What is a Russian manicure? Here's why you'll never get a 'normal' manicure again.

If you've been slinking around #BeautyTok of late, we guarantee you've come across the 'Russian manicure'. 

The nail trend is having a major moment right now, and it seems like every girl and her dog are jumping off the once-popular SNS or shellac train and dipping their (pedicured) toes into the world of Russian manicures.

Have you heard of it? No? Let us explain.

Watch: Up for a laugh? Here's life with and without nails. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

While it's not a particularly new thing, it's a nail technique that (spoiler alert) came out of Russia and is exploding in popularity for it's suuuuper precise and detailed approach to shaping and manicuring nails – particularly the cuticles. 

Like, the nails look so perfect they almost look fake.

Just scroll through TikTok and you'll come across tons of people singing praises about how much they love the technique, how they're never going back to 'normal' manicures, how they wished they tried it sooner, etc, etc.

One TikTok user even wrote, "My life is FOREVER changed." So. There's some big feelings getting around.

@abbybaffoe My life is FOREVER changed 😭🫶🏼💅🏽🤌🏼🥹 #russiamanicure #russiannails #russianmani #tinyfrench #naturalnails #naturalnailscheck #nailinspo #frenchmanicure #nailvlog #nailvlogs ♬ Young Folks - Shindig Society

But it's not without a little bit of controversy.

There are currently more than 1.1 billion videos on the trend, and almost half of these are experts telling viewers they wouldn't recommend it, with many dermatologists and nail technicians labelling it a 'dangerous' treatment.


So, what's the go? Is this a trend you should jump on or ignore?

Here's absolutely everything you need to know about Russian manicures, according to Margarita, a Russian manicurist from Australia’s premium beauty concierge service Luxit Official.

What are 'Russian manicures'?

"A Russian manicure is an intensive, specialist manicure technique that delivers a more refined, longer-looking nail and a manicure that lasts the distance," explained Margarita. "It can be compared to a luxury car-detailing service, with meticulous attention to detail and an artisan-style approach."

Also referred to as 'dry nail' and 'e-file manicure', it's an intense technique that prioritises a 'clean' finish, with technicians using nail drills, scissors and brushes to remove the cuticles and skin surrounding your nail.

"The manicure takes 45 minutes, rather than a regular manicure of 25 minutes."

Why are they so popular right now?

The main benefit of Russian nails? How long they last.

"Russian manicures have gained much popularity lately due to their long-lasting results, the gentle care involved and their immaculate finish," said Margarita.

What's more, nail experts say there's less chance of lifting and chipping. Which is honestly just the dream, tbh.

How long do Russian manicures last?

"With a gel finish, Russian manicures can last two to three weeks, compared to a normal manicure, which lasts one to 10 days," said Margarita.

If you're someone who gets their nails done on the regular, that's pretty darn game-changing!

What's involved in the process?

First up, your hands and nails are treated to an "in-depth, spa-like procedure" that Margarita said involves "a deep clean, exfoliation, mask application, paraffin wax treatment and gentle massage". This is combined with "specialist, highly sterilised tools to perfect the results".


"Cuticles are treated with gentle precision, being pushed back and groomed to make the bed of the nails appear longer," she adds.

Are 'Russian manicures' safe?

So, are Russian manicures actually bad for your nails? Well, most experts on social media advise against jumping on the trend, specifically due to the risk of infection (called chronic paronychia).

Popular dermatologist @skinbydrazi told her followers on TikTok, "Cuticles are important, they serve a purpose," adding, "This is not dermatologist approved."

@skinbydrazi My nails hurt @mumber_one_nail #nailcare #nailtok #nailtips #skincare #dermatologist #manicure #skinbydrazi ♬ Rina Sekarang X One More Night - TRENDZ CC

However, our expert ensures the safety of Russian manicures, so long as they're performed by a trained nail technician.


If this is something you want to try for yourself, make sure you're going to a trained professional.

"Russian manicures are perfectly safe when performed by specially trained and highly experienced nail artists who use quality tools that are sterilised with hospital grade sterilising equipment," she said.

"Time and care is also of utmost importance.

"A Russian manicure is best performed on healthy, strong nails. I use the quality Swiss brand Malava with my clients to prepare nails prior to treatment and to ensure lasting results."

While most beauty trends come and go, we sense this one will be sticking around for the foreseeable future. 

"My clients love Russian manicures. They enjoy the time it takes and saving money in the long term with lasting results."

Have you tried a Russian manicure before? What are your thoughts? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Instagram/@nailsquad_nyc/@beauty.obsession.ny/@okey.nail.lab

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