10 At-Home Manicure Products That Give Me Professional-Level Results
My at-home manicure routine is typically as follows: I slap on whatever polish color is closest to where I'm sitting, accidentally smudge like seven of my nails because I'm not patient enough to let them fully dry, and then watch them chip away for the next three months while I decide whether or not to remove what little color is left. Can you tell I hate doing my own nails? Because I do — but thankfully, during my time as a beauty editor I've discovered a few at-home manicure products that make DIY-ing faster, and even a little fun (something I never thought I'd say).
Mainly, those include finds that take a typical nail product and make it better. Butter LONDON's Nail Scrubbers fall into that category — the polish-removing wipes actually make the process of cleaning my nails semi-enjoyable, which, in my book, is nothing short of a miracle. I also love Olive & June's The Poppy, a bottle handle that makes application truly easy (and, in my opinion, much faster).
There are also the products that just simplify everything — they cut down on steps, require less touch ups, or help manicures last longer. In that realm, Chillhouse's Chill Tips are a favorite — they basically require zero effort and give professional-looking results — as is Sundays' nail polish, which is some of the longest-lasting I've used.
Ahead, these and more of the nail care products that make me dread my DIY manicures a little less.
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Easy DIY Manicure: Prep Your Nails (& Hands)
TBH, I often avoid giving myself manicure because I just don't want to deal with removing my old polish. Scrubbing my nails with 15 remover-soaked cotton balls to basically no avail? No thanks. But these scrubbers solve that problem. They work so well that I actually look forward to using them (yes, I'm serious), and they're *fast* — just a quick swipe on each finger and I'm done with that step in under a minute.
I love this chic manicure kit, not only because it comes with all the necessary tools, but it makes my nails look so good, I could skip painting them altogether after using it. I especially love the polisher's glass that comes in it — it felt a little odd at first, but it always leaves my nails looking shiny and feeling smooth.
My hands are dry with a capital D (thanks, COVID), but I hate putting on hand lotion only for them to be too slippery to even open my nail polish. This formula, which can be used on your body and your face, leaves my hands ultra moisturized but never greasy. Plus, it feels super luxe, which makes my manicure feel more like an experience and less like a chore.
Easy DIY Manicure: Assemble The Right Tools
Olive & June has reached cult-favorite status for a reason — and a lot of that is owed to its genius Poppy, which is a universal polish bottle handle that makes gripping the brush easier. Personally, I can't do my nails without it — it cuts down on my manicure time and makes it look so much cleaner.
I can't paint my nails without large pools of polish ending up around my cuticles, which makes this clean-up brush a godsend — and a much better alternative than my just-painted nails or a hard-to-use cotton pad.
Easy DIY Manicure: Choose Formulas That Simplify
This butter LONDON polish is one of my favorite launches of 2020. It combines the jelly nail trend with a strengthening treatment, so your nails will look good while they're getting healthier. When my nails are in need of a break, I use this to skip regular polish altogether and just paint on a few coats to make it look like I still put in some effort.
Sundays' nail polish formulas are some of the longest-lasting I've ever tried — a must when you're aiming for simplified manicures since it cuts down on how often you need to touch them up. I always use the brand's top coat, color, and base coat together for a mani that lasts days longer than other formulas.
I've found that a classic nail-polish color that's relatively close to your skin tone is best if you're aiming to simplify your at-home manis — it not only shows fewer mistakes, but it's also not as obvious when it chips, so you can cut down on time spent touching up.
Possibly the best way to make your DIY manicures easier is to reduce nail-drying time. These quick-dry drops do just that, by making it shorter without dulling the shine.