DIY Manicure Must-Haves

Nine times out of 10, any manicure you see in Just Another Mani Monday is a DIY-er. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting my nails done but I usually just do it myself. I’ve gotten into a Sunday ritual of pampering — hair mask, face mask and manicure. It’s really my favorite time of the week and helps me mentally prepare for the work week ahead. And I’ve come to rely on certain products to give me the spa feeling at home.

While Fresh’s Brown Sugar Body Polish lives in my shower, I take it out on Sundays to give my hands a good scrub. There’s nothing better, as far as I’m concerned. It sloughs off all of the dead skin and contains tons of moisturizing oils. I love how it leaves my hands so soft.

I began using Sally Hansen’s Instant Cuticle Remover about a year ago, and now I can’t remember what I ever did without it. I squeeze it around my entire nail cuticle, and it does the work on its own. For good measure, I use a cuticle pusher to do some tidying and then rinse. This needs to be in every woman’s bathroom cabinet!

I keep my nails a pretty short length, so if needed, I use a nail clipper to trim and then use Trim’s 7-Way Buffer. I actually hoard these and keep them at work and home. They’re just a few dollars, and one of the most useful beauty tools I own. I love side 4 “even out” as a final step in filing because it helps ride of any jagged edges that inevitably wreak havoc mid-polish.

The key to a lasting manicure is less about the actual polish but all of the other protectants, base, topcoat, etc. I have many random favorites in this area, CND Stickey Base and Seche Vite to name a few, but Zoya’s Color Lock System is a really good all-in-one kit. I use the Armor Top Coat as a refresher a few times during the week to protect my mani. And there’s also a polish rejuvenator which is a life-saver for bringing polishes back to life.

After I scrub and before I polish, I always lather up my hands with lotion. And nothing feels more salon-like than using salon lotion. I love Qtica’s Smart Spa Lotion in Papaya Star. Not many salons near me use Zoya products, so I’m happy to use it at home.

What are your DIY mani-must haves? Any tips to share?

7 thoughts on “DIY Manicure Must-Haves”

  1. i’ve been growing out my nails again and started doing polish more often – do you find that top coat and base coat really makes a difference in the time polish lasts?

  2. Hey Kristine! I think they really do help — and the base coat also helps keep the nail stronger and prevent stains. If you’re growing out your nails, that’s key. Plus, I can’t live without a fast dry topcoat. It’s such a time saver for the DIY process!

  3. Adore the Sally Hansen cuticle remover and could not. Be. Without. You are so right, every woman needs this. My fave at the moment is Deborah Lippmann Hard Rock strengthening base coat.

  4. My list just keeps getting longer and longer as I read this weeks posts. Now I must have the Sally Hansen Cuticle remover. I’ve been looking for something like this too. Thanks again.

  5. Hey Laurie!
    i like Sunday’s for Beauty Day too! How do you manage to keep your shower stall clean? I have used this wonderful body scrub, but found it left my tub an oily mess, that took all the joy out of it for me, since it required cleaning up with elbow grease!

    I always rotate Nailtiques # 2 into my top coat refreshing touch ups. It keeps my nails as hard as granite. I am not skilled at applying polish. I tend to gravitate to the same colors over over. I often buy the shade or a cheap replica and patch up tops and chips, directly after applying top coat, as needed.

    Thanks for the SH Cuticle remover tip…I’m in!

  6. Hey Debbi. I’m not sure how I keep my shower clean with this, but it really doesn’t seem to make too much of a mess. I always seem to take the first shower, and my husband takes the second. He never seems to notice any slippage. He does, however, comment on the amazing smell!

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