I never realized how much I depended on the nail salon. My mani-pedi is a part huge part of my bi-weekly beauty routine, and my sanity. And in times of crisis, financial woes, pandemics, or whatever random thing happens, I always miss my manicurist so much. Trips to the nail salon are one of the things that help me maintain some balance and normalcy, and also make me feel pretty. But what’s funny is that I’m such an independent woman (cues Destiny’s Child), yet I can’t paint my nails myself. So I decided to challenge myself and do my own at-home manicure. Firstly I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, secondly I wanted to own my own happiness. So I scooped up the best products to do my own manicure at home, and got to work. Challenge accepted.
It could be a good quality, or a flaw, but I don’t like to depend on anyone for anything. I like to take the reins on what I want or need, unless it’s absolutely necessary to get help. Of course life humbled me a few times, so I’ve learned and accepted that I will occasionally need assistance. But I’m still stubborn and that’s not always ideal. One time I forgot that I wasn’t able to keep my regular appointment because my nail tech went on vacation. The disappointment was real because I was having a bad week so I was looking forward to the nail salon. I really needed the pick-me-up, and I was frustrated that I depended on my manicurist for that. But I decided to handle it myself, like a boss. So I grabbed the best, salon-quality, products to do my own manicure at home.
TWEEZERMAN MINI NAIL RESCUE KIT
The TWEEZERMAN Mini Nail Rescue Kit has all the essential tools you need for a manicure, in a compact travel size. Which means you can do your manicure at home, and have the tools readily accessible wherever for a touchup. Tweezerman is known for its top quality stainless steel products, and this set is small yet mighty. It has sturdy nail clippers to trim, and a metal nail file to smooth and shape your nails. And there is a cuticle trimmer shaped like tweezers to help clean up cuticles and hangnails in a familiar form. Lastly this portable set has a 2-in-1 nail cleaner and cuticle pusher tool so you can prep your nails like a pro. It’s got you covered at home, and on the go.
DEBORAH LIPPMAN MARSHMALLOW WHIPPED HAND & CUTICLE SCRUB
The DEBORAH LIPPMANN Marshmallow Whipped Hand & Cuticle Scrub exfoliates your hands while simultaneously moisturizing them. It goes deep into your pores to rejuvenate your hands, leaving them radiant and softer. Unique exfoliants like Perlite, a mineral extracted from volcanic rocks, and AHA & BHA acids, made from fruit and plants, lift dead skin cells. And marshmallow root extract is used to calm and soothe the skin on your hands, like irritated cuticles. Then the coconut oil hydrates your hands, and Glycerin works to lock in the moisture. The scrub also has a sweet marshmallow scent. Just rub it into your hands and rinse with water to get hands that look and feel bright and revitalized.
DR JART+ DERMASK HAND HYDRATING MASK
The Dr Jart+ Dermask Hand Hydrating Mask takes 20 minutes to deeply moisturize your hands, leaving them super soft. It’s a foil mask for your hands that comforts rough and dry skin. It combines the moisturizing benefits of Glycerin for your hands, with a phyto-keratin treatment for your nails and cuticles. There’s a warming sensation that feels soothing and relaxing, while it allows the ingredients to penetrate deep into your skin. The result is restored cuticles and soft, hydrated hands. Comfort you didn’t know your hands were missing.
OPI NAIL ENVY NAIL STRENGTHENER
The OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener repairs damaged or brittle nails, getting them back to their natural glory. With weekly use, as a base coat or stand-alone polish, you realize nails that are healthier and stronger. It uses calcium and wheat protein to restore your nails and keep them strong over time. Thou shall not covet your nails, but they will.
ESSIE EXPRESSIE QUICK DRY NAIL POLISH
The ESSIE Expressie Quick Dry Nail Polish is great for an at-home manicure because it’s easy to apply and dries in minutes. It’s vegan and 8-free, which means it doesn’t use ingredients derived from animals or chemicals previously proven to be harmful in nail polishes. It has an angled brush to help ease application no matter which hand you are using. And it comes in 40 super-shine colors. This nail polish is a modern update from a classic brand.
OLIVE & JUNE POPPY UNIVERSAL NAIL POLISH BOTTLE HANDLE
The OLIVE & JUNE Poppy Universal Nail Polish Bottle Handle is a game-changer for those who struggle painting their own nails. It takes the anxiety of an at-home manicure away by providing a comfortable solution for easy application. This nail polish bottle handle fits onto any brand of nail polish or any type of bottle. You pop off the overcap of your nail polish, and place the Poppy onto the inner cap with the brush. Then you’ll have wide and soft grip handle that gives you more control to make steady and smooth paint strokes. This handle will definitely make you feel like a pro.
NAILS INC RETINOL 45 SECOND TOP COAT
The NAILS INC Retinol 45 Second Top Coat perfectly finishes off your manicure with mega glossy shine. It boasts of drying super quickly, in 45 seconds, and works to harden polish for long-lasting wear. It uses retinol, also known as vitamin-A, to provide a strong chip-resistant layer to your polish. It’s rapidly impressive.
KISS IMPRESS PRESS-ON MANICURE HARLEM SHAKE
The KISS Impress Press-on Manicure Harlem Shake breaks the stigma of press-on nails. They are a bomb solution if you don’t want to paint your own nails, or if you want a more glam look at home. The Harlem Shake design is a cute shorter length, square shape, in a neutral pink shade, and holographic accents. Each set of Kiss Impress Press-On Nails includes 30 nails so you can find your perfect size. And they also come with a prep pad wipe to make sure your nails are clean and ready for application. The press-on nails come equipped with a strong adhesive that is safe on your nails, so no glue is needed. All of this ensures a tight and secure fit that looks like your natural nails. You’ll definitely want to flex when you’re wearing them.
KOSETTE NAIL OIL ESSENCE
The KOSETTE Nail Oil Essence is 99% natural, and uses plant-based oils to give your cuticles added nutrition and moisture. Jojoba oil, almond oil, and apricot kernel oil really work to hydrate and repair your hands. Using the brush to apply it, the oil nourishes and heals damaged cuticles, and it moisturizes dry ones. It’s a luxurious ending to your manicure that keeps your nails and cuticles healthy.
HUM NUTRITION KILLER NAILS
The HUM NUTRITION Killer Nails is a vegan, plant-based biotin supplement. The capsules aid in the overall health of your nails and cuticles by working to strengthen them. Taking one capsule a day with food thickens your nails and reduces breakage. The supplement also helps to grow your nails longer, faster. Healthy nails are the foundation of any good manicure. And pretty, killer nails are even better.
I was happier after doing my own manicure at home than I would’ve been at the nail salon that day. It was such an accomplishing feeling to successfully do something I didn’t think I could do. And it felt even better being responsible for my own moment of happiness. Now this won’t stop me from keeping my regularly scheduled appointments at the nail salon. But on some days I know I have the products, and capabilities, to do my own manicure at home. Sometimes it’s definitely the little things that give us the reminders and boosts of happiness that we need.