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The Russian Manicure Technique Helps Your Nails Grow Longer

It also helps deal with nail-biting!

PSA to the beauty girlies! We just found your newest beauty investment: Russian Manicure.


Nail tech Ashley Colet of AshLuxe Nails is one of the pioneers of this technique. You might have seen Ashley on your TV or TikTok feed but there she’s carving her name into something else: your nails. Not literally, of course! But the Russian Manicure has become her signature service.

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Ashley Colet | Photo by Fourth Legara

Before it even became available to salons, Ashley has been doing this specific kind of manicure and helped popularize it, together with fellow content creators who try her service. She actually even took several courses on this nail technique so she could do it right and earn a certificate. She shares, “It was never in my plans to pursue this as a career as it was only a hobby turned passion for me. I am a fine arts student who took up the course at UP Diliman so I have a background in painting and color theory. This is where I applied my craft and I found myself diving deeper into the craft of E File manicures in January of 2023 and opened my business only when I had enough knowledge and skill in October of 2023. I pursued this by taking up online courses with my Russian Nail Master, I got my international certificate with Russian Manicure PH.”


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What is Russian Manicure?

So what about this technique makes it different from your regular mani? According to Ashley, this nail technique, also known as “dry manicure”, uses special tools and like the name suggests, does not involve any liquids, “Unlike traditional manicures, Russian manicure utilizes special tools like electric files with bits in various grits and coarseness to gently buff away dead skin and cuticles without soaking the nails in any liquids or solutions.” Ashley adds that this technique is great for those looking for something that’s more than just a mani: “Overall, Russian Manicure is considered to be a gentler and more precise option, particularly suitable for those with sensitive nails or those seeking meticulous nail care. This method may take longer than a traditional manicure due to the detailed process and attention to detail but it can be worth it as your enhancements last for weeks to months! Suggested interval would be 3-4 weeks.”

Besides promising a leveled up mani, this technique also promises healthier nails: prevents nail biting and helps you grow your nails. Ashley shared that she herself had problems with kicking the bad habit of nail biting so she knows how hard it is to not have an aftercare plan in mind with an ordinary mani session. Furthermore, the limited color selection that was available in the market also added to what drove her to start her own service. She admits, “I started as a nail biter myself and I was also never satisfied with the work of other nail techs or salons. I disliked the look of unnatural nails and would often find myself disliking the limited color selection found in our traditional salons. Other than that, it was just too expensive for what it is. It was my meticulousness that drove me into this craft and how I wanted to achieve a clean and classy nail look which we could often see only on Pinterest and IG.”
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Original nails

The Russian Manicure Experience

I always do nail art, glitters, or bold colors so for this one, I thought I’d try out something totally out of my realm: a nude mani. It is after all the Ashluxe’s specialty. Ashley is known for creating a custom blend of nude on the spot to match your nails perfectly. This service does cost more than your usual but it’s seemingly miniscule factors like these that really contribute to its being bespoke and in turn, justifies its price tag.

I’ve had a lot of manis as someone who just likes having cute looking nails all the time and I honestly could say that this was the most gentle manicure experience of my life. I always get so antsy mid mani because it gets a little comfortable when nail techs kind of go ham on your hand, not just with the tools but also with the chemicals that I could feel my fingers pruning. Even though our session was longer than my usual ones, I actually didn’t even feel the time passing. It was just like a little spa vacation for my hands. I did choose to get extensions for some fingers because I like my nails long. She shared that she uses a builder gel– a type of hard gel that’s softer than acrylic but harder than regular gels. And as promised, no soaking of any kind happened. I was quite impressed the first week that I had this set on. From my experience, one week is usually when you feel the extensions kind of wobble and start to feel loose. But with this one, I did all my chores plus more, and nothing moved!
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After

After two months of growth, here are my nails (see below). My nails had some significant growth and I decided to just have them removed. Even the removal is different from the ones that I’m used to. There’s usually a level of discomfort when extensions get removed, whether they use the soaking in acetone method or when they use the drill. But with the Russian Manicure way, and without a doubt Ashley’s mastery of this technique, I didn’t feel any discomfort at all. She used the dry method once again and was very careful with the removal. She would even ask me sporadically if I was feeling any pain, I just couldn’t tell her that it was so relaxing I almost fell asleep! So from application to removal, it’s just comfort, quality, and technique all the way. I was quite surprised how long they had gotten and even more so how strong they still felt. Usually having extensions that long tend to leave my nails really frail.

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After two months
If you really want to commit to growing your nails, Ashley also offers a service in congruence to her nail extension service. On your next visit, she can “fill” the gap in your nails’ growth, meaning you don’t even have to replace your current nails with a whole new set. That is, if regrowth is your only problem and not a change in manicure design or color. She just uses this to sort of refresh your mani and keep your natural nails healthy. She says this way, you can “preserve the natural nail’s health as it doesn’t overfile the nails underneath. Its retention is also really good as you can have your set on for 4 weeks or more without chipping.” So remember to book your next visit at the end of your session so you don’t forget! And the bookings do fill up pretty quickly since the slots are limited, so best to schedule ahead.
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Growth after removal (longer nails)

Final Thoughts

Russian Manicure is worth the splurge if you ask me. But this service is very niche so it’s really more so a want than a need. And I do also acknowledge that in the grander scheme of things, it is ridiculous to spend upwards of P2,000 on one’s nails but isn’t it also worth the joy of randomly glancing at your nails throughout the day and feeling that boost of serotonin? I say it is. 


Moreover, you're also paying for a one-on-one session with the artist and her expertise. As mentioned above, Ashley spent years perfecting this technique to be a professionally-trained artist. So it’s only right to give value to her artistry. And the nails really do last a long time and in the end, helped me grow my nails so it does deliver on its promise.


DM Ashley at @ashluxenails to book a session today! Her booking slots open weekly and her service is available in two locations: Mandaluyong and Cavite. 


Photography (portraits) by Fourth Legara


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