What’s the deal with all the Russian manicure controversy?

The nail maintenance trend explained

Beauty Crew Beauty Editor / November 01 2023

Nail trends are rife in 2023.

All it takes is a bit of TikTok popularity or a celebrity endorsement to alter the trajectory of a manicure, nail art or varnish colour completely. 

Unlike the A-list-approved geometric French manicure, milky nails and grey nail polish trends of late, the Russian manicure is a bit more serious, precise and particular by comparison. 

It also has people divided. 

The manicure technique requires the removal of the nail cuticle using specialty scissors, e-files and clippers, a practice that many argue can compromise the health of the nail and leave it more susceptible to yeast infections such as chronic paronychia. 

However, others swear that the technique improves the overall strength of their nails and extends the life expectancy of their nails. 

While a traditional manicure involves soaking the nails before pushing back and trimming the cuticles using a cuticle trimmer, a Russian manicure is performed on dry nails using an e-file and drill bits of various course grades to buff and smooth the nail plate and cuticles for a ‘clean’ finish. The clean, no cuticle look is supposed to extend the shelf-life of your manicure by promoting a consistent aesthetic as the nail grows out. 

Russian manicures are also recommended if you have brittle nails that break easily as they minimise contact with nail weakening substances. Unlike a traditional manicure that requires the use of soak-off acetone to remove old varnish, Russian manicures utilise e-files to gently file down left-over nail polish.  

@nailmartusa Reply to @alemarie.21 a Russian manicure usually includes a gel overlay but it’s not necessary!#russianmanicure #nailtutorial #gelnails ♬ You - Petit Biscuit

Speaking of gel nail polish, have you heard of BIAB? Apparently it’s better than regular gel…

Image credit: Getty

Briar Clark got her start in the media industry in 2017, as an intern for Marie Claire and InStyle. Since then, her keen interest in fashion and beauty has landed her gigs as a Digital Content Producer and Beauty Editor with titles like Girlfriend, Refinery29, BEAUTYcrew and beautyheaven. She loves the way seemingly innocuous topics like skin care and style have the ability to put a smile on people’s faces or make them think about themselves a little differently. A big believer in self love and experimentation, Briar has made a point of becoming the Australian beauty industry’s unofficial guinea pig for unusual treatments and daring hair trends. When she’s not testing out the latest beauty launches, Briar is big on broadening her horizons, mostly in the form of food but she’s also partial to travelling to new destinations both near and far (and of course, allocating an extra bag to bring their best beauty offerings home with her).

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