The Russian Manicure: Your Newest Way of Pampering Yourself

By Sophia Pardo 

When I was younger, I was a chronic nail-biter, and it was honestly gross. Whether the habit was formed out of anxiety or just not being able to sit still, to this day, it remains the most embarrassing habit I’ve ever had. I take a lot of pride in my self-care; it’s no secret I like to splurge on workout classes, infrared saunas, and cold plunges here in Dallas. I also used to splurge biweekly on a gel manicure to prevent myself from ever relapsing into my nail-biting alter ego. I find that when I have my nails done, I am less tempted to touch them, and I have been nail-biting-free for about a year. 

But with my biweekly gel manicures came consequences for my nail health. I would find that my gel would start to chip or peel as I got closer to the end of the two weeks, leaving behind a weak and brittle nail bed that required urgent attention. I tried everything, from using nail-strengthening polishes underneath each manicure to even allowing my nails breathe for a week in between manicures, but I couldn’t seem to find a cure. That is until I discovered the Russian manicure. 

I discovered the Russian manicure through one of my favorite lifestyle bloggers, Lauryn Bosstick of the Skinny Confidential. Essentially, the manicure consists of detailed cuticle work on dry nails, avoiding soaking them in water or acetone, which tends to weaken the natural nail. The detailed cuticle work involves literally removing all of your cuticles, and yes, it is painless; don’t worry. This allows the polish to cover the entirety of the nail, making it take longer for the skin to grow back. Doing so reduces the outgrowth, peeling, and chipping experienced with Gel nails after around 10 days. After the detailed cuticle work, oftentimes a hard gel overlay will be painted on the nails, making the polish harder and more durable against any damage or chipping. 

I had the pleasure of going to “The Best Nails Dallas” in Uptown, where I treated myself to a manicure that remained perfect for a whole month! I made my appointment online, which was super easy, and they were able to fit me in about a week from the day I had reached out. The salon is inside an office building and has a clean, floral aesthetic. I was greeted by my technician, who began my nail service, which took around an hour and a half, and I was really pleased with my results. I got a neutral pink that, as my nails grew, blended with the natural nail bed. Not a single chip appeared on my nails, and I got numerous compliments on the “clean girl aesthetic” they exuded. Needless to say, I immediately made an appointment a month in advance to return for another Russian manicure. This service is now a staple splurge in my self-care routine, a way to keep my nails not only strong and healthy but also flawless. For my next manicure, I hope to add a little flair to my nails by embellishing my go-to ballet slipper pink polish with pearls. Let me know what you think!

Cover Artwork by Staff Member Charlotte Pompa

Sophia Pardo

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