The Definitive Guide to Manicures & Pedicures

Woman receiving manicures and pedicures

Interested in becoming a nail technician? Here is some advice on how to take care of hands and feet with the help of manicures and pedicures.

We get manicures and pedicures for many different reasons. Fashion and design are two of the most common reasons people go to a salon or spa to have their nails done. This can come in the form of shaping and painting your own nails or having artificial ones applied. Sometimes you have a nail style idea or artistic concept that you need professional help to execute the way you want. We also frequently seek out professional manicures and pedicures when we need help fixing or repairing something about our hands or feet. It could be anything from a broken fingernail to a calloused spot on your heel that needs attention. It is not uncommon for people to need nail or skin help from a trained pro.

You may also be the kind of person who books a manicure or pedicure as part of a self-care routine or relaxation ritual. There are times you book an emergency appointment for last-minute assistance and there are times you book an emergency appointment because you desperately need a break. No matter what the reason is, taking care of your hands and feet by booking a manicure or pedicure appointment can be a great self-investment. Whether the reason is a physical or mental one, manicures and pedicures can be a terrific way to refresh, repair, and rejuvenate. Let’s take a look at the different ways to show your hands and feet a little more love.

Healthy Manicures and Pedicures Start at Home

There is no question that the luxury of being professionally pampered at a nice nail salon can be precisely what you need after a rough week. However, you don’t need a high-end spa experience to feel indulgent and you don’t have to wait for permission to take care of your own body in the best ways possible. There are many things to think about and re-evaluate when it comes to your daily routine. Here are some areas to consider that will help you maintain the health of your hands and feet. We will also take a quick look at helpful questions for you to ask your spa and salon professionals at your next appointment that will help you maximize your manicures and pedicures.

Sanitation and Hygiene

Clean hands and feet are significant priorities that can too often go overlooked. Sure, we shower and wash our hands frequently. But how often do we carefully and thoroughly clean under our nails? Do we keep hand sanitizer handy for unexpected run-ins with dirty surfaces and substances? Keeping your nails and skin clean can reduce irritation, minimize breaking and even help improve your health in general.

Moisture Balancing

The moisture level of your skin can vary based on environmental and genetic factors. Dry, cracked skin on your hands and feet can lead to infections and irritations. Particularly around the cuticles. Dry climates and extreme weather make this worse. Likewise, overly moist conditions created by certain shoes, gloves or work equipment can throw the moisture balance of your hands and feet off. Warm, humid conditions can create a ripe breeding ground for bacteria to flourish and blemishes or rashes to appear. So, it is about creating a balance.


Drinking enough water is good for your entire body. Your skin and nails are no exception. Make sure your water is clean and properly filtered for minerals and contaminants that may be harmful.


As with water, other substances that you consume effect the balance and appearance of your body. Your internal issues can manifest externally in a number of ways. When your body is suffering from an imbalance on the inside it is difficult for you to look your best on the outside. This includes the look and health of your hands and feet.

Proper nutrition is vital for healthy skin and strong nails. If you are having trouble with a particular nail or skin issue you may want to consider getting professional advice about supplements or dietary changes. Don’t make any major changes to what you eat without consulting a physician. You should also be responsible about any allergies or pre-existing conditions that may be affected by such suggestions.

Reduce/Manage Environmental Impacts

There are certain things that we can’t avoid. For example, you may work with certain cleaning agents or chemicals that require protective gear. Dealing with children is another unavoidable impact on our hands and feet that can quickly and easily take a toll. Our lives aren’t centered around our manicures, our manicures should fit into our lives. However, we should make the changes we can to be easier on our hands and feet whenever the opportunity arises.

Professional Skincare, Repair and Relaxation

The professionals who provide you with manicures and pedicures offer a lot more than an opportunity to unwind. They have been certified to help you truly take care of your extremities. Here are some of the things going to a spa or salon offers.

Initial Manicure and Pedicure Assessments

The initial assessment is what happens at the very beginning of your manicure or pedicure appointment. This is the point in which you will divulge any issues you need addressed or may have questions about.

