Before you can achieve a salon-perfect manicure at home, there are several tools you should have on hand. These products are absolutely essential for DIY manicures and can help you get your nails in tip top shape.
Even if you aren’t a nail pro, these products will help you achieve good results at home for a lot less than you would pay at a professional salon.
1. Nail Polish Remover
In order for polish to adhere to the nails, your nails need to be clean and dry. Remove existing polish by swiping a gentle nail polish remover over each nail, using Q-Tips if necessary to remove polish that has found its way into your nail bed or cracks around your nails.
One To Try: Cutex Quick & Gentle Nail Polish Remover, $2.50, Drugstores
2. Nail Files
In order to smooth jagged edges and create even shapes, a good quality nail file is a must-have. There are many types of nail files, so shop around until you find one that works for you.
One To Try: Tweezerman Filemate Nail File, $4
3. Nail Bandages
After you’ve spent so much time polishing and perfecting your nails, the last thing you want to do is ruin your hard work with a cracked or split nail. Nail bandages work to protect the damaged nail until it grows out. I never gave much stock to these so-called “invisible” nail bandages, but I’m amazed at how well they work!
My nails have an annoying tendency to split down the middle, but as soon as I slap a nail bandage on, it holds my nail in place to help prevent further damage. They last for several days and are even waterproof. Do not attempt a DIY manicure without these!
One To Try: Calico Invisible Nail Bandages, $2.99, Drugstores
4. Cuticle Cream
A perfect manicure can only be complete if your cuticles are taken care of, so invest in a nourishing cuticle cream to moisturize, soothe, and protect dry cuticles.
They are super easy to use, and simply require you to massage the cream into and around your cuticles and nail bed to get rid of cuticle damage and hangnails.
One To Try: Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, $5.99, Drugstores
5. Nail Clippers
You absolutely must invest in a quality pair of nail clippers to help trim and define nails before a DIY manicure. Trimming your nails prior to filing them can help reduce stress-related cracks or breakage and can help you achieve exactly the right length you desire without filing them down and weakening the nail.
Plus, they are an absolute must-have for a hangnail!
One To Try: Tweezerman Power Nail Clipper, $5.59, Drugstores
6. Quick Drying Top Coat
I’m sure the majority of us do not have a salon nail dryer at home, so quick drying top coats are an absolute must have for DIY manicures. With a quality quick-dry top coat, you apply while your nails are still wet and have super dry nails in a matter of minutes that are glossy, beautiful, and protected.
One To Try: Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, $9.99, Drugstores
With these handy essentials, even at-home manicures can look like you paid to have them professionally done at a salon!
Which manicure must-have’s can you not live without? Am I missing something from this list? Let me know your thoughts!