More often than not, at-home manicures mean ending up with nail polish everywhere but on your actual nails. We usually consider this a polish fail but if you’re getting a Brazilian manicure, a messy paint job is actually the sign of a manicure done well.
This practice is an integral part of how the pros in Brazil paint their clients’ nails. The surrounding skin around the nails is purposely coated with a clear base coat and then the polish shade of choice, followed by removing the excess polish with an orangewood stick and acetone-soaked cotton ball. This haphazard way of painting polish is done so that it sits under the cuticles, and makes for a longer-lasting mani,” explains Fernanda Lacerda, owner of Maria Bonita salon, a Brazilian gem in N.Y.C. It also eliminates the thin sliver of nail that is usually left unpainted during a manicure at your neighborhood nail salon that only gets larger as your manicure grows out.
The other step that makes this manicure unique is how the cuticles are treated. Just like the country’s infamous hair removal method, everything comes off. Removing outer layer of the cuticle is often considered controversial because that extra skin is there to prevent bacteria from getting into your nails. "If you remove the nail fold you risk allowing bacteria under the skin and into the nail matrix that could lead to possible inflammation and infection," says TenOverTen co-founder Nadine Abramcyk.
If you are getting a Brazilian manicure, Lacerda recommends doing your research first and making sure the salon you’re going to make an appointment at has technicians on their team that are masters at the technique. Who knew your messy DIY manicure is actually a way to a longer-lasting mani? Here’s to no more cursing after your next at-home nail-painting slip-up.