I love doing my nails. It’s relaxing, and I always feel proud of myself afterward for saving a few dollars (so I can spend it on more makeup, obvs).
That being said, I usually don’t have a ton of time, so here are my essentials to get the job done as quickly and easily as possible.
Nail Clippers and File
Pretty obvious choice, but nothing ruins cute polish like ragged nails. I’ve bought more expensive nail files, but I always go back to these cheap ones that come like a dozen to a box. I like being able to stash these at work, in my purse and in my gym bag. I also use the nail file to clean up the polish around the edges of my nails.
I felt like such a pro the day I incorporated Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover into my manicure routine! I never had the patience to soak my nails in water before pushing back my cuticles, so this product is perfect. I squeeze it around my cuticles, lightly, push them back with my fingers, and then rinse it off. It’s easy and really effective. Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover is available at Target for $5.
I’m always looking for the best base coat, and lately I’ve been reaching for Orly Bonder. I think it works well with different polishes, and I love that it dries quickly.
It’s an extra step, but my nails won’t last more than a day without base coat. Orly Bonder is available at Ulta for $10.
I’m usually choosing between a neutral and a bold color, but I almost always end up going for the neutral. I’m really hard on my nails, so I like to pick something that won’t show the chips. When I sat down to do my nails the other day, I debated between Golden Sand and Cashmere, both by Mineral Fusion.
I ended up choosing the nude, of course! Golden Sand is a neutral tan with subtle silver shimmer. It’s a unique and really pretty shade. I like how it’s close enough to my skin tone to be subtle but doesn’t look muddy or boring.
I’ve tried a few different top coats, but I’m not committed to one right now. I’d been using Seche Vite for a while, but sometimes it makes the polish shrink, so I’ve been looking for something better.
This time I tried Mineral Fusion Gel Top Coat, and I love how it gave my nails that plump and shiny look that you can only seem to get from a gel manicure. This was the closest I’ve ever gotten to achieving that same look at home, which is amazing.
And despite the thickness of this top coat, my polish dries crazy fast. I was so shocked because I was fully expecting to wait a long time for my polish to dry, and my nails were completely dry in about 5 minutes. Mineral Fusion polishes are available now at Ulta for $8.
Do you do your nails at home? If so, what do you like to use? Let me know in the comments!