Guide to a kid-proof manicure

Children emulate their parents since early childhood - this much is true both for outer looks and personality. While some children enjoy dressing up as grown-up divas (we have all tried to walk in our moms’ heels when we were children) some seem to pick up more subtle aspects of our physical appearance: if your little girl has asked you to paint her nails several times, she might have a keen eye for detail. Today, we’re sharing with you some ground rules to make sure your children’s manicures and pedicures are as harmless and long-lasting as they are fun.


The first doubt that haunts the minds of moms when their child asks for a manicure is if such a treatment is age-appropriate. There is truly no universal rule on the matter, and it all comes down to the mother’s preference and instincts. What is fundamental, however, is that the application of nail polish should be treated as a fun, special occasion to spend some time together rather than an essential accessory to the child’s hands: manicures should be perceived by your little one as an entertaining way to express herself, rather than a necessary treatment in order to look good. With this objective, for example, some mothers only allow manicures for important holidays (like a 4th of July patriotic one) or only allow certain colors, while still leaving their kid the liberty to pick which one among the ones that get a green light. Again, there is no fixed rule: no one knows your girl as well as you do, so it’s important you do what you feel is right.

Regarding the preparation for polish application, however, there are a few key factors you should keep in mind. First of all, you should probably skip cuticle trimming. When it comes to our own manis removing your cuticles simply comes down to personal preference and habits, in children it might turn out to be a bit more harmful. Some of us consider the removal of cuticles fundamental to achieve a long-lasting manicure that won’t lift, but with children, you’ll hardly face the same issue: chances are their manicures won’t last that long either way. Moreover, cutting the cuticles might be the most sensitive part of the nail, exposing it to germs and bacteria that might lead to infections - we all know that as much as we wish they were, kids are not always diligent with their hand-washing habits.

Keeping all this in mind, it’s safe to say that soaking is not necessary for either their hands or feet. It’s usually done to soften calluses and cuticles before the removal of both, but children hardly have such rough skin and, as we mentioned, you should avoid cuticle trimming. In preparation for your kid’s manicure, a little bit of filing should be more than enough, but of course, a little splashing in warm bubbly soaking water won’t hurt.


Choosing the appropriate type of polish might be a little tricky: nail salons and polish brands alike will usually recommend against using gel polish on children for a few reasons. Long-lasting polish like gel or dips generally requires a fair amount of maintenance. Taking good care of our nails might have become an unconscious practice for most of us, but it wouldn’t come as easy to young kids: for this reason, using gel polish on them might cause harm to their natural nails. Moreover, gel polishes work best on thick, healthy nails. Young girls have flexible, thin nails which will lead to a lifted and chipped manicure in virtually no time. The wisest choice of polish would probably be the regular kind. Still, make sure you pick your brand wisely: the younger the skin is, the more sensitive it will be.

When you’re picking a polish for your little girl, make sure you’re buying one that is safe for children, non-toxic, and, of course, of a color she likes. Don’t let all these premises scare you: there are plenty of options out there, including nail polishes designed specifically for children which have simple formulas (and, in some cases, only contain edible ingredients). And of course, as a mom you know this might end up a bit messy, we recommend using a nail mat under your little one’s nails so your table doesn’t end up covered in polish. If you want to treat your kid to a whole spa day, on the other hand, just search for a salon near you that offers specific services for children: chances are they’ll be trained and informed on how to give your little one the perfect treatment. All you need to do is start looking!

Does your child like to get matching mommy-and-me nails? Make sure you give us a chance to look at the manicure of your little divas by snapping a nailfie and tagging us on Instagram!