Step 1: Cleanse. Ask the client to wash hands with a mild revitalizing cleanser. For a water-based manicure, put a small amount of the cleanser into a soaking dish, fill with warm water, and agitate to mix and create a light foam. Soak the fingertips for 3–5 minutes.
Step 2: Shape. Remove hands from the soak, and dry with a towel. Shape and smooth the nail?s free edge with a 240-grit abrasive emery board.
Step 3: Cuticle care. Apply a cuticle remover to help eliminate stubborn cuticles from the nail plate. Gently slide a cuticle pusher along the nail plate to loosen the cuticle. Rinse hands thoroughly and towel dry. Create a moisture pack for the nail plate and surrounding tissue by massaging a dot of AHA cuticle cream and cuticle oil into each nail.
Step 4. ParaffinStep 4: Paraffin. Massage a dollop of an ultra-moisturizing AHA exfoliating serum into the hands and half-way up the forearms, spending about five minutes on each arm. Leave the serum on, and dip hands in paraffin. Wrap in plastic, followed by hot towels or heated mitts.
Step 5. MoisturizeStep 5: Moisturize. Remove the towels and wipe hands and arms with a warm, moist towel. Place a dollop of moisturizing lotion onto each hand. This should be a facial-quality moisturizer with vitamins, ceramides and antioxidants to help defend the hands against the visible sings of aging and to restore elasticity to the skin. Massage into the hands and arms to distribute the product evenly. Spend about five minutes on each arm.
Step 6: Nail care. Pull back the lateral folds—the side walls—of the nails and use a curette in a sweeping ?C? motion to thoroughly remove cuticle from the nail plate up to, but not beyond the eponychium edge. The cuticle is the non-living tissue that clings to the nail plate as it grows and carefully should be removed to prevent hangnails and assure proper enamel retention.
Step 7: Buff. Gently buff back and forth on the surface of the nail with a soft 1,200-grit buffer in the direction of nail growth.
Step 8: Prepare. Prepare the nail for a long-lasting manicure by removing any remaining dust or oil with an acetone-based remover or nail surface cleanser.
Step 9: Finishing touches. Apply a thin coat of a sticky base coat or nail toughener to help anchor polish to the nail. Follow with two thin coats of nail color. Seal and protect with a hard, shiny top coat. Let polish set for one minute. Finish with a polish drier.