Originally posted here: http://www.queensofvintage.com/we-love-vintage-manicures/4
We love vintage manicures
The most noticeable difference to today’s manicures is in the painting technique. It was considered to be a sign of good breeding during the late Twenties and early Thirties, to paint only part of the nail, leaving the moons and the tips un-coloured.
It may be more time consuming to achieve than painting the whole nail, but it does make the manicure last longer, particularly if you spend a lot of time typing! This style was considered more conservative and left the painting of the whole nail to those women who were more considered ’extreme’. By the late Thirties however, Helena Rubenstein was an advocate for painting the whole nail, moons and all, heralding a new look in nail fashion.
The basic steps of a vintage manicure are the same as those you would practice today:
- Start by filing the nails into an oval or almond shape before soaking, so they don’t shred or tear.
- Soak the nails in a mild soapy solution. When the skin has softened, use an orange stick to push back the cuticles and remove any dead skin.
- Massage in cuticle oil, then remove any excess from the nail with a remover.
- Cover the whole nail in a clear, hardening undercoat and allow to thoroughly dry.
- Apply French Manicure strips to the moon and the tip area of the nail to create the block-out effect.
- Apply the polish slightly overlapping the strips. Apply two coats and allow to dry thoroughly in between. You may also want to apply a hardener on the last coat.
- Before the final coat is completely dry, remove the French strips, to prevent any lifting or tearing of the polish should it be completely dry.