The Secret To Detailed Spring Manicures, According To A Manicurist

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

From dainty flowers to micro-French tips, Spring is the time to detail your manicure with intricate coquettish designs. “I’ve always had an attention to detail,” nail artist Rose Hackle tells ESSENCE. Case in point: Hackle’s Wicked deep emerald stilettos on Cynthia Erivo at the 2024 Oscars were crafted with precise swirls and crystals. “I’ve always loved to get my nails done since I was young and it always bothered me when nail designs weren’t executed well.” 

Below, the celebrity nail artist tells us the pro tips behind her most detailed manicures.

“I use an assortment of tools during services,” Hackle says. Before she gets started, she prepares all of her must-have tools to prep and install the nails. “No matter what, the vital tools are cuticle nippers, woodwick sticks, and a nail file.” But the most instrumental part of any of her services, “I could not go without a fine flame diamond bit,” she says. “This is used to completely exfoliate dry skin and cuticles off of the nail plate for a perfectly clean and long lasting application.” Think: Russian manicure

5 fail-proof steps behind every service

For each client, Hackle follows these five fail-proof steps. First, she completely removes any prior work done on her client’s nails – from nail polish to gel extensions. This will give her a natural base to start her work on. Next, she preps the nail (Russian style) with her fine flame diamond bit, effectively removing the cuticle with her electric drill. This step guarantees a long-lasting manicure, leaving the cuticle and nail plate looking as clean as possible. After that, she does a detailed filing of the natural nail. “If it’s not the perfect shape, I keep filing until it’s right,” she says.

Then, Hackle cleans and dehydrates the nail plate before applying the extension, which, along with the Russian manicure, ensures the set lasts 3-4 weeks. At your local nail salon, your technician may apply the nail extensions then paint a full hand before curing. “I work nail-by-nail,” she says, curing the gel after each finger application. “This allows each nail to cure individually, rather than doing all 5 nails at a time, to prevent product and polish from flooding into the sidewalls and cuticle area which ensures perfect application.”

Her secret behind the details

Arguably the most difficult part of a service is finding a nail tech who can execute your inspiration to a tea. For Hackle, it’s easy. “When I approach intricate nail art, I do so by calming my heart rate and giving keen focus,” she says. “I also use products that only require one pass to get the potency and vibrancy in color to avoid doubling up (wasting time) and prevent overlap which creates unwanted texture in the final look.” 

The mani ‘no-no’s to avoid 

“Oftentimes, people will not remember to clean their tools,” she admits. “Whether at home or in a salon, it is vital to have clean tools to avoid nail fungus and common nail bacteria from occurring and/or spreading.” When performing a Russian manicure, cuticle care is a must. But it is also important to not overdo it. “Common mistakes can include overcutting cuticles, cutting their nails too short, over-filing the nail bed, and thinning the nail plate.”

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