a few of my favorite nail tools

by Kaylah Stroup

Seven-sided nail file. This file is numbered 1-7 on each different colored section. You simply go through the steps on each of your nails. After you’re done you’ll have beautiful, shiny nails ready to paint! Every few months, when I run out of files, I try to buy something else, and I always coming crawling riiiight back to this one. They don’t last terribly long but they are only file I feel really get the job done quickly and easily.

Cuticle Oil. I think the biggest thing to having nice looking cuticles is keeping them moisturized. I’m currently using Butter London’s cuticle oil (seems like it might be an older product? I picked it up at TJ Maxx!) and Burt’s Bees Cuticle Cream interchangeably.  I apply a generous amount to my nails quite often… basically whenever I think to! I leave one in my office so I can massage my cuticles between emails, and another beside my bed to rub in while I fall asleep.

Nail polish thinner. It’s a miracle worker! You just take an eye dropper (one you plan to designate to this purpose), suck up the thinner, and put 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 different than normal. Doesn’t even seem to effect dry time (other than making it better, of course. Thick nail polish dries SO slowly!) With this stuff you can rescue all your favorites that you were considering throwing away because they got thick.

Seche Vite. My all-time top coat choice! Other top coats pale in comparison!!! It’s a great consistency, and dries oh-so-shiny. According to my Amazon history, it looks like I’ve been using Seche Vite for just over eight years. The only time I ever purchase a different top coat is when it’s a part of a ‘two step’ system, and even then I usually end up using Seche Vite as my ‘step two’ anyway. It’s a must!

Seche Restore. Just like other nail polishes, Seche Vite can become too thick to use over time. I had found that my nail polish thinner of choice kind of ruined a lot of the things I really love so much about the top coat – namely the quick dry time. Then I discovered Seche Restore and all was right! I am totally not one of those people who thinks you need to use this product and that product together just because they’re by the same brand but in this case, Seche Restore really is the best thing you could put in your Seche Vite to maintain consistency.

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 plus the set I own and linked to comes with a variety of sizes.

Scotch tape + nail stickers. My two not-so-secret weapons for awesome designs. Seriously, without these two things I’d probably just be painting each fingernail a different color instead of playing around with unique designs.

PS Check out this recent post for some tips on using nail stickers, as well as lots of inspiration! 

What are your nail essentials? 

Check out loads of nail inspiration under the #kaylahsfancynails hashtag.

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