Brazilian Beauty Secrets, Day 2: The Messiest Way to Get a Perfect Manicure

So I shared Megan’s hair burning tips the other day and now she has this amazing funny way of getting that perfect manicure. I definitely love this and think its something achievable alone at home.

Original article written for Elle by MEGAN CAHN

A few weeks before the FIFA World Cup started and everyone’s attention turned to soccer, I took a trip to the host country, Brazil to take a closer look at their beauty world and its top players. This week I am documenting my findings. Yesterday I told you about hair burning, and today, I’m on to nails:

Related: Why Brazilian Women Burn Their Hair

During my trip, I rarely saw a Brazilian woman without a freshly painted manicure (usually in red or nude). So, of course, I had to stop by Blend, one of São Paulo top salons, to experience a Brazilian mani-pedi for myself. Although I left with perfect nails, the process that got me there was a messy one.


After my nails were soaked (much like they are in the States), the technicianseriously took to my cuticles with a special Brazilian clipper. Usually I don’t let people cut my cuticles in case of infection, but I wanted to have the proper experience, and removing the cuticles (not just hangnails) was important in assuring that the nail bed was completely flat when she applied the paint. And apply the paint she did—on my nails, and all the skin surrounding them. The technician then worked backward, wiping everything away with cotton dipped in nail polish remover until the lacquer was just on my nails.

It might seem inefficient, but the seemingly careless process has a distinct purpose: Slopping polish all over the fingers and toes guarantees that the whole entire nail bed gets painted, including the edges, which makes it last longer. Sure enough, over a week later my nails were still fully painted, shiny, and unchipped, even after spending a couple days on the beach. That’s definitely longer than any manicure I’ve gotten in the States. Who knew?

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