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Updated: 4/16/2007 3:43 pm Published: 4/16/2007 3:43 pm

A manicure is a treatment of the hands and nails, including shaping, cleaning, and polishing of the nails. A regular manicure can help some people overcome nail problems such as nail biting, dry cuticles, and split or brittle nails. First, the manicurist will have you soak your nails in warm water to soften the cuticles. She or he will then push back and remove the dead cuticles, subsequently shaping the nails with an emery board. Buffing the nails is also an important step because it smoothes the nail surface, making it more conducive for polish adhesion. Most manicures also include a hand massage with a moisturizer after the nails have been treated, filed, and buffed. To remove any excess moisturizer that could hinder polish adhesion, the manicurist will usually wipe the nail surface with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol. The final step is polishing. Freshly manicured nails look attractive with either clear or colored polish. Manicures can be given during an individual appointment or during a salon appointment that includes hair or skin care treatments. A manicure can add a special touch when preparing for a special occasion or simply help by maintaining the appearance of hands and nails on a regular basis.

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