The Ultimate Guide to Manicures

BY: Sarah Gorr |Aug 3, 2017

Manicures are one of the easiest ways to pamper yourself. They're affordable, quick, and a great way to try out trendy looks without the commitment. But if you've never gotten one before, you might have a few questions about what to expect and whether it's really worth it anyway. Let us answer your questions without our manicure guide.

What is a manicure?

A manicure is the buffing and shaping of the fingernails and typically includes a fresh coat of nail polish. Aestheticians will push back and trim the cuticles while buffing down any ridges leaving nails looking glossy and sleek even before the color is added. But that doesn't mean all manicures are created equal. A shellac manicure will last much longer than a standard one and a paraffin wax manicure will leave you with softer, healthier skin.

Read more about the different types of manicures from gel to natural:

How much is a manicure?

On average, a basic manicure will cost you about $20. However, special types of manicures like acrylic, gel, shellac, and no-chip range from about $20 to $50 in price, depending on the nail salon. Thankfully you can cut that price in half with the help of manicure deal near you.

How much should I tip for a manicure?

Typically, customers tip between 15%–20% for a manicure, according to our guide on nail-salon etiquette. So for a $25 manicure, expect to tip around $5.

How long does a manicure last?

A standard manicure will last anywhere from three days to a full week, depending on how well you take care of it and how often you work with your hands. A shellac or gel manicure on the other hand can last up to two weeks.

Read more about manicure length and how to care for your nails here:

What is nail art?

Beyond a slick paint job, nail art elevates nails to another level. Techs specialized in this type of manicure can do everything from painting delicate flowers to cute animals and more. Just makes sure you call ahead to see if your favorite salon specializes in the art (not all of them do). For inspiration, head to the nail art hashtag on Instagram or check out some of our favorite styles below.

Read more about nail art and get inspired here:

Should I worry about having gross feet or hairy legs?

Nope! It's unlikely your stylist cares even a smidge, so there's no need to feel self-conscious. They've seen it all and they're just happy to have your business.

Read more about nail salon etiquette, nail shapes, tipping, and other basic queries: