Why you need to try a Russian manicure

Russian manicures are quickly becoming the nail treatment du jour, so what is all the buzz about and how do you get one?

For years traditional gels and acrylics dominated the nail industry – joined more recently by SNS and shellac – but now the Russian manicure technique is garnering attention due to the clean-cut, pristine finish it creates.

What is a Russian manicure?

Unsurprisingly, the technique originated in Russia and is also known as a dry or e-file manicure.

The process involves a trained nail technician using an electronic file to remove excess skin surrounding the nailbed to achieve a crisp, clean finish.

“Russian manicures are very popular overseas and having an Eastern European background myself, it was the only technique I knew before moving to Australia over a decade ago,” nail technician and educator Angelina Kyrylyuk says.

“I was shocked it wasn’t common here, however, things are changing.

“Clients are familiar with the term thanks to social media and my expertise is being passed on to aspiring nail techs,” Angelina says.

How is a Russian manicure completed?

A cuticle pusher is used to open up the cuticle pocket so the e-file can glide under and remove dead skin.

Once the cuticle is rolled up, the skin is cut with cuticle nippers followed by gel application.

“When performed correctly, the procedure is very gentle and doesn’t cause damage,” Kova Beauty Salon owner and e-file educator Elizaveta Gulyakova says.

“All tools must be sterilised with an autoclave and disposable materials such as nail files only used once on each client.

“This means the results are hygienic, super clean, and allows the technician to apply gel product as close to the cuticle as possible.”

What are the benefits of Russian manicures?

“Russian manicures prevent the dry cracking of cuticles, or any hangnail and the technique extends the longevity of your manicure,” Angelina says.

“The detailed cuticle work means the gel is applied closer to the cuticle, which can give you an extra one to two weeks of wear, before the natural nail regrowth is noticeable.”

Why Russian manicures require professional touch

Tempting as it may be to try the technique yourself, this type of manicure is best left to the professionals.

“Never perform this technique at home as your cuticles can be harshly damaged,” Angelina advises.

“This is possible by either overfilling, dinting with e-file bits, or placing too much pressure on the nail bed.

“By cutting your own cuticles, you also risk the chance of infection because at-home instruments don’t go through the proper sterilisation process.”

How to extend your Russian manicure

“The advice I give to all my clients is ‘don’t use your nails as tools, treat them as jewels’,” Angelina says.

She encourages daily use of cuticle oil and hand cream to promote nail health between appointments.

“Always use a nail file over clippers and wear gloves when doing any sort of housework where chemicals are involved,” she says.

Written by Charlotte Brundrett.