7 best at-home manicure essentials

Getting your nails done is a great luxury – nothing beats the feel of a fresh gel or lacquer in your favorite color.

If you do it regularly, the costs start to add up, but with the right products, you can recreate your salon style at home.

Here are the best DIY products to keep your fingers and toes looking perfect.

Mini Battery Operated Nail Kits

There’s no denying that nail polish looks better on polished nails – it’s smoother and easier to apply. Unfortunately, achieving this effect requires using one of those multi-faceted nail files, ensuring a tedious half-hour of work time ensues. With this battery-operated kit, you can skip all that-it’s electric, and it has five different tips to help you polish and file away imperfections more effectively and efficiently. It’s also a little small to carry around in your bag.

Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File

If you haven’t heard, the word on the street is that the best files are made of cut glass. They have a much finer grit than traditional emery boards, which means your nails are less likely to flake, break or peel. If your nails are particularly fragile (especially after a few rounds of bug spray), it’s definitely worth the investment – this file is award-winning and gives some of the best results.

Renunail Nail Strengthener

Several things can cause nails to break, from poor quality files to diet and washing up. If you suffer from this, a nail strengthener will help to prep yours for a manicure. Try out Renunail for a month (apply every day but reset each week by taking it off and starting again) and look forward to longer and stronger nails. It may sound like a lot of effort but it’ll give you a lot more to work with and make your manicure last longer when you finally get round to it.

Dr Hauschka Cuticle Oil

It’s amazing how much discomfort something as small as a hangnail can cause. Protect your cuticles with a specialised oil such as this Dr Hauschka one. Enriched with neem leaf, it will help to fight off fungal infections as well as soothe and protect your nail beds.

Sally Hansen Ultimate Shield Base & Top Coat

Just like using a primer or setter when applying makeup, a base coat and top coat optimize the look and feel of your manicure. While many claim their nail polish is long-lasting and super rigid, almost none live up to the hype. After tracking down several products, we stand behind Sally Hansen’s Ultimate Protective Coat, which kept our regular nail polish in excellent condition for almost a week.

Essie Madmoiselle French Mani Duo

Although this French mani colour is quite pale, it’s translucent enough to suit all skin tones. The colour is subtle but delivers a high shine and is perfect if you just want to go au naturel. Apply one coat for an understated look or two if you want it a little bolder.

O.P.I Nail Treatment Lacquer Remover

All good things must end, and eventually, you will have to take your polish off. Choosing the right makeup remover is critical – you want one that doesn’t spread the color onto your skin and doesn’t leave a residue. This one ticks all the boxes and even removes hard glitter polish.


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