Whether you are giving yourself a manicure or doing one for someone else it is important to use the right equipment. Some tools may look a bit strange to the untrained eye but once you know how to use them properly they are very useful and will help to give your manicure that professional look. Manicure equipment should include nail clippers, cuticle nippers, a file, a nail cleaner and a buffer. If you are using colored polish then a top coat is also essential.
There are many different brands of nail buffers on the market. Some are designed for just shaping the nails, while others are used for buffing ridges and can even be used to apply a base coat. The best ones are made of high-quality material, have a high grit rating and are able to remove dead skin and leave the nail plate smooth.
Nail clips are a must-have tool for any nail kit and come in two different sizes. The smaller size is for fingernails and has curved cutting blades while the larger size is for toenails and can be either flat or rounded across the top. The nail clippers should have a thumb indentation for easy grip, be comfortable to hold and be easy to sterilize.
A nail cleaner is a handy tool for removing excess product after a manicure or to clean up smudges from the nail bed. It is often sold in a kit along with a nail brush and a nail file. The cleanser should be a good quality product that can be disinfected and will not contain acetone which can damage the nails.
Nail brushes should have natural bristles as they can be more gentle on the nails. They can be bought individually or in a kit and the best ones are made of wood as they can be easily sterilized. Some nail brush kits are also available with a variety of different heads for different tasks. They are usually double-ended and have a spoon shape on one end for pushing back cuticles and an arrowhead head on the other for cleaning under the nails.
Lastly, most good manicure sets will include a glass nail file. This type of file is better than metal files as it does not rust and can be used to shape the nails without damaging the surface. It can also be used to buff the nails before applying a polish and will make the nail polish last longer.
A few other items that are a must-have for any nail kit are a pair of orange sticks (or cuticle pushers) and some emery boards. The emery board is a small piece of cardboard with two sides that have the same grit or a coarse side and a finer side for filing the nails smoothly. The orange stick is a multi-tasking tool that can be used to push back the cuticles, clean under the nails and even fix nail polish mistakes. Équipements de manucure