Home Nail Care Must-Haves


For me, professional manicures are an indulgence, not the norm. While there are those who wouldn’t miss their bi-weekly meeting with their manicurist, some of us just don’t have the time or the room in our budget for expert TLC on our talons. Regardless of where you fit on the spectrum, there are a few products that you should stock in your nail kit to keep your nails healthy and neat.

Buffer Block


A buffer block is one of the most useful tools that you can own when it comes to nail care. They usually come with two or three finishes divided among the four sides and ranging from a little bit rough to very smooth. These are key to a well-maintained nail. The rougher sides are for buffing away any ridges on your nails, while the smoothest side will leave your nails shiny enough to skip polish if you’re not inclined to apply any.

Glass Nail File


While the length and shape of your nails comes down to personal preference (I personally like short and rounded), a glass nail file is the tool I’d most recommend to get there. It’s gentler than an emery board and leaves your nails with a smoother edge that’s less likely to catch and break (or snag your tights, creating those dreaded runs). As a plus, most are made to be dishwasher safe, and they don’t have to be replaced as often as a metal nail file or emery boards.

Nail Strengthener


If there’s one item on this list that’s an absolute must-have, it’s nail strengthener. Weak nails peel, shred, and break. Applying a coat of nail strengthener, or swapping it out for your usual base coat during polish application, goes a long way toward keeping your nails in good condition. You might have to try a few to find one that works for you (Essie’s “Grow Faster” is my personal favorite), but it’s definitely worth the effort to find one that does.

What nail products can’t you live without? Share your #SLNails must-haves with me in the comments section or on !


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1 Comment

  • Reply August 27, 2013

    Frances Stuart

    I am one of the lucky ones that gets her nails done every week, but this info is good to know. Thanks Ally.