Pin It

History of manicure

Image:© Maxim Vlasenko/ Fotolia

The word manicure comes from a combination of the Latin words “manus” – hand and “cura” – care. The art of manicure has an ancient history. Today, manicure means a system for hand care, which includes skin and nail care, medical treatments and procedures, painting techniques and even fake nail application.

3, 000 years ago, the people of ancient Egypt and China had no idea of the possibilities of contemporary manicure. They only covered the top of their nails in bright tones, while the peasantry was allowed to use paler and more natural tones.

600 years ago in China some of the wealthier people preferred to paint their nails in gold or silver and whenever they did use paint, they made it out of wax, egg whites, gelatin and rubber. During the Ming dynasty, women of the aristocracy painted their nails in black or bright red tones and later wore nail-shaped finger tips wrought out of precious metal in order to highlight the length of their nails, which was a symbol of their social status.

In the beginning of the 19th century the fashion in America was for short, almond-shaped nails. Women covered them in aromatic oils and polished them with a soft cloth. Manicure was done using metal instruments, scissors and various acids.

Manicure tools eventually evolved and in 1830 a doctor named Sits was the first to use an orange-tree file on the nails of his patients. His niece took this a step further by inventing a whole nail care system. This system was cheap and spread all around the USA, where every woman, regardless of social status or income could use it to care for her nails.

Acrylic paint was accidentally discovered by another doctor. It soon became very popular and played a big part in the developing manicure industry.

In the early 20s of the 20th century, the automobile industry develops new paints, which are adapted to cover also nails. Pink nail polish came out on the market in 1925 and obtained instant popularity. The then fashionable “lunar manicure” is done when a stripe of pink nail polish is drawn in the center of the nail, while the rest of it is left free and uncovered.

In the 1930s the lunar manicure now accepted all tones of red. The fashion shifted towards long round nails completely covered in red.

Later with the discovery of nail polish removers the industry grew faster than ever. Brothers Joseph and Charles Revsoni founded the Revlon Company, which produced clear nail polish based on pigments, not paint. This created the possibility of different shades of color. The Max Factor Company offered a smooth nail polish in the color of turquoise pushing the boundaries of the dominating red tones and bringing manicure into a whole new era.

In 1937 in America a patent was given to a product which strengthens the nail.

By 1950 the manicure branch was one of the strongest of the cosmetic industry. Basics of manicure began to be publicly taught by beauticians and hair dressers.

The 70 was the acrylic period of manicure. The profession of a manicure designer was then first defined as a specialist who can paint and pierce nails. These specialists soon became the ones who dictated this field of fashion.

Today, manicure has reached the level of art and is an inseparable part of every successful woman’s life.

Share This Post

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

© 2020 Nail Art Journal. All rights reserved. · Entries RSS · Comments RSS