my nail essentials - The Dainty Squid

my nail essentials

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

After starting my weekly nail feature I started getting questions about how I keep my cuticles so nice. While my cuticles aren't perfect, I do take pride in them because they're amazing compared to what they used to be. I decided instead of just talking about my cuticles in this post I would share all of my favorite nail tools, both for care and designs.
So, without further a do, these are some of my favorite tools...
A six sided nail file (or emery board). I found this nail file at WalMart around a year ago (I've gone through two or three since...) and I have not looked back! It's numbered 1-6 on each different colored section and you just go through the steps on each nail. After you're done you'll have beautiful, shiny nails! I would never use a regular nail file again. A word of caution though - overuse will most likely result in peeling and breaking.

Dotting tool. Used to make polka dots, this baby is a must in my little basket of nail supplies. It has two sides, each a different size so you can make different size polka dots. It's so much easier than a tooth pick for me because it's larger and easier to hold on to.

Cuticle pusher. Exactly what it sounds like, i love to push my cuticles back. It makes your nails appear longer and look nicer. Tip: it's best to use a cuticle pusher after showering or applying oil of some sort so your cuticles are soft.
Seche Vite. I wasn't sure if I wanted to include Seche Vite in this post or one talking about my favorite polishes but this top coat is AMAZING. Let me say it again - AMAZING. It's a great consistency, makes your polish last for days and days and it gives such a nice shine! Other top coats pale in comparison.
Nail polish thinner. This is actually something I didn't even know existed until late last year. It's a miracle worker. You just take an eye dropper (obviously one you plan to designate to this purpose!) and put just a few drops into any nail polish that is getting thick, shake and then TA-DAAA, it's like new...sometimes even better! I've used it multiple times on a few of my polishes and haven't noticed any more chips or anything than normal. With this stuff you can rescue all your favorites that you were considering throwing away because they got thick.

Scotch tape, nail stickers and hole reinforcement stickers are all a must! Even though my discovery of nail stickers has made scotch tape a little less of a necessity it's still nice to have on hand for simple designs like this.
Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme, Cuticle oil and Lotion. I think the biggest thing to having nice looking cuticles is keeping them moisturized. I use cuticle oil and the Burt's Bees cuticle creme interchangeably. Sometimes I rub them on before polishing my nails (just make sure to wipe off your nail with a clean rag before painting so it's not greasy) so my cuticles are refreshed after using nail polish remover. Other times I apply some after my nail polish is dry. Make sure to massage your cuticles so it really gets in there! For lotion I love EOS, it comes in a size nice to just throw in your purse and it doesn't leave my hands greasy.

What are your nail essentials? 
xoxo


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34 thoughts

  1. My nail supplies are a little bit fewer, but very close.
    Here in Brazil people use to cut off the cuticles, and I don't think it is a healthy habit, I just push them. :)

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  2. I have such disastrous cuticles. Thanks for the tips!

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  3. I absoultely love your Weekly Nail feature - so inspiring to someone who normally just slaps on some clear topcoat! This is all really interesting and useful, thanks!

    (I'd heard nail varnish remover could be used as a thinner - do you know anything about that?) :)

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  4. I've been wondering this for a while, so I'm so glad you posted this! I also have another quick question, do you ever have problems with your nails yellowing from wearing polish all the time? I get this problem every once in a while (especially with a cheaper read polish).

    (I've used a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to whiten them right up, but I'm curious as to what you do to combat this problem! or if it even happens to you!)

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    Replies
    1. No, I haven't. But I'll certainly keep your mixture in mind if it does happen! :)

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  5. Thank you, Kaylah! These are great tips. Can't wait to pick up some new supplies and see how my nails improve :)

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  6. Hooray! I've wondered about what other things you use to prepare your nails. I am in desperate need of a new cuticle pusher, mine is asking to be thrown in the trash. I also need something new to soften my cuticles, I'm going to pick up some of that Burt's today! Nail Polish thinner! Yes, please!

