The Essentials Needed For An Almost-Professional At-Home Mani

by Stephanie Montes

We love the ritual of getting our nails done every couple of weeks, but sitting in your manicurist’s chair for hours at a time can be completely unrealistic. We totally understand if you’ve had to cancel your appointment on more than one occasion, but don’t make your nails suffer from your busy schedule. Instead, stock up on the essentials you need for a professional mani (or the closest you can get to one from the comfort of your own home, at a time that works for you). Ahead, the products you need to recreate the salon experience and tips to getting (and keeping) your nails in perfect shape.


Mani Must-Haves

Hand Exfoliator

Sloughing off dead skin from your hands and around your nails alone will make all the difference. Your skin will look brighter and feel smoother with a quick scrub session.

Nail Polish Remover

Even if you aren't wearing polish, a remover will ensure an oil-free surface, which is ideal before applying new lacquer. This handy packaging even eliminates the need for cotton balls—one by one, stick each nail into the pot and twist your finger from side to side to remove all traces of color and oil.

Nail Clippers And Files

Use a nail clipper to shorten nails and trim them to a consistent length. Refine the shape with a file, which will also smooth bumps and chipped nails.

Cuticle Cutters

Soaking your hands with warm water not only relaxes you, it cleans your nails and softens cuticles. Use a cuticle pusher to push them back, then trim excess with a pair of clean cutters. When trimming, only clip hangnails and minimal amounts of cuticle to avoid nicks or cuts.

Hand Cream

Now that you've scrubbed, clipped and filed, the final step is to rehydrate your hands with a thick hand cream. Keep your favorite tube close by to keep your hands soft and moisturized.