Who needs a salon when you’ve got a few tools and tips to the perfect manicure? Personally, I hate manicures and even more so pedicures. I think they are a waste of money and time, plus I hate when strangers touch me. Instead, I do my nails myself about once a week and my toes every other. Over the years, I’ve accumulated a number of manicure and pedicure products that now I cannot live without. While I may not use every single one every single time, they are great to have for when I’m giving myself a pamper sesh. Keep reading to see my essentials for a perfectly done manicure.
Crystal Nail File
I purchased my crystal nail file from Bean’s Beauty, but you can find them a number of places. (Sephora and Ulta have them for sure). Crystal nail files are genius! Buy one and it will last you a life time (or until you lose it). The file never wears down and is gentle on your nails. I use mine so often to smooth the edges of my nails. I’ve had this one for about 2 years now, and doubt I’ll be getting a new one any time soon.
Large Nail Clipper/Small Nail Clipper
I use nail clippers to cut my nails on my hands and toes. I use the different sized ones for different purposes. It isn’t necessary you have both, but I like have the option, especially for my toes. Nail clippers are so easy to use, especially when using my non dominant hand.
I use an orange stick to push back my cuticles. I should probably buy a new one soon… I usually push back my cuticles every other time I do my nails. It makes the nail bed bigger and the manicure looks cleaner and more professional.
Thick Hand Cream
Ok yes, pictured here is a body butter, but it gets the job done. After cutting and filing my nails, I like to put on a thick hand cream and let it sink in for 15+ mins. This helps ensure the hands and cuticles are moisturized.
Hard as Hoof Nail Strengthening Cream
I usually give my nails at least a day off between manicures. (Usually take it off Sunday morning, repaint Monday afternoon.) During that time, I use the Hard as Hoof cream to strengthen my nails. When using this often, I definitely see a difference in my nails. I have really brittle nails and the protein in the cream keeps them strong.
CND Solar Oil
No manicure would be complete without cuticle oil. I usually use this when using my orange stick. The CND oil is very moisturizing and doesn’t make your hands too greasy once rubbed in.
Deborah Lippman 2 Second Nail Primer
Now this is totally not necessary unless you’re a nail addict (which you probably are). Because I use to many creams and oil, my nails are sometimes too wet to allow nail polish to stick. The Deborah Lippmann nail primer preps the nail for polish. It is very liquidy and dries the nail, without sucking out all the moisture.
Essie Ridge Filling Base Coat
My nails have a tendency to break. A lot. On days they are looking especially uneven at the tip, I reach for the Essie Ridge Filling Base coat. This base coat is a bit thicker, and helps fill in the bumps and gaps. It’s also a tinge beige, which is nice to use when I don’t have nail polish on. It’s like nail tinted moisturizer because it covers up just a little bit.
Everyone’s gotta have a good base coat, and I honestly think different one’s work for different people. I’m currently using the Deborah Lippmann Fast Girls base coat because I got it in a gift set, but there are plenty of cheaper options. I’m a huge fan of the Orly Bonder, but it made my nails a little yellow.
Currently I am using the Revlon Colorstay Gel Shine top coat because it was on sale. I think finding a good top coat is hard, but is a must. I’m not sure I’m really loving this one. It just isn’t shiny enough. I loved Seche Vite, but the scent is so strong, and it’s on the expensive side. My usual go to is the Sally Hansen Quick Dry top coat…definitely pick that up next.
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