While your nails reflect your general state of health, the way you take care of your fingernails and toenails is a tell-tale sign of your personal hygiene levels. Nobody likes filthy hands or feet, so it is important to give your nails proper care and attention just like you would to your face or teeth.
Did you know that your hands can accurately reveal your age? If you want to keep your hands and feet looking young, clean, and healthy, you need to indulge in a regular mani-pedi ritual to maintain nail hygiene and prevent infection.
In this article, we cover everything from must-have nail tools to the importance of manicures and pedicures. Read on to find out more.
Why Are Manicures And Pedicures Important?
Your hands and feet are exposed to dirt and harsh weather conditions on a daily basis, perhaps more than other parts of your body (except your face), which makes them more vulnerable to damage. This means they accumulate a ton of grime and dirt, and just washing is never enough. Here’s where manicures and pedicures come in.
- Manicures and pedicures help exfoliate your skin and remove any calluses on your feet.
- They help keep your nails clean and tidy, which prevents fungal infections.
- Grooming your nails prevents them from breaking or painful chipping. It also prevents dry cuticles, hang nails, and broken skin.
- The massage done during manicures and pedicures helps boost blood circulation, which prevents the development of wrinkles on your hands through the years besides eliminating any kind of swelling, numbness, or pain.
- They are great stress-busters.
Aren’t those some solid benefits? Well, the good news is you don’t always need to rush to the salon to reap the benefits of a mani-pedi (unless you want to). If you want to save some bucks or time and find a way to get the job done at home, we are going to make your life a little easier with our detailed piece about the tools you need, how to use them, and all the jazz in-between.
Let’s begin with the supplies and how-to’s.
The 12 Most Essential Mani-Pedi Tools For You
To give your hands and feet salon-like treatment right at home, you need these basic supplies that you can easily find online or at your local drugstore.
- Nail Cutter
- Cuticle Pusher
- Cuticle Nipper
- Nail Buffer
- Nail File
- Pumice Stone/ Foot File
- Nail Brush
- Toe Separator
- Orangewood Stick
- Mild Scrub
- Callus Remover
Other Basic Requirements:
- A basin or a bucket for your feet
- A finger bowl
- Warm soapy water
- Cuticle oil/ Olive oil
- Hand Cream
- Foot Cream
- Nail Polish (optional)
Let’s talk about the tools first – you can buy these individually or just buy a manicure/pedicure kit that includes all the supplies and is easily available.
We bring to you the tools, tips, and techniques.
1. Nail Cutter
A nail cutter or a nail clipper is the most basic tool that you require for a manicure or a pedicure. Your nails are a breeding ground for bacteria and are one of the dirtiest parts of your body. Trimming them from time to time is important if you want to maintain your overall health. It’s best to keep them short at all times as this helps to prevent the spread of diseases.
How To Use Nail Cutter At Home?
You can either use a nail cutter/clipper or nail scissors to trim your nails. Make sure your tool is clean before you begin. Place your nail between your nail cutter, making sure you aren’t touching the skin. Do not cut too much as this can expose the sensitive part of your nail-bed and lead to infections.
Pro Tip: Nails are softer after a shower so that’s a good time to trim them.
Cuticles require special care so they don’t become dry or flaky. A cuticle pusher is used to push the skin from your nails back and away. If you have tough, hard skin then it’s best to use a steel cuticle pusher. If you have soft cuticles, use a wooden one.
How To Use Cuticle Pusher?
You should never cut your cuticles, only push them back and be gentle! If you happen to slice the thin lining on the bottom of your nail bed, it will lead to infection. Use the spoon end to push it back, it’s that simple. Use the sharper end to push against the cuticles around the corners. Be as gentle as you can.
Pro Tip: A good time to deal with this area is right after a shower because that’s when your skin is soft, and it gets really easy to push back any excess cuticle growth. It also helps to prevent any damage or hurt yourself in the process.
A cuticle nipper is a tool that is used to deal with hang nails, tough cuticles and the dry skin around your nails. It offers great precision to reach those tight spaces and to trim those annoying ingrown nails. It also enables the delicate removal of unwanted soft tissue around your nails.
How To Use Cuticle Nipper?
Once the cuticle is pushed back, it’s time to use the cuticle nipper. If you have tiny pieces of skin or cuticle around your nail bed, use this tool to gently trim the unsightly skin. Use an upward motion to lift this dead skin up and away from the nail.
Pro Tip: After the cuticle has been pushed and trimmed, use a hand-cream or lotion to moisturize.
Always make sure to sanitize your cuticle clipper before and after use. Store it in a dry place to prevent rust.
4. Nail Buffer
Have you ever wondered how to achieve naturally glossy nails? If you want to get rid of the dullness on your nails, use a nail buffer to provide your nails with shine. It also helps to remove any dry ridges or peeling on your nails by smoothening them out. The main purpose of this tool is to polish your nails and give them a consistent look.
How To Use Nail Buffer?
Before you start, make sure your nails have been soaked and cleaned. Ensure your nails are dry and always buff in one direction. You can go either forward or backward – it’s best to stick with one. Don’t be over-enthusiastic and buff too vigorously as this may cause thinning of nails. Also, excessive buffing is harmful – just once a month will help you preserve the shine of your nails.
Pro Tip: Use the finer side of the tool for shining and smoothening.
Once you finish, apply beeswax or some cuticle oil on the nails!
5. Nail File
This tool is used to gently grind down the edges of your nails, making them smoother and helping you in shaping them. There are various types of nail files in the market – emery boards and plain metal files being the most commonly used tools. It’s advisable to use emery boards as they are more gentle. Metal files tend to be very harsh on your nails.
