8 Types of Manicure for 2022

Manicure Types

Sometimes there’s nothing that will boost your confidence quite like a splash of colour on your nails, and it seems that most of the country agrees – research has shown that women across the UK collectively spend around £161 million a year on their nails, taking into account trips to the salon and purchases of nail products.[i] If you want to give your nails a special treat, whether you’re already an avid home manicurist or you’re trying to save some money and boost your creativity, we have nine suggestions for easy, fun manicures that you can try from the comfort of your own home. Although some of these need a few pieces of specialist equipment (which are readily available online fairly cheaply), they are simple to do and will add a touch of self-fulfilled sophistication to your style.

Before you start going to town with colours and designs, though, make sure your nails are in tiptop shape. Wipe off any left-over polish, buff and file them down to the shape you want and clean up and push back your cuticles – you’ll want smooth, unsplit nails to create the perfect manicure.

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1.      French Manicure

french manicure

Photo by Elena Taranenko on Unsplash

The classic, most recognised nail treatment, the French manicure gives a tried-and-true chic finish that will match any style and add a swish of sophistication. Not only is this a classy design, it’s also a simple one, which is why it’s so popular the world over.

How To Do It: Begin by painting your nails with a clear, pale pink or beige polish and once this has dried paint only the tips with small crescent shapes. Although the classic colour for this manicure is a bright, bold white, recent trends have seen a boost in multi coloured French manicures, so feel free to experiment with a rainbow of colours on the tips of your fingers.

Average Cost At Salon: $35

How Long Will It Take: 45 minutes – 1 hour

How Long Will It Last: 7 days with regular polish, 2-3 weeks with gel


2.      Gel Manicure

gel manicure

Photo by Anna Kumpan on Unsplash

For a long lasting, low maintenance style that is less likely to chip, opt for a gel manicure. You’ll need a UV light and special gel polish for this, but it’ll be worth it in the long term when the colour’s still intact a few weeks down the line. Gel nail polish is made of different ingredients to regular nail polish, so needs to be cured under the UV light to give it that lasting effect after each coat, though this shouldn’t take much longer than a couple of minutes.

Specialist Equipment:

  • A UV light
  • Gel base coat
  • Coloured gel nail polish
  • Gel top coat

How To Do It: Apply a regular base coat (cure this under the UV light for quick dry) then the first coat of your gel polish. Leave this under the UV light until completely dry and then add the second coat and repeat. Finish it up with a top coat for the final, shiny touch.

Average Cost at Salon: $40 -$60

How Long Will It Take: Up to 45 minutes

How Long Will It Last:  2 – 3 weeks


3.      Shellac Manicure

shellac manicure

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

A shellac manicure is almost identical to a gel one, only you use a different type of nail polish that is overall better for your nails. These special varnishes were designed to benefit and protect your nails better, though it’s best to use regular polish in between shellac manicures as they can damage nails in the long run if used too often.

Specialist Equipment:

  • A UV light
  • Shellac base coat
  • Shellac coloured polish
  • Shellac top coat

How To Do It: Apply the base coat, which can be cured under the UV light for a quick dry, then add the first coat of your main colour and let the UV light dry it completely. Repeat this for as many coloured coats as you wish to use – you’ll want to use at least two to get the most out of your manicure – then apply the top coat.

Average Cost at Salon: $40 – $60

How Long Will It Take: Up to 45 minutes

How Long Will It Last: 2 – 3 weeks

Read More: What are shellac nails?

4.      Natural Manicure

natural manicure

Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

A natural manicure should be your go to when your nails have been hidden under polish for too long and aren’t looking as healthy as they could be. This simple treatment is all about strengthening your nails, giving them a break from the polish and helping to protect them from cracks and discolouration, so it’s worthwhile repeating this one regularly to help maintain the health of your nails. Enjoy the process of this manicure as it’s about caring for your nails rather than painting them, and it will make your nails feel and look so much better.

How To Do It: Soak your polish-free nails in warm milk or a blend of warm water and soft soap for five to ten minutes to moisturize them then clip and file them to the length you’d like. Cut or push back your cuticles, gently buff your whole nail for a slight shine, then finish up by massaging some moisturizer into your hands, focusing specifically on your nails. Although you may be tempted to add colour, refrain for a day or two to let your nails heal and reform.

