At home manicure essentials

Nail

I used to be really terrible at painting my own nails. I would often end up with polish all over my fingers and give up half way through. I love getting professional manicures, but the cost adds up pretty quickly. A few years ago I decided to really get serious about learning the best techniques to an at home manicure and I’ve been able to get pretty good at it. Here are some of my go-to products to make it a little easier.

  1. Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover: This stuff works great at removing your cuticles in a gentle way instead of cutting them with the tool they use at the nail salon. It makes it easier to push them back as well.
  2. Cuticle pusher: This goes hand-in-hand with #1. I prefer the cuticle pushers with the rounded end that fits right to your nail instead of the more flat cuticle pushers. This makes the nail bed nice and even to make polish application easier.
  3. Nail buffer block: I love using these four-sided buffers. They file, buff, polish and shine the nails to make sure they are even and no ridges will make the polish look bumpy.
  4. A good file: I love to have a really rough file that you don’t have to put a lot of work into to get the nail filed down. Nothing is worse than a dull nail file.
  5. Orly Bonder base coat: This is a rubberized base coat that really grips to the polish. I have found that a good base coat really makes a difference in the longevity of your polish.
  6. Seche Vite top coat: This is the best fast-dry top coat I’ve ever used. It literally dries in only a minute and is so shiny. This combined with using the Orly Bonder is the ultimate long-wear combo in my opinion.
  7. OPI polishesOPI polishes: These are hands-down my favorite polishes to use. They are easy to apply and last the longest out of any other polishes I’ve tried.

A couple of honorable mention items:

Pure acetone: I know this is more drying, but nothing works as well as pure acetone for removing polish. I don’t use any other kind of polish remover.

A small brush: This makes cleaning up mistakes so easy. You can just buy a cheap ELF brush for $1 and it will work wonders. You can also use q-tips, but sometimes the little fibers can get stuck on the polish.

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