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French Manicures: All About Them

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French manicures are a nice way to have polished nails without drawing too much attention to your hands. The absence of color makes for easy outfit changes, without having to think too much about clashing colors. French manicures also last longer than traditional manicures with colored polish because you cannot see chips as easily. They are also easier to touch up without being too noticeable.

What is the purpose of having a manicure, if you are just going to put clear polish on top of your nails? Why bother to go through all that time and trouble, to look natural? Well, we women do tons of crazy things, and spend countless hours in the salon trying to make ourselves appear naturally beautiful. Why should manicures be any different? Besides, the polish is not actually clear. The polish is two different colors. A very thin white or off white coat is applied to the tips of your nails and allowed to dry. Then the entire nail is painted with a soft beige or pink color, making the nails very clean and polished looking, but not quite as dramatic as red or pink polish.

While French manicures may look almost natural, they are the most difficult type of manicure to have done to your nails. Most salons charge more money for a French manicure, than a regular manicure with one solid color. Some salons use an actual paint brush, with very fine bristles to apply the thin white coat to the tips of the nails. Other salons will very quickly apply the white coat without much attention to detail. Then they will come back before the polish has dried and remove the excess color with an orange stick wrapped in cotton. This is interesting to watch. I always get nervous when the manicurist paints half of my fingernail white. I’m thinking to myself, great, I could do a better job at home blindfolded and I’m paying her my hard earned money to make a huge mess. But then, she is always redeemed when she had cleaned off the excess and my nails look great. Watching her perfect this skill with ease, I was enticed to try this process at home. I made a huge mess; I think that next time I will leave this skill to the professional.

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The popularity of having a French manicure started around the seventies, and is just as popular today. People have been getting French manicures for years. You can see these types of manicures just about anywhere from magazines, to moms at the grocery store. One thing that is kind of interesting about French manicures is that they really don’t have any target age range. Anyone from teenagers, to grandmothers can be seen sporting a French manicure, that is something that cannot be said of most fashion trends.

In recent years, there has been a new addition to the French manicure family. It’s the French pedicure. They have all of the flexibility and versatility of the French manicure. I love that I can wear pink shoes, red shoes, or black shoes without having to rethink my toenail polish.

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