I use to be very erratic with my product selection when I did my nails at home, that is mainly because I didn’t care as much about my nails as I do now. My friend actually commented on this the other day “you’ve become quite a nail gal, haven’t you?” Well yes, I certainly have. Now that I am more serious about this, I have narrowed things down to a solid group of products that I cannot imagine my life without. Some of these I have received as samples but a few of these items I have picked up myself. With one of these items, I’m now on my 4th one!
- Sally Hansen Nip ‘Em Neat – the core of this set is really the cuticle trimmer but it comes with a pusher that I use in place of an orange-wood stick. One end works great as a cuticle pusher and the other end I use to clean under my nails and clean up my edges with a bit of remover or clear polish. It is also great to free up ingrown toenails. For some reason, I’m very susceptible to that. The set retails for $14.99, which is a lot for just one tool, but if you’re more comfortable with a full size cuticle trimmer, it is well worth it.
- Tweezerman Mini Cuticle & Hangnail Snipper – I picked this up as part of Tweezerman’s Mini Nail Rescue Kit and it’s probably one of the best $20 I’ve ever spent. I prefer this smaller version of a cuticle trimmer because it is much easier for me to work with. Because of its size, I keep it with me in a little makeup bag I have deemed my “nail bag”. At that size, this snipper is super convenient. I also find I go much easier on my nails with this tool compared to a full sized trimmer. If this set is not for you, try the Squeeze and Snip. It’s the same price but I suspect it is also a bit larger.
- Orly Pusher & Remover – this tool has changed my life in the short amount of time I have had it. I received it in a gift bag from Orly at Cosmoprof after experiencing their Gel FX manicure. Unfortunately I have no idea what it costs or where you can find it, finding more information on this online has been tricky. It is part of the Gel FX line so if you have a beauty supply store near you that sells this, pick it up… you will not regret it. Not only is it great for removing soak off gel color from your nails (if you remove it yourself at home) but it is also fantastic for cleaning up the cuticle area because of its rounded tip, it’s the perfect shape for cleaning up your cuticles.
- QTica Cuticle Repair Balm – When I remember to slather on a cuticle oil, my cuticles stay fairly neat but let’s face it, the problem is I don’t remember and then end up looking horrible, you’ve seen the proof. I thought CND’s Solar Oil was good but this balm blew my mind the first time I used it, this little jar of goodness can give your cuticles a complete transformation in a matter of hours. A small jar goes for $12 and it is WORTH it, a small dip into the jar gives you plenty of product to moisturize your cuticles with. This is INTENSIVE CARE for your cuticles. With all the digging into files and filling I do on a regular basis with the day job, my cuticles need it!
- Orly Two Sided Buffer – Like the Pusher & Remover, this buffer is part of the Gel FX line up and I do not know its price. This buffer has a different type of grit on each side, neither of them hard on the nail. I use this buffer to smooth out the ridges in my nails in place of the rough side on the Revlon buffer. I find the size and thickness of this buffer makes it easier for me to work with. I also really like that this buffer is made of the same material from top to bottom, you’re not going to wear away at the grit and leave it looking ratty and useless.
- Revlon Crazy Shine Nail Buffer – I’ve professed my love for this nail buffer before, I simply cannot get better results from any other nail buffer. This is the product that I have now purchased for a 4th time, which at $4 its really a no brainer. Normally a squeaky noise would drive me crazy but with this nail buffer, the squeaks give me the craziest shine ever. If you were to look at my nails after I’m done using this, you’d swear I had a clear coat of polish on.
So these are all the tools I use before I do my nails, when I do them at home and I use them in this order before any color goes on my nails. Now that I’ve shown you my must haves, what are yours? Let me know in the comments.