I Stopped Paying For Manicures After I Learned How to Use These Nail Tools
While some people have a standing biweekly nail appointment at their local salon, others prefer to take matters into their own hands with a good old fashioned DIY manicure. (Hey, not everyone can afford to have their arms rubbed with steaming hot rocks all the time, and that's OK.) Still, unless you're using press-on nails, it's not always easy to give yourself the perfect at-home manicure.
Of course, there are the easy parts, like picking out your nail polish color and swiping on a few coats of your go-to shade, but anyone who's gotten a russian manicure knows: it's all the prep that comes beforehand that differentiates between a good manicure and a bad one. If you've ever gotten your nails done by a professional nail technician, you've probably seen that there are a number of different tools involved in the aforementioned prep. Figuring out what each tool's specific function is can be kind of overwhelming, which is why we're here to break it all down for you with some of our favorite tips and tricks.
Whether you're looking for the right tool to finally snip away hangnails or dry skin, or the best file for preserving nail length, we've got you covered. Ahead, keep reading for a list of all of the tools you need for the perfect DIY manicure, as well as exactly how to use them.
No nail kit is complete without a nail file, and these Tweezerman nail files are some of the best. They work on natural and acrylic nails, and they come in a convenient case. One thing to note is that when filing your nails, you should move in only one direction to prevent nail cracking and chipping.
Let us be clear: you never want to trim your actual cuticles. (They are there to protect you against bacterial and fungal infections, after all.) Still, if you have any hangnails or dead skin around the nails, these Professional Stainless Steel Cuticle Trimmers are perfect for snipping those aways. The narrowed head is designed to fit in the corner of the nail area making the trim as seamless as possible.
If you want to make sure your nails are prepped to perfection, you're going to want to purchase a nail buffer. The Tweezerman Neon 4-in- File, Smooth & Shine Block comes with four different sides, so you can start out by filing, then move to buffing, smoothing, and shining your nails.
Cuticle Pusher 4-Pack ($12)
Cuticle pushers should be used to gently push back cuticles to prevent the growth of bacteria and germs, and they come in all sorts of varieties with different tips. As a general rule, you should apply a cuticle softener before using the rounded flat end of the stick to push the cuticles up towards the hand, starting in the middle of the nail. You can also try this Cuticle Pusher 4-Pack with slanted or sharper ends to push down the cuticles at the corners of your nails and remove dirt near the cuticles.
Metal Nail File
Yeah, a nail file is a pretty straightforward tool to use when it comes to giving yourself a manicure, but it's important to remember that Stainless Steel Nail Files are harsher on the nail than your typical emery board and should be used with caution to prevent nail chipping or flaking.
Triangle-Shaped Cuticle Scrapers
Not every nail kit has one of these, but the Triangle-Shaped Cuticle Scraper is a handy tool to have if you're short on nail polish remover or need to peel off your gel manicure without damaging your nails.
Full Nail Kit
If you'd rather just buy everything at once and hop right into becoming your own personal manicurist, you can also buy a Manicure and Pedicure Nail Kit that includes everything you need to give yourself the full beauty treatment.