As the world deals with not being able to enjoy simple luxuries like going to the gym or doing laundry in a laundromat, it has been a learning experience. We’re all adapting to this new normal, but one of the many things I’ve seen is people learning how to do at-home manicures. Whether that involves taking off an existing manicure or starting from scratch, there are some tools you’re gonna need to help you get the most out of your manicure. We’ve rounded up some of the best things to get, while also giving some tips, too.
FOR REMOVING REGULAR NAIL POLISH
Moisturizing Lavender Scented Nail Polish Remover
Regular nail polish doesn’t need anything fancy to make it disappear. I prefer a remover that comes in a tub for two reasons. First, I’m lazy and it’s so much easier to just leave my fingers dunked into a soaked sponge than it is to individually clean the nails. Secondly, you don’t have to waste a bunch of cotton balls.
FOR REMOVING GEL NAIL POLISH
Onyx Professional 100% Acetone Nail Polish Remover
If you’re removing gel polish at home, you’re gonna need acetone. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Gently buff each nail with an emery board to remove the top layer of sealant, then soak a cotton ball in acetone. Next, wrap your nail in the cotton ball and then with a piece of tin foil (my boyfriend helped with this but I’ve seen it done by one person). Wait 10-15 minutes. Another option is to heat up a bowl of water, pour acetone into a separate bowl to put on top (sort of like a double boiler). As the acetone heats up, leave your fingers submerged for 10 minutes.
Either way you do it, you’re gonna need actual, bonafide, 100% acetone. Just make sure you use oil and moisturizer on your fingers afterwards. They’re gonna need it.
Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail & Cuticle Oil
Speaking of moisturizer, I love a good vitamin E oil. My favorite is this one from Sally Hansen. Remove the brush, swipe it across your nails (don’t forget your cuticles!), and rub it in. It works wonders.
FOR BUFFING AND SHAPING NAILS
Nail File Emery Board 10-Pack
Normally, you wouldn’t catch me anywhere near an emery board, but when it comes to getting rid of gel polish, you need something strong. These can help disrupt the top layer of polish, which will allow the color to be removed with acetone. But, if you’re just shaping your nails for polish, please use a glass nail file.
FOR SETTING GEL POLISH
LKE Gel UV LED Nail Lamp
Gel polish is the easiest way to get a long-lasting manicure. The key to that is a UV light. I don’t condone using this on a regular basis, but it’s something to keep on hand in a pinch. This one has both 30 second and minute timers, depending on your manicure. It’s literally just set it and forget it, as the UV light sets the polish.
FOR AN AT-HOME HAND MASSAGE
Fresh Moisturizing Hand Cream
Honestly, the best part of a manicure is the hot towel and hand massage and you’re lying to my face if you say otherwise. This hand cream is made with emollient butters to help nourish and soften hands. Pair this with a hot towel and you’ve got a good time.
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