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A manicurist cleans, cuts, files, paints, and polishes fingernails. He or she performs very delicate tasks that require steady hands and careful attention to detail. A professional uses specialized tools to buff nails, trim cuticles, apply paint and designs, and attach artificial nail extensions. Manicurists frequently specialize in other beauty services, such as hair removal and skin treatments.
Manicurists promote the beauty and health of fingernails by keeping them clean, trimmed, and strong. He or she might use nail clippers, cuticle knives, files, and electric buffers to perfect a job. A client may ask a manicurist to reinforce or lengthen their fingernails by applying hard acrylic nails or artificial extensions.
The entire manicure experience is often considered to be very relaxing and refreshing to clients. In addition to nail care, a manicurist routinely massages and moisturizes a client's hands with various lotions and oils. Manicurists generally engage in friendly conversation with clients during the process and make sure that they are happy with the work. Depending on the services rendered, a professional manicure can take anywhere from about half an hour to two hours.
Many professionals are trained to perform other aesthetic services for clients. They routinely give pedicures, which are procedures very similar to manicures, to clients who want to pamper their feet. A manicurist may also specialize in removing unwanted hair from various places on the body with the aid of razors, hot wax, and plucking tools. Professionals often provide various skin treatments, such as deep tissue massages, facials, and exfoliation procedures.
To become a manicurist, a person must typically hold at least a high school diploma and complete an apprenticeship, which may take up to one year. Apprentices learn the trade firsthand by observing and assisting established professionals. Upon the successful completion of an apprenticeship, a new manicurist becomes eligible for licensing in his or her state or country. Licensed professionals can practice independently in manicure shops, beauty parlors, and occasionally out of their own homes or private offices. Some manicurists choose to enroll in cosmetology courses to gain additional training in nail care and other beauty services.
The hours manicurists work vary between places of employment. Many professionals in beauty parlors and manicure shops work standard, 40 hour weeks. Evening and weekend shifts are common to meet the needs of working men and women who pursue nail care in their spare time. Self-employed manicurists are able to set appointment times that are convenient for themselves and their clients.