    I bought a 7 sided nail file recently, I've never seen one with that many sides and I love it, and I wasn't going to tell you but I actually bought you one too! I'm waiting to collect some other goodies before I send you a fun package :)

    xomando

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    1. Ohhhh, 7 sided?! I'm pretty darn excited!! :D

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  7. Having a dotting tool is so handy!

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  8. Brilliant tips!! Thank you so much!!

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  9. I'm just starting to get into doing nail art so I love this post! Where do your nail stickers come from?

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  10. Where did you get your stickers and tools from?

    I had a bottle of Seche Vite and loved it for the first few weeks I used it but then it got so thick and never dried. I tried thinning it but I couldn't save it. I used it a lot too, so it wasn't like it was sitting around...maybe I should try again as everyone else loves it.

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  11. Yes, I found one of those six sided nail things at the dollar store and I am obsessed! I can't believe how much of a different it makes in the smoothness of my nails! I even talked my boyfriend into letting me buff and shine his nails and he loved it, haha.

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  12. Oh thank you so much for the tips. I'm really impressed with all the fun stuff you do with your nails that i've been inspired to keep mine looking better.

    Keep Sharing!

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  13. All of these things remind me of my grandma; she used to do my nails all the time when I was young, and she had that same Burts Bees cuticle oil and the same top coat. :-) Thanks so much for sharing!!

    Annie xx

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  14. Does the nail thinner work with Seche Vite? Mine has gotten really thick.

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    1. I actually just tried this for the first the other day - NO. It doesn't! I have no idea why not either. It just wouldn't mix. I've never had that problem with any other polish before.

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  15. Wow these are all amazing things! I had no idea about the thinner though, I need to go buy some ASAP! This post was awesome!

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  16. The Burt's Bees cuticle cream is the best!

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  17. If your Seche gets too thick, you can buy some stuff called Seche Restore. It can be used to thin Seche Vite and nail polish. It even comes with it's own dropper.

    Also wanted to say that if your nails tend to get weak and peely, then OPI Nail Envy is amazing. It's usually sold for around $20 in stores but I buy it on Amazon for about $6 plus shipping. It really makes your nails stronger and prettier.

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    1. Oh, awesome! I had seen the Seche Restore on amazon but wasn't sure what it was for.

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  18. I enjoyd this one! I always adore your nails so this was nice to know what tools you've :--D

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  19. What a great idea! I didnt even know nail polish thinner exsisted! I have however been trying to find a little dot maker instead of a toothpick. I need to try our local beauty store im sure.

    -thanks
    Meg
    guppyandwhaleshark.blogspot.com

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  20. Thanks for sharing your favorites, I just ordered that top coat and hand lotion online. I have been looking for a new hand lotion.

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  21. Thank you so much for sharing this! I didn't know about polish thinner either, I tried using a bit of remover in the past but it didn't seem to help much. Now I can rescue some of my faves, yay! :) I don't go without quick-dry topcoat, I'm way too impatient. I use either Essie or Orly.

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  22. Oh I've been looking for a cuticle cream! Glad you posted this!

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  23. I just got the Seche Vite because I've been needing a great top coat to prevent chippng... thank you for the suggestion! Can't wait to try it out myself! :-)

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  24. Thank you so much for this! I just went to the beauty supply store for some, well, supplies and the only thing resembling a dotter had a brush on the other end, not what I wanted but I got it anyway (at almost $6). I then went to Joann and while getting some paint noticed a double-ended stylus for $2, exactly what I was looking for! I also got the 6-sided nail file at Dollar Tree. I'm so excited to do my own nail creations, thank you again for the inspiration!

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  25. I love all your tips! How much is that nail polish thinner? I desperately need some but I don't know where to find them and what to look for. Do you have any recommendations? Much appreciated!

    Sincerely,
    Lover Of All Things Nails

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    1. There is a link to the one I use right in the post.
      :)

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    2. Oh I didn't see that. Thank you!

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  26. Hey Kaylah! Do you use remover at all? If so, what brand do you recommend? Thanks :)

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    1. I really don't have a preference, I normally just buy whatever is cheapest. :)

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  27. Love this post, I used to get manicures but I am starting to do my own nails and am always looking for tips. I love the polka dot tool. I will definitely get one! Thanks for sharing!

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