Average Cost at Salon:  $10 – $40

How Long Will It Take: About 30 minutes

How Long Will It Last: Anywhere up to 7 days


5.      American Manicure

American manicure

Photo by Sarah Cervantes on Unsplash

French and American manicures are extremely similar – the only difference really is the colour used on the tip of the nail – but an American manicure is more suited if you are looking for a low key, more blended style with a softer edge. An American manicure gives a much more natural look than the French, plus mistakes will be less obvious with these softer shades, which is why many opt for the simplicity and shine of this look.

How To Do It: Begin with a base coat and follow this up with couple of coats of a very pale pink shade. When this is completely dry, use an off-white colour to create the crescent shapes on the tips, just like in a French manicure, and finish it off with a top coat.

Average Cost at Salon: $15 – $25

How Long Will It Take: 45 minutes – 1 hour

How Long Will It Last: Around 7 days


6.      Reverse French Manicure

A retake on the classic, this reverse French manicure follows all the steps to the regular one, just with the addition of a crescent shape at the base of the nail as well as at the tip. This stylish trend is really taking off and, luckily for you, it can be done at home just as easily at the regular French manicure.

How To Do It: Once you’ve applied the regular base coat, it is up to you what colour you paint your whole nail – you can stick with a pale colour like a regular French manicure, or you could opt for some colour. Apply two coats of your colour choice, then, using a different shade, paint a crescent shape on the tip and base of each nail. Finish it off with a top coat when these have dried.

Average Cost at Salon: $35 – $50

How Long Will It Take: 45 minutes – 1 hour

How Long Will It Last:   7 days with regular polish, 2-3 weeks with gel


7.      Mirror Manicure

Also known as a chrome manicure, this trend has taken over social media recently because of the glossy, reflective look it gives your nails. Although some of the pictures might make it look complicated, a basic mirror manicure is easy to do at home, though you’ll need some

Specialist Equipment:

  • A UV Light
  • Gel base coat
  • Black gel polish
  • Chrome pigment
  • Gel top coat

How To Do It: Start with the base coat, then follow this up with two coats of the black polish, both of which need curing under a UV lamp until completely dry. When they are ready, use an applicator to dab the powder across your nails until the chrome effect begins to show and it starts to look like a shining mirror. Brush away any excess powder, then apply the top coat and cure the finished look under your UV light.

Average Cost at Salon: $30 – $60

How Long Will It Take: 1 hour – 2 ½ hours

How Long Will It Last: Around a month


8.      Brazilian Manicure

brazillian manicure

Photo by Mikhail Tyrsyna on Unsplash

A Brazilian manicure may scare you away when you see the process, but the result is a longer lasting manicure using regular polish that is less likely to chip and fade through your day-to-day life. In Brazil, they cut the cuticle off completely to create their nail looks so that the nail bed is completely flat when applying the polish, but you really don’t have to do this if you don’t want to.

How To Do It: There’s no precision with a Brazilian manicure – just slop the polish all over the nail, its edges and the surrounding skin to make sure everything gets covered. Apply the base coat in this way followed by the coloured polish too. As soon as you apply the second coloured coat, allowing it to spill all over in the same way, take a small bit of cotton wool dipped in polish remover and run this around the edges of your nails until they are clear of polish. Finish with a top coat and run the remover-soaked cotton wool around the edge one more time to catch any debris.

Average Cost at Salon: $40

How Long Will It Take: 40 minutes – 1 hour

How Long Will It Last: 1 – 2 weeks


There are so many options for you to choose from when it comes to your nails, and these manicures are just the tip of the iceberg! All of these nail designs are completely customizable – you could add or remove factors or try different colours, the choice is completely yours. Express yourself through your nails and just remember that a manicure should be a nice, relaxing experience, so have fun with it!

Given any of these manicures a go? Let us know how it went!



[i] https://professionalbeauty.co.uk/site/newsdetails/british-women-spend–161-million-a-year-collectively-on-nails