♥ 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?