Prescriptive Manicures Are All The Rage And It's Just What The Doctor Ordered

Once you get the hang of contouring or find the perfect eyebrow shape for your face, you're not likely to deviate from it too much. But when it comes to your nails, it's an entirely different story. Manicures are the perfect opportunity to try new things, get creative, and hop on the latest trends. We've seen everything from cyber-dots to denim, each one having its moment in the spotlight. But something new and exciting is on the horizon, with a self-care slant. 

One manicure-must-try that's beginning to pop up in salons is the prescriptive manicure. Far from treating fungal infections (ew), "prescriptive" takes on an entirely different meaning with this nail trend. And we predict it will be even more requested during the summer months when neutral nail shades tend to be popular (blush nails and traditional French manicures work especially well with ever-changing summer skin tones). 

In that same vein, prescriptive manicures aim to amp up your natural nails. Essentially, it's the "your nails but better" trend on steroids.

What is a prescriptive manicure?

There's no prescription needed for this over-the-(salon) counter manicure. Prescriptive nails start with increasing the health of your nails, nail beds, and the surrounding skin. Serums, hydrating creams, and oils help nourish the hands, fingers, and nails. Not only is it incredibly relaxing, but this treatment also helps to restore nail strength while reducing dryness, cracking, hangnails, and brittleness. Cuticle oil treatments and trending techniques like CND Rescue RXx can be done in the salon or at home too. 

But nail maintenance is only the first step. Color is crucial. A prescriptive manicure is the opposite of Barbiecore or optical illusion nails. It also differs from many ultra-hydrated current nail trends relying on milky-white hues or blush tones. A prescriptive manicure is a shade all your own. As Metta Francis, a nail technician and the founder of Nails by Mets, told Marie Claire UK, your salon professional will custom-make a shade of polish "to complement your skin tone." 

As a result, professional prescriptive nail services take slightly longer. They're more indulgent, taking more time to tailor the experience to the client, so don't expect to just dash in and out. While this might mean fewer appointments or slightly longer wait times, you can rest assured that your nail health will be top-notch, and the beautiful polish shade will be unmatched.

Alternatives to the prescriptive mani

If your budget or schedule can't justify a custom-made prescriptive treatment, there are a few alternatives. If you want to keep in line with the ultra-popular clean-girl trend, ask for milky-white nails. They'll be sheer and shiny with just a touch of creaminess. Or, consider floral milk bath nails if you want to zhuzh it up a bit. The micro-French manicure is another option, indulging our Y2K nostalgia but with a more modern twist. 

It's important to note that your nails and cuticles must be in tip-top shape to pull off either of these looks. So, there will still need to be extra time spent on maintenance and care. Blush nails, tailoring the rosy hue to your skin tone, could also fit the clean girl aesthetic nicely. Elsewhere, glazed donut nails can be a happy medium if you want to skew towards neutral without committing to barely-there polishes. 

They're still natural but with a little bit more oomph in the form of high shine, helping to conceal nail imperfections if necessary. But remember, regardless of whether clean-girl nails are on trend or not, manicures are made for fun and experimentation. So, it's okay to let loose as long as you have some polish remover on hand.