It is important to know that nail technicians and estheticians are not physicians. So, if you have any serious concerns about your skin or nail health you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. However, your spa and salon professionals have been trained to identify and address problems such as minor irritations, blemishes, callouses, nail weakness, and other common nail and skin challenges you might be facing.

Hand and Foot Massages

Including a massage as part of your manicure and/or pedicure experience is a great way to take your relaxation to the next level. There are a lot of spas and salons that offer a full range of massage options. Even salons that cater exclusively to nails will often have hand and foot massage options available.

The relaxation a massage can provide is fantastic, but a hand or foot massage has benefits beyond helping you relax. Massage can help improve your circulation, decrease your stress, relieve pressure or tension, and alleviate pain. So, the next time you get a manicure, or a pedicure don’t be afraid to go for a more indulgent, all-inclusive experience.

Manicures and Pedicures: Soothing Soaks and Smoothing Treatments

Softening and smoothing rough skin is part of maintaining the integrity, health, and the youthful appearance of your hands and feet. One of the ways you might go about softening skin that is particularly rough or calloused is to soak it in warm water. You may also help to further smooth the skin of your hands and feet by exfoliating and conditioning them using various products, tools and techniques.

Cuticle and Nail Care

There is some maintenance in this area that can be done on your own as part of your daily hygiene routine. But there are some things that require professional training, a special product, or a specific piece of equipment to deal with. These issues can easily and readily be addressed by a trained pro during a manicure or pedicure. They are certified to ensure that your hands and feet are in capable hands no matter what the situation may be.

Works of Art Directly at Your Fingertips

Being expressive may not initially seem like an important priority, but it is. The health of your hands and feet are undeniably important. How you feel about yourself and the way you look is also important. Being expressive through the artistic elements of your manicure and pedicure choices can help you feel more confident and help you look the way you want. There are a couple of significant style benefits to expressing your individuality through nail art.

Manicures and Pedicures Allow You to Express Your Individuality Through Design

There are many options when it comes to the design elements of your nail art. You can choose to center your nails around a trending style. Or perhaps you would want to coordinate your nails with a specific outfit for a special occasion. You may want to keep things minimalistic and simple, or you may choose to go extravagantly elaborate with your artistic choices. There are endless options in nail color, length, accessory, cut and overall style design. These choices allow you to be as creative or trendy as your heart desires.

Fun Fashion That is Temporary

Nail color and artificial nails have come a long way in terms of durability. New developments in formulas and technologies have made manicures and pedicures much stronger than they use to be. But even though they are durable doesn’t mean they are permanent. Which is a good thing. Sure, you want your manicure and/or pedicure to last a reasonable amount of time, but it is also nice that you can switch it whenever you’re ready. Retouching and redoing your nails periodically is a great way to ensure frequent self-care while providing sufficient opportunities for renewing or replacing your nail art to fit your changing moods and styles.

Feeling the Glow from Your Fingers to Your Toes

Our hands and feet play a significant role in our everyday lives and take quite a bit of abuse from all the impact and exposures they suffer. Treating your extremities to some extra attention can help keep you feeling and looking the way you deserve. That may include going for a foot soak and a hand massage. It might include having your nails done. Looking and feeling good go hand in hand, and both should be a priority. Being good to yourself with a manicure and pedicure is a great way to stay fabulous, refreshed, and feeling your best.

Want to Learn More?

Did learning about manicures and pedicures interest you? Need to get your undergraduate certificate in cosmetology? At Minnesota School of Cosmetology, we are dedicated to helping our Cosmetology program students develop a solid foundation and a flair for style through hands-on training in basic and advanced industry techniques. You will learn how to cut, color and style hair, give manicures and pedicures, provide spa treatments and perform various skin care techniques from industry-experienced instructors in a professional salon setting.

We keep our class sizes small to make sure you get the individualized instruction you need and attention you deserve. You will graduate with everything you need to be a versatile artist in an exciting industry, including a cosmetology diploma from a respected college.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a cosmetologist and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

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