At-Home Manicure Must-Haves
For Clean Nails
Use a cotton pad to take off remnants of old polish with Naturally Clean by Essie Purifying Nail Polish Remover. It contains eucalyptus oil and glycerin to condition.
To buy: $16, dermstore.com.
For Smooth Skin
Massage a dollop of the sunflower-oil-based OPI Manicure Skin Renewal Scrub onto dry skin. The formula’s sugar crystals smooth away dry patches, while the oil gives potent moisture. Rinse hands with warm water to remove.
To buy: $10, amazon.com.
For Moisturized Skin
After drying hands, apply a generous coat of Boots Original Beauty Formula Hand Cream. The lightweight lotion sinks immediately into skin and nails (not a drop of stickiness) and is softly scented with lavender.
To buy: $8, drugstore.com for info.
For Soft Cuticles
Keep cuticles neat with It Cosmetics Nail Love Nail & Cuticle Oil Pen. Brush on the softening salve, which contains sweet almond and jojoba seed oils. Then replace the cap and gently coax cuticles back with the attached rubber tip―no need to cut them.
To buy: $12.50, itcosmetics.com.
For Shaped Nails
The fine-grit surface of Tweezerman’s Zip File smoothes rough edges and snags but won’t shred or tear nails. Plus, the plastic case keeps it clean (and prevents the file from scratching other items in your manicure kit or handbag).
To buy: $5.00, tweezerman.com.
For Strong Nails
The does-everything Sally Hansen Complete Care 4-in-1 Treatment eliminates the need for multiple products. Apply alone as a nail strengthener and growth treatment, or use as a base and top coat when you’re wearing color. Soy protein, silk amino acids, and panthenol keep nails healthy.
To buy: $14, cvs.com.
For Beautiful Color
Jessica Custom Nail Colour in Sexy Siren, a purple-tinged berry, looks modern on short nails. Health bonus: It’s free of formaldehyde, toluene, and BDP, all harsh chemicals that can also cause irritation.
To buy: $8.50, jessicacosmetics.com.