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Manicure Kit Essentials

Updated on August 23, 2013

While nothing beats the indulgence of having your nails done professionally, you can also give yourself a manicure at home, taking care of your nails should be a regular part of your beauty routine, try to scheduled a home manicure every two weeks or three weeks and allow time in between for touch up.

If you are a busy person, travelling to a salon, getting a manicure and waiting for your nails to dry can sometimes take too long so it is often makes sense to do it yourself. But to be able to do it, all you need are the right tools and the know how .

Here the basic tools you need to do a home manicure:

  • Acetone-free polish remover – to remove nail polish before the manicure begins. Avoid acetone or its chemical relatives, which damage the surface of the nail, affecting the luster and weakening and thinning the nail plate.
  • Cotton balls- for removing nail polish and for wrapping orange sticks to push back your cuticles. Cotton balls are very absorbent and do not leave fibre behind.
  • Cuticle softeners - these include both cuticle cream and cuticle oil. Softening cuticles makes them easier to push back. Softeners also loosen stubborn skin stuck to the nail bed. They come in formulations from clear liquids you paint on to thick creams you massage into the cuticle. Avoid products containing potassium hydroxice, which can damage your nails.
  • Cuticle cream - smoothing a specially blended cream around the cuticle area softens the surrounds and prevents hangnails from developing. These usually contain fats and waxes, such as lanolin, cocoa butter, petroleum jelly and beeswax.
  • Cuticle Oil - vitamin E-enriched oils and sweet almond oil, applied regularly will condition the cuticle area and maintain it at optimum health. Cuticle oils may also contain mineral oil, jojoba oil and palm nut oil.
  • Emery board - a coarsely grained double-sided one is best to shorten or smooth nails as fine-grained version for final smoothing.
  • Finger bowl - for soaking fingernails; fill it with warm soapy water.
  • Hand lotion - to promote supple skin by hydrating and helping to seal moisture into the skin.
  • Hand Towel - for drying your hands and to place under your hands as you apply nail polish.
  • Hoof stick - a manicure stick with a rubber tip shaped like a hoof used to push back your cuticle.

  • Nailbrush - use a nailbrush in the morning or evening for cleaning hands, nails and cuticles. Replace it when bristles lose their density.
  • Nail buffer - these come in all shapes and sizes, usually combining three buffing surfaces that help smooth any ridges from nail surfaces, as well as to add sheen. Used gently in a swift back-and-forth manner, they will smooth shine and buff the nails to give an excellent finish.
  • Nail cleanser - usually a liquid soap that is added to the water in the finger bowl.
  • Nail scissors - more gentle on the nails, scissors are often preferred to clippers for ultimate precision.
  • Nipper - this is a useful tool for trimming hangnails and should feature a pointed tip to allow a precise trim.
  • Orange stick - use an orange stick wrapped in cotton wool to push back cuticles. It can be used instead of the nailbrush to clean under the nail.
  • Clear basecoat- to provide a foundation for the nail polish.
  • Clear or tinted nail polish - the main coat of polish in the colour of your choice; a clear polish will last longer without showing chips or peels.
  • Topcoat - a protective and durable coating for the polish. It lengthens the lifespan of coloured polish because it helps to prevent chipping.
  • Aromatherapy oils - (optional) for a relaxing mood or to relieve stress

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    • drvosjeca profile image

      drvosjeca 6 years ago

      Hi there...

      My friend is owner of nail technician courses site, which is kind of "work in progress".

      She would be glad if you took time and visited her site, if you would like, you could even post something like this.

    • Nail Technician profile image

      Nail Technician 8 years ago

      This is a great list of things to have in your nail kit. If you are going to collect all of this equipment, you should really look at getting into doing nails professionally as well.

      The orangewood stick is really really important, and you can find in most beauty supply stores. make sure to use it on yourself before you ever use it on anyone else though, so you can feel how much pressure you can apply to the cuticle. (its less than you think!)

      check out these hubs on why becoming a nail tech is a great career move if you're interested:

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      informative and educating. god bless you

    • mega1 profile image

      mega1 8 years ago

      and then do you invite a friend over to "learn" how to give yu a manicure? Cuz that's what I'd do, but, unfortunately, my friends got hip to me long ago! About what would this kit cost, all total? including the knowhow! Love aromatherapy though! It works WONDERS!