There's no perfect manicure that meets the needs and requirements of every person. When choosing your preferred style of manicure, you need to consider not only the visual appeal of your favorite manicure types, but also your spending budget, your lifestyle, and how long your new manicure will last before you need your treatment removed or redone.
As you search for the perfect type of manicure for you, consider experimenting with different types of manicures and (nail services) to try these styles on for yourself. In some cases, you might also prefer to mix up your manicure type based on whether you're looking ahead to big events—such as a wedding or formal event—or simply seeking nails that will be durable with day-to-day use.
Whatever your reason for exploring your manicure options, here are five essential types you may want to consider—along with tips on how to choose between these styles.
1. (Basic Nails) Manicure
While basic manicures offer the most affordable service, you can still get a lot of pampering and nail work done—and simple nails don't mean you have to settle for (plain nails) when looking to showcase your personal style.
A basic manicure will typically include standard services such as trimming, shaping, filing and buffingnails to maintain proper nail hygiene and health. In some cases, nail painting will be included in a base package, while in other cases polish may be an added service.
Most basic manicures will vary between $10 and $40 in price, and they can take between half an hour to an hour. Keep in mind, though, that because basic manicures are using regular nail polish, these manicures can start to show signs of wear and tear—such as chipping of the polish—within a few days to a week, depending on your lifestyle.
2. (French Tip Gel Nails) Manicure
French manicures can come in several different styles and types of polish. But no matter whether you go with regular nail polish or more expensive (French gel nails) or acrylics, the appearance of French nails is the same, with bright white tip contrasted with a natural-tone nail polish.
French tip manicures can vary in cost depending on the type of material you choose, and will likely cost at least an extra $10-15 over a basic manicure. How long the manicure lasts also depends on the materials, with regular polish lasting a few days, and acrylics and gels lasting up to a few weeks.
If you're looking for a classic manicure that works when dressed up, at work or even relaxing with friends, this can be a great way to upgrade your manicure without blowing your budget.
3. (American Tip Nails) Manicure
American manicures bear some visual similarities to the French style, but this style is distinguished by a tip that is more off-white and softer in color, blending between the tip and the nail bed and creating a warmer look than high-contrast French tips.
Some people prefer American manicures because they look more natural and healthier than other flashy manicures. The cost and longevity is similar to French manicures and is dependent on whether you opt for regular nail polish, gel, or acrylic.
4. (Acrylic Overlay Nails) Manicure
Want nails that draw attention and flash your high-end style? Acrylic overlays are not for the faint of heart. Acrylic overlays let you complement your look with unique nail designs that, when combined with the bright colors and intricate deigns of acrylics, are sure to get you attention wherever you go.
Although properly applying (acrylic nail polish) to avoid excessively thick coatings can be a challenge, a professional manicurist should have no trouble giving you a beautiful acrylic finish, although it can take a couple hours for this manicure to be finished. Acrylic overlays can also be more expensive, with prices often starting at $120, but they're long-lasting and resistant to chipping.
5. Gel Nails Manicure
Prioritizing durability over everything else? Gel manicures may be the way to go. A good gel manicure can last for three weeks, and sometimes longer depending on the level of care, but they're also more flexible than acrylics, which may increase your comfort.
Prices can vary widely depending on the complexity of the gel manicure, with some costing as low as $30, and other gel nail manicures exceeding the price of their acrylic counterparts. If you get gel nails, keep in mind that you wouldn't be able to safely remove them on your own at home—you'll need to visit a professional if you want to avoid damage to your nails when removed.
No matter what approach you choose, make sure your manicure is a good fit with your personal taste and your lifestyle—and make sure you're finding ways to showcase your personality through your professionally done nails.