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The History of Manicures

On Manicures

Manicures are a part of our everyday routine, so we rarely have the time to think about its origins. Hence, this is why most of us are surprised to learn that manicures have been around for more over five thousand years, mainly served for the same purposes as it does nowadays. Plus the history of manicures is not only very long, but also very rich, just as the culture of brides dating in Russia.

The Ancient Babylon

Back in the day

Thus starting off, the manicure effect had appeared in the Ancient Babylon, somewhere between 3500 B.C. and 1780 B.C. However the pioneers of manicures were actually Babylonian men. They manicured and colored their nails with different colours and each shade represented the class to which the person belonged to.

As so, the representatives of upper classes had black nails, while the lower classes had green nails. Babylonians are believed to create the first manicure set in the world, with the tools being made from solid gold.

The Ancient Egypt

In Egypt

As for this one, the Ancient Egyptian female ruler Cleopatra popularized manicure by staining her nails with henna. If in the Babylon the manicure signified your class, Egyptian manicure signified your wealth and power. The bolder color your nails had, the more power you had. It is believed that Cleopatra preferred her nails bloody red.

China, the Ming Dynasty

The Ming Dynasty

For the representatives of the Ming Dynasty, manicures was also the sign of their class. They painted their nails with gold and silver colours. To color their nails, members of the dynasty used special paint, which was made out of mix of eggs, wax, and rubber.

Further Development

Caring for the nails

As for Europe, the spread of manicures in the United States occurred in the early 19th Century. In 1830s one doctor used orange-tree file to cut nails of his patients. Watching him, his niece managed to invent a whole nail care system. Because of the cheapness of those tools, they quickly became popular across the US. Every woman in North America, regardless of her social class or her income could afford herself those tools to care for her nails.

Thus about a century later, the first acrylic paint, which would play a big part in the development of manicure industry, was developed by German chemical company BASF. Meanwhile, an automobile industry develops new kinds of paints, which in turn, would be suitable for covering nails. Thus, the pink 'lunar manicure' arrived and instantly conquered the market once it was released.

On classic designs

So the manicure industry started growing faster, and with the introduction of polish removers, in the mid-1930s, the Revlon Company presented nail polish based not on paint, but on pigments. This polish gave way to different shades and colours.

As a result, by 1950s, manicures became the strongest branch of cosmetic industry, and the first class of manicures were given by hairdressers and beauticians as well.

On current trends

Now the manicure industry continues to develop up till today. It is not only an important part of fashion, but is also a stress-reducing treatments. It provides relaxation, while producing softer skin, and the best part, is that it also leaves you feeling revitalized, for modern polishes not only allow you to color your nails, but also makes them stronger, thus extending their longevity.



  1. Very informative article. I'd sahre this with my bestfriend. She loves manicures.

  2. Thanks for sharing! I love manicure but due of working and cooking sometimes fall off and makes me super frustrated. But thanks for sharing =)

  3. Wow, I never gave it much thought before reading your article, honestly. But now I think I know too much about manicure already! HAHAHA

  4. What a good read, love reading about history and beauty ❤

  5. love the pictures and the amazing history behind those manicures... I did not know all that.. oh wow...

  6. I am amazed with your post and knowing that are ancestors are so vain just like us today. I like my nail polish to be simple, no nail art for me because am a busy person.

  7. I did not know it started way way back. I love manicures and this is definitely an interesting read.

  8. ah...u make me love myself more... thanks babe! - Racheal

  9. I like the classic manicure but my nails are too brittle and weak it chipped off very easily.

  10. Nice write up and I have explore to the history of manicure.

  11. I didn't know manicure had such a long history.


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