Because I, for one, hate when my cuticles get unruly…
Nails have never been my thing, gotta be honest…but recently, I got to exploring the tools that you actually need to get a good mani. There are like 5,000 tools on the market but, in reality, you only need these babies:
1. A Good Nail File: This is easier said than done. Find a good nail file that not only looks cute, but also actually FILES your nails properly.
2. Cleansing Soap: I’m sooo not a fan of bar soap, but nail artists all say that bar soap does a better job of cleansing hands than anything else. So, if I HAVE to use it, it may as well be CHANEL.
3. Tweezerman’s Pushy and Nail Cleaner: Stop using your other fingers to push back your cuticles! This tool will do it for you, and better.
4. Cotton Pads: I’m totally guilty of using cotton balls and they’re just NOT as good since they shed everywhere and stick to your nails. These pads are the business.
5. Base Coat: The Sally Hansen version serves as a base coat AND a top coat (two for one!). I recently found out the importance of using a base coat (e.g. use one so your nails don’t turn yellow).
6. Polish: Et voila. Top off your mani with your favorite nail polish of the moment. Right now, I’m loving all things Deborah Lippmann.
With thousands upon thousands of nail products on the market, all claiming to solve ALL of your problems, it can definitely be confusing as to what you actually need to achieve your best nails possible. Here, I break down for you the four products that you should be using, no matter what. Trust me, use these four and you’re good to go!
1. All-In-One Treatment
When you’re crammed for time, it’s best (and easiest) to use a strengthening base and top coat in one. Hydrating panthenol will smooth and glaze nail beds, while also preventing your nails from chipping. Make sure to first apply this treatment to clean, dry nails as a base coat and let dry. Then brush on one to two coats of your favorite nail color and let dry. Finish with the Double Duty treatment as a shiny top coat.
Favorite: Sally Hansen Double Duty
2. Polish Remover
I prefer a polish remover with a light, calming scent (like lavender), which will swiftly and effectively take off your darkest, most glittery polish just as fast as you applied it. Sure, in a pinch cheap or generic polish remover will do, but I really love the version from Zoya, which smells great and actually gets all of my nail polish off.
Favorite: Zoya Remove Plus
3. Nail Strengthener
This calcium-enriched formula toughens nails, without altering the color of your polish! It’s recommended for use twice a week and will definitely help strengthen nail beds within a few weeks time. I can’t recommend this strengthener enough. The fact that you can actually apply it OVER your nail polish is truly amazing and I’ve definitely noticed a huge difference in the health of my nails.
Favorite: O.P.I Nail Envy
4. Cuticle Oil
Cuticles simmer down with just a drop of this cure-all product. Infused with sweet-almond, jojoba and vitamin E oils, your nails will never be softer. This is my secret weapon! For anyone who gets dry cuticles, this oil is your best bet.
Favorite: CND Solar Oil