Manicure Basics Week 2: The Tools

Every good manicure requires a set of tools to accomplish perfect (or near perfect) looking nails.  This week I'm going to show you the tools I like to use when doing my nails.

Nail File

Starting with the nail file on the left.  I use a Nail Tek glass nail file.  I made the switch a few months ago from the typical emery board.  Emery boards tear up the end of my nails, leaving frayed bits underneath my free edge.  After switching to a glass file, I don't have this problem anymore.  It takes down length much quicker and is also easier to shape with. I will definitely never go back to a plain emery board ever again. 

Cuticle Nippers

To the right of the file is a cuticle nipper.  These happen to be Sally Hansen cuticle nippers.  I didn't own these until recently because I had always heard horror stories of girls cutting their skin instead of their cuticle and causing infections.  I decided to do some research about how to properly use cuticle nippers and now feel comfortable using these.  I don't really use them to get rid of my extra cuticle around my nails.  I mostly just use these to snip off any hang nails that occur.  These are very sharp and do the trick!

Dotting Tool

Under the nippers is a dotting tool.  This dotting tool is made by Essence and I picked it up at Ulta for under $2.  Any dotting tool will work.  I would like to get more that have a larger size.  This one is double ended with a different sized dot on each end.  I use it for doing dotticures but I also use it when I do other types of nail art as well.  I have a small paint brush for nail art but I don't reach for it very often because dotting tools are just easier to clean and manage. 

Clean up Brush

Next to the dotting tool is an ELF concealer brush.  This is my clean-up brush.  I dip it into acetone and run it along the edges of my nail to clean up any nail polish that may have got on my skin.  I also use it to clean up the line around my cuticle.  I like this brush because it is only $1 and can be found at Walmart and Target.  I bought this one in November and it is still going strong!  

Buffing Block

Last but not least is my 4 sided buffing block.  I think these are kind of controversial.  I've heard some people say its a bad idea to buff your nails.  Maybe for those ladies with very thin, frail nails but for me, buffing my nails keeps the surface smooth and helps elongate polish wear.  I lightly buff with sides 1-3.  If you buff with side 4 it will make your nails really shiny and the polish won't adhere to the nail as well.   This is especially helpful for peelies (when the top layer of the nail starts to peel in strips.) I like to lightly buff out any peelies that occur.  

These are my favorite most used tools.  What tools do you use for your manicures?  As always, thanks for stopping by! 

1 comment

  1. I have the same trouble with frayed nail on the free edge sometimes. I think I will try finding a glass file thanks to your tip on that!! I also use basically the same for the rest. Nippers only for hangnails. I also have a pair of straight edge nail clippers. Nice post! Jaime (the polished butterfly)