One thing jumped out more than Kendall Jenner’s preferred style when her manicurist Lisa Kon shared a photo of the model’s tortoiseshell nails on Instagram: how exceptionally tidy and clean her cuticle region looked.
Any good manicure must have a clean cuticle line, but Jenner’s in particular struck out since it appeared as though she had virtually no cuticle at all, giving her nails an extremely natural appearance.
It turns out that a method known as a “Russian manicure” is the key to this appearance, and it’s becoming increasingly popular in the US.
In addition to the spike in TikTok videos sharing people’s experiences obtaining Russian manicures, searches for the nail trend have surged by 110% in the past week. Experts believe that this year will see a major upsurge in the popularity of this appearance.
That being said, the amount of work required to get that “Photoshop” manicure appearance has many doubting the manicure’s safety.
As Corey L. Hartman, MD, a dermatologist, recently told POPSUGAR, cuticles are meant “to protect the new nail from bacterial and fungal infections as they grow out from the nail root,” many doctors and manicurists will advise against removing them altogether.
However, to have a better understanding of the appeal of this expanding nail trend, we asked celebrity manicurist Elle Gerstein to describe the specifics of a Russian manicure and what to anticipate if you choose to get one. See below for her top advice.
What is a Russian Manicure?
In actuality, this manicure method is mostly concerned with nail preparation and has little to do with nail art. According to Gerstein, “a Russian manicure is a technique, not a design.” “The technique involves very extreme and extensive cuticle care [and requires a manicurist] to have almost surgeon-like precision.”
This manicure stands out from others because of its meticulous attention to detail, cuticle cleanliness, and “no hand filing whatsoever.” With an e-file, [all cuticle cleansing] is completed.” Both regular and gel polishes are used in Russian manicures, however, when using a gel, manicurists take great care to ensure that the gel is properly structured on the nail to maximize its ability to strengthen the nail bed.
How Long Do Russian Manicures Last?
According to Gerstein, average manicures can endure anywhere from one to two weeks, whereas Russian manicures are supposed to last “three to four weeks”.
Although many manicurists claim that a Russian manicure may endure up to five weeks, Gerstein advises against leaving the nail paint on for such an extended period. “The growth of your nail becomes so top heavy with the material that’s on your nail that if you bump it, you can knock your nail right off the matrix, which is the part that you never want to damage.”
What’s the Time Frame and Cost of a Russian Manicure?
If you want to receive a Russian manicure, be ready to sit for a long time. “For just a basic Russian manicure, you’re not sitting for less than two hours,” adds Gerstein. You should anticipate an increase in time if you add more nail art or designs.
The cost of a Russian manicure will vary according to where you live and which salon you visit, but Gerstein claims that in her part of New York City, the manicures often start at $80.
The Risks of a Russian Manicure
In the nail world, this nail trend is becoming more and more popular, but it has also generated a lot of criticism.
This is because achieving the incredibly tidy appearance that has become its hallmark requires cutting past the cuticle area, which, if done incorrectly, can result in bleeding, discomfort, or, in the worst-case scenario, significant infections.
In a Russian manicure, “the eponychium is what gets cut,” according to Gerstein. In case you don’t know, the eponychium is responsible for sealing the nail bed and shielding it from bacterial infections.
If the nail is cut wrongly, it might become infected with germs and other external infections, which can have catastrophic consequences.
Gerstein emphasizes the need to see a licensed manicurist who exclusively utilizes professional instruments and adheres to stringent hygiene regulations because of this.
“When someone is trained and [has] the right tools that you can’t [just] buy off of Amazon, you can achieve this look the proper way,” adds Gerstein.
In other words, don’t attempt this at home. (And if you do, be careful to do it securely, as demonstrated by this product review, for example.)