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 is the Beauty Editor at BEAUTYcrew. Her 'down for anything' attitude has resulted in more than a handful of hair transformations, and she doesn't mind being used as a guinea pig for the industry's most unusual products and treatments. Her work has also appeared on Refinery29, Girlfriend and beautyheaven.

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