Story of Us, 1900-1910: Modern Manicure

The idea of the modern manicure was introduced into pop culture in the early 1900s. The emphasis during these early years was on good health and proper hygiene. As a result, the look of unstained hands
with white and natural looking nails became the dominant aesthetic, linked to perceptions of wealth and moral purity. Products such as nail bleach, tinted powders and creams, and stain remover for the hands flooded the market. And, with the groundbreaking changes being made in the nail care industry, the use of metal scissors, nippers and files became increasingly popular. 

It was an exciting time in the nail world, and the end of the decade saw porcelain nails first being introduced. Unlike the acrylic, gel and silk tips of today, porcelain sets were custom made and had to be sized for the wearer’s nails. They were then glued on, and could be taken off for reuse. They were an expensive investment, costing around $600 per set, but one that helped women achieve the style
of the times.