What do you often think about when you think of a manicure? Being pampered by someone filing and painting your nails with a brightly colored nail polish? Or applying acrylic nails to make nails appear longer? These are some of the nail trends now that once upon a time didn’t exist.
Continuing a trend that began in the 1700’s, the manicure graced the 1800’s with the same presence. Simplicity and cleanliness were key! Keeping one’s hands manicured was no longer seen as a status symbol either. Manicures were rather viewed as a way of one expressing themselves.
The basic concept behind the manicure, in the 1800’s, was to keep nails simple and understated. Nail polish wasn’t readily available so people opted for a subtle look. Everyone kept their nails trimmed short. Both men and women alike received manicures. The natural look was accomplished by buffing, tinting nails with a red oil and using a lemon juice and water mixture to help whiten the tips of nails. Because of this trend, yet unconfirmed, the French manicure possibly got it’s start around this time. Officially, the term was coined much later in the late 1900’s.
The tools used to manicure nails from the previous century were improved upon. Nail clippers were patented and altered throughout the century. One of the finger nail clippers that made its debut was the ‘Gem’ brand. Other tools used to manicure nails were bleaching powders, crystal stones, cuticle creams, emery boards and buffers.
Manicure sets were an essential part of everyone’s beauty tools and regimen. They were made of some of the same sources from the previous century. Silver, gold and new to the 1800’s…French ivory. French ivory or imitation ivory was a man made material that was made of celluloid (synthetic plastic) to mimic real ivory.
As you can see, much has changed with the manicure over the years! Numerous improvements were made with manicure tools and new methods were developed. Although, the basic concept behind the manicure is still the same. Cleanliness is still key! Keeping well groomed hands has carried over from century to century!