6 items you need for the perfect manicure at home
Salons may be closed, but that does not mean you can’t enjoy the manicure experience from the comfort of our own homes. Painting your nails is not only a great self-care activity, it can also enhance patience, creativity and hand-eye coordination. Not sure where to begin or whether you have the right equipment? Here are a few items that can help you nail your manicure at home.
6 items you need to complete your manicure at home
This is probably one of the most overlooked aspects of manicures but having a basecoat is fundamental. Not only does this strengthen and encourage nail growth, it also acts as a cover for the nail plate from any splits. I also find that when removing my polish (especially when using darker shades) I don’t get any discolour or stain on my natural nails when I’m using a base coat. You can get a base coat from pretty much any health or beauty shop. They also only require one coat so are pretty long-lasting.
I have been using the 3-in-1 Barry M for years now (this cost £2.99 from Superdrug) but any base coat will do the job.
Whilst this is not as essential as a base coat in terms of strengthening the nail, it offers an extra layer of protection and provides your nails with a long-lasting finish. This can be in the form of a high-shine or a matte finish. This is particularly useful when you are doing nail art looks with a lot of detail e.g. using a nail art pen or glitter. Adding a top coat also extends the length of your manicure (you don’t want all that hard work to rub away after a few days!).
As mentioned before, the Barry M 3-in-1 coat is my go-to for convenience, but I have also been using Seche Vite dry fast topcoat.
3) Polish remover
Yes, it is possible to leave your nail varnish to fade out in its own time, but this is not recommended. This can lead to staining, discolouration and weaken the nail when trying to pick off remaining bits. Nail polish remover dissolves the nail polish from the fingernails without damaging them. One important thing to consider is the ingredients used in your remover as some may dry out your nails.
I always go for acetone-free removers and key minerals. I have been using the Superdrug Nourishing Nail Polish Remover with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E.
4) Cuticle oil
This is personally one of my favourite nail care items. Cuticle oil is a moisturising product used specifically for cuticles and nails, consisting of a combination of ingredients that help strengthen weak nail plates. Rubbing some cuticle oil your nails between manicures is extremely relaxing and always leaves my nails feeling fresh and healthy. Check out my previous blog on the benefits of cuticle oil to learn more.
I use the Mylee Nail and Cuticle Set with Sweet Almond Oil by adding a couple of drops on each nail and rubbing this in. What is great about cuticle oil is that it comes in many forms e.g. drops, brushes or rollerballs.
5) Nail buffer cube
A nail buffer can help eliminate ridges and reduce any rough edges to produce a smoother surface before painting (making the process a lot easier). It can also increase blood circulation to the nail bed. I often file my nails to the desired length/shape I feel like then apply a buffer for about 5-10 minutes. You can find a lot of buffer cubes that have a 4-in-1 style which files, smooths, buffs and polish like this one from The Body Shop.
Finally for the fun part, the polish! I absolutely love shopping for polishes. There are so many shades to choose from and there is always something different to try out. When I started painting my nails at home I started with shades I knew I would use the most e.g. creams, browns, pinks. Eventually, I started to venture into more colours I could create cool nail art with. I would suggest just going with whatever you feel like. Buying nail polish sets is always good to save money and find complimentary colours.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and it inspires you to treat yourself to a manicure at home. Check out part two where I share the key tools you need for slaying amazing nail art looks at home.