9 home manicure and pedicure essentials

Home manicures and pedicures can be relaxing and economical. Here are the manicure set essentials you'll need to give your nails the spa treatment at home.

1. Nail polish remover

Nail polish remover gets rid of the old before starting anew. Removers can be purchased with or without acetone. Acetone is much stronger and will remove gel nails but can be harsh on your nail beds. Non-acetone remover is gentler but often less effective at removing stubborn polish.

2. Cuticle pusher and pumice stone

Instead of cutting your cuticles, use a cuticle pusher to extend the length of your nail by pushing your cuticles back. Choose an easy-to-hold cuticle pusher for the delicate job at hand (and foot). For your pedicure, use a pumice stone or exfoliating mitt to remove tough, dead skin from your feet.

3. Nail clippers

Before you file your nails, use nail clippers to achieve the approximate length and shape you want. Clippers come in different shapes to help get the right cut for your nails.

4. Nail file

Nail files come in different grains for different tasks. Higher grains are best for natural nails since they’re more delicate. Save the lower grains, between 80 and 100, for tougher acrylic nails. To save space in your manicure kit, look for a four-way nail file, which has four different grains on the same file.

5. Nail buffer

While a nail file shapes your nails, a buffer smooths out and eliminates ridges for a clean look. Buffers are usually made from emery board and have four different grains to create a perfectly smooth nail.

6. Nail brush

You’ll need a quality nail brush to apply the nail polish, one that’s precise and long lasting. Brushes are made from synthetic or natural hairs and come in different shapes for different kinds of work. A fine-tipped nail art brush is recommended for detailed nail art designs.

7. Base coat

Base coats act as a primer, extending your manicure’s life and preventing colour polish from staining your nails. Use quick-dry base coats to start applying colour right away. Other types stay sticky so colour polish can adhere better.

8. Colour

When choosing nail polish, consider the season, your skin tone and where you’ll be going so your manicure matches your wardrobe and lifestyle. High quality nail polish is less likely to crack and break, especially in extreme weather. For more impact, try nail decals and nail stamping in unique, eye-popping patterns.

9. Top coat

The final step is to apply a top coat, a clear layer that protects your nails from the elements. Top coats come in shiny and matte finishes and some contain natural nail-strengthening ingredients.

Home manicures and pedicures are fun ways to pamper yourself and your budget. With the right tools, it's easy to create professional-looking nails from the comfort of your own home.

9 home manicure and pedicure essentials
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