Frequent visits to the nail salon add up fast, and if you’re doing your nails at home, you’re going to save a lot of money. However, you’ll need to buy some supplies to make it work.
To make sure you’re prepared, here’s what you need to do manicures and pedicures at home.
1. A Variety of Polish Options
A great manicure ends with beautiful polish, but you probably won’t want to use the same polish every time. Get a variety of polish for your mani/pedi kit, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
For example, you might like some cat eye gel polish, neon-colored polish, or more natural colors, like brown, cream, or tan. You can also get polish with a shiny or matte finish.
You really can’t have too many options, so don’t hesitate to build up your polish stash and get all the colors you might want to use.
2. A Cuticle Remover
One of the best tools to have in your home manicure kit is a cuticle remover. When applied to the outer edges of your nails, it will soften dry skin, making your cuticles easier to push back. Some people find that it can also remove some of the yellow stains that come from removing dark polish.
To use cuticle remover, paint it on like you would a base coat and leave it alone for a few minutes. Rub it in a little bit and then wipe it away with a cotton ball or pad.
3. Nail Clippers
This tool is pretty obvious, but if you’ve been getting your nails done at the salon for a long time, you might not actually have your own nail clippers. If you have some, but they’re old, dull, or rusty, toss them out and get new clippers.
You can sanitize them if they’re dirty, but it’s not worth your time or energy to try to remove rust or sharpen them.
4. A Nail File
Nail files are essential for doing your nails. Even if you’re going to get acrylic nails, you still want to file your nails neatly before you apply your acrylics. If you are going to polish up your own nails, a nail file is a must.
Just be sure to use your nail file in one direction only. If you file your nails back and forth, you’ll end up with micro-tears that will make your nail more prone to breaking. It’s somewhat counterintuitive, but worth the effort to remember to file only in one direction.
5. A Nail Buffer
Before you buy a nail buffer, keep in mind that you may not actually need this tool. If your nails are peeling or flaking, it can help to buff them. If you don’t have this issue, you should skip the buffing.
Although buffing your nails can help your polish last longer, be aware that you’re actually stripping away your nail’s natural oils by removing the keratin-rich top layer.
6. Cuticle Pusher
A cuticle pusher allows you to push back your cuticles so you can get a smooth surface to apply your polish. They’re really easy to use. Just hold the tool at a 45-degree angle and gently push back your cuticle. When you get it back far enough where you want it to be, you can apply your polish.
7. A Steam-Off Device for Removing Hard Gel Polish
If you’ve ever attempted to remove your own gel polish, you know it’s not easy. Many people go to a nail salon just to have it removed. However, there are several devices on the market that use warm, misted acetone to remove hard gel polish. You just place your fingers in the holes and the warmed solution will lift the polish off and make it easy to remove.
You can use these devices to remove nail lacquers, gels, acrylics, and shellac in about five to ten minutes, depending on what you need to remove.
8. Nail Polish Remover and Cotton Balls
This is another must-have, but you might not realize you need some if you’ve been going to the salon for a while. Even if you’re only into gels, it’s worth getting some basic nail polish remover and cotton balls just in case you decide to go back to standard polish.
Give Yourself the Best Manicures at Home
Whether you’re doing your own manicures to save money or because you enjoy doing them, make sure you have all the tools you need before you drop your dependence on the salon.
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