We’ve been in and out of lockdown and the experience of actually visiting a nail salon IRL is a distant memory. Getting a manicure is one of our favorite self-care practises, and something we miss so much. Even though giving yourself a manicure may seem intimidating at first, and you may find yourself asking questions like, “what the heck is a cuticle and how do I remove it,” doing at-home mani’s can be quite rewarding. The key is to find all of the right tools that work for you. Below are some of our favorite manicure products that we’ve been using religiously.
The first step to a DIY manicure is to prep your nails. Clean your nails with a polish remover. Consider non-toxic alternatives like nail polish removers that have moisturizing vitamins and oils in them and re-usable pads. These handmade re-useable bamboo felt pads are a sustainable alternative to other nail polish removing pads like disposable cotton balls and one of our favorites. You can wash and reuse them multiple times!
After you’ve removed your polish the next manicure step is to soak your nails. This nail soaker bowl gives us that familiar salon experience we all know and love. Add warm water, put in one hand at a time for roughly 3-5 minutes to soften your cuticles and then start prepping your cutiles.
Now that your cuticles are soft, you can begin using your cuticle pusher or scraper. Once the cuticles have been gently pushed back you’ll get a better sense of what the excess cuticles are that need to be removed. We prefer buffing the cuticle bits off rather than clipping them to avoid the risk of making them bleed or worst causing infection in the area.
Next file your nails to your desired shape. We personally love almond shape, and find that this shape is easier to manage if your nails break.
This kit has everything you could possibly need for cuticle removal, and nail shaping tools. Also, the extra gel polish remover items is a bonus. The kit includes nail clips for gel removal, toe nail clips, two nail files, polishing bar, triangle cuticle scraper and pusher set, nail brush, acetone pump dispenser 900 cotton pads and a finger separator.
Next exfoliate your hands with a scrub to remove any dead skin cells. We are loving the Malin + Goetz Peppermint Body scrub. Not only does this foaming gel scrub smell like fresh peppermint, but its free of sulfates and parabens. It’s infused with ground pumice and amino acids which help exfoliate and cleanse your hands leaving them smooth to the touch.
After you’ve exfoliated the dead skin off of your hands its time to moisturize your cuticles and hands. The French Girl nail and cuticle oil is infused with Rosemary and Rose Geranium essential oils that help stimulate nail growth. Other noteworthy ingredients include pomegranate oil, argan, hemp and tamanu oil which are great for hydration and inflammation prevention. Slather on hand cream and give yourself that much-needed hand massage to try to relax. Wash your hands afterward and dry them then go overe each nail with nail polish remove to remove any residual oils.
Now it’s time for the fun part- polishing! Apply a base coat followed by two coats of nail polish. Smith & Cult is one of our favorite chemical-free nail polish brands. Not only is the packaging stunning, but the product delivers with pigmented coverage and a high shin formula that extends wear time. We’ve been alternating between Sugarette and Powder Posse.
Finish off your manicure with a topcoat. We swear by CND’s Vinylux Top Coat. This top coat prevents our nails from chipping and adds a gel-manicure ish shine that we love. Our manicure’s typically last for a week with this top coat polish.
What are your go-to nail-care products?