the ideal result is a small, white semicircle at the edge of the nail.
- Soak your fingertips in warm water for a few minutes and dry your hands thoroughly. You may add mild soap to the water.
- Some people rub cuticle oil/serum into the cuticles and for a few minutes to soften them even further. It's not necessary.
- Most men like to use a cuticle remover, a chemical, because it's quick. Once it's applied, you use the orange stick to push the cuticle back and simply remove any dead cuticles.
- Depending on your preferences, you may not like a harsh chemical exposed on your skin.
- If you pass on the cuticle remover, then use the cuticle trimmer to trim the dead layers off.
- Some men choose to apply clear polish or enamel to their nails out of preference. Most men do not. There also those that do it for business purposes: dealers at casinos, hand models, and waiters at fine restaurants.
- Moisturize your hands with whatever lotion or cream you prefer.
- Use the nail buffer to buff away any scratches or uneveness on the nail's surface.
- Approx. completion time: 15 min.
Everything from the Manicure section is transferred to the Pedicure section. There is one addendum, however.
- Between #4 and #5, use a foot scrub or pumice stone to remove any dead, callous layers of skin. Continue as directed.
- Approx. completion time: 20 min.
The first time is usually the hardest and longest. Once properly manicured and pedicured, most of your time will be spent doing simple maintenance. It takes me 10 minutes at most for each because I skip some steps. I like the basics - cut and clean. As for polish, massage, foot soak, and all the other pampering potentially involved, I'll let you decide.
- Linda Rose (http://www.lindarose.com/art-manicure-men.asp)
- Zamberg (http://www.zamberg.com/zb/static/man...ssentials.aspx)
- Ezine (http://ezinearticles.com/?Mens-Manicure-Sets&id=698782)
- Man.Style.com (http://men.style.com/gq/fashion/styleguy/grooming/204)
- Beauty.About.com (http://beauty.about.com/od/perfectna...icure101_5.htm)