How To Use Nail File?
Before you begin, ensure your nails are dry because wet nails split more easily. Hold the file at a 45-degree angle, parallel to the sides of your nails. Start at one corner and move to the center of your nail. Apply less pressure and file the nails in only one direction for a smooth finish.
Pro Tip: In order to prevent your nails from chipping or breakage, shape them into an oval or square shape. Once you achieve your desired result, wash and moisturize your nails well.
A pumice stone is used to remove the outermost layer of dead skin cells and calluses usually found on the bottom of your feet. Doing this also helps in getting rid of cracked skin on feet.
How To Use
Before you start exfoliating with a pumice stone, you need to soak your hands or feet in warm, soapy water for at least ten minutes. Once your dry skin softens, wet the stone and gently rub it over the area you’re working on.
Pro Tip: This multi-purpose tool can also be used on your knees and elbows to help exfoliate.
Use the stone daily for your feet, especially if your footwear involves sandals or anything that exposes your feet. Also, be very careful and do not put too much pressure while exfoliating.
7. Nail Brush
Nail brushes are used for thorough cleaning of nails. They can also be used to remove stubborn stains or dirt from the nails. If you simply want your nails to look as neat as possible, you can use this daily.
How To Use Nail Brush?
Start by holding the nail brush under warm water and squirting a small amount of anti-bacterial soap onto the brush. Move the brush from side to side over your nails, creating lather while doing so. Once you finish, wash up and dab some moisturizer on. Say hello to squeaky clean nails!
Pro Tip: Stick to warm water for this step as it will help soften the nails while giving you a more thorough clean.
This is used to place between your toes before you put on nail polish, so it doesn’t smudge. Additionally, this wonderful tool helps realign joints, improve circulation and straighten any bent toes which help with foot pain. Multi-purpose, much?
How To Use Toe Separator?
Just place this between your toes for a while and do your thing – apply nail polish, perhaps? Simple!
An orangewood stick is used to push the cuticle, clean nail dirt, and correct nail enamel colors. These sticks are made of orangewood and have a flat angled end while the other is pointy. You can also dip it into a nail remover and clean the smudges of nail paint on your surrounding skin. They help in quick fixes and are handy for effective manicure and pedicure sessions at home.
How To Use Orangewood Stick?
Soak your nails in water for 5 minutes. Then, take the pointed end and push the cuticle back gently. If needed, use the stick’s flat edge or tapered edge to correct the nail enamel color. Next, clean the dirt with the help of the tip end of the stick.
Pro Tip: Scrub and moisturize your nails before pushing the cuticle.
10. Mild Scrub
Exfoliation is the key to soft, smooth skin and using a mild scrub for your hands and feet is not only relaxing, but it also helps to remove the outermost layer of dead skin cells. This also helps in promoting circulation so scrub away but be gentle, especially with your hands.
11. Pediklear – A Quick Fix For Your Feet
If you’re looking to achieve gorgeous feet with the help of just one tool, we highly recommend Pediklear – with its specially formulated Mineral Surface Roller that makes only external contact and removes cracks, calluses and hard skin in front of your own eyes. No side effects, guaranteed. It is waterproof and also works well on wet skin.
12. Callus Remover
A callus remover or foot scraper efficiently gets rid of dead, dry, and rough skin from your heels to reveal softer, smoother skin.
How To Use
Start by soaking your feet in a basin of warm water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Then, lay a towel next to the basin and put your feet on it to dry them. Your feet need to be dry enough to use the callus remover effectively but moist enough to stay soft. Check for the areas that are callused and scrape the skin using a downward motion until all areas of your foot are smooth.
Pro Tip: Add oils, salts, and vitamins to the water to give your skin the nourishment it needs.
*Subject to Availability
Now, let’s quickly glance through certain other basic requirements besides the above tools we mentioned. Here we go:
1. A Basin or A Bucket For Your Feet
You can use a small tub or bucket for you to soak your feet into.
2. A Finger Bowl
A plastic bowl or a glass bowl would suffice.
3. Warm Soapy Water
This is an essential element through the whole process.
4. Cuticle Oil/ Olive Oil
You can also use sweet almond oil if you do not find cuticle or olive oil.
5. Hand Cream
A nice moisturizing hand cream to pamper those babies. The Body Shop has some great stuff you can try.
6. Foot Cream
How about some peppermint foot cream? It’s a great option to massage your feet with.
7. Nail Polish (Optional)
For all the ladies, this is optional, you can also use a base coat that strengthens and promotes nail growth to keep them healthy!
Now that you know all about the 12 essential manicure and pedicure tools, let us talk about some important points to keep in mind before purchasing these nail care tools!
Things To Consider Before Buying The Manicure And Pedicure Tools
Whenever you plan to buy a pedicure and manicure kit, make sure that it is durable and long-lasting as you should not spend money on anything that will break after a few uses. A set made of stainless steel offers excellent durability and does not rust.
Safety is the most important factor to consider when it comes to nail care devices. Ensure that the set you are buying is made of stainless steel as it does not rust over time. It also eliminates the risk of getting tetanus because of rust formation on the tools.
Portability is yet another factor to consider when it comes to nail care kits. A lightweight and compact tool kit that can easily fit into your handbag or travel bag is ideal. Additionally, make sure it comes in a travel case.
Most basic nail care sets are quite inexpensive and can be carried easily while traveling as they come with only basic nail care tools. So if you do not want too much on fancy and complicated nail care items, it’s recommended to opt for basic sets as they get the job done well.
Important Tips To Maintain Manicure And Pedicure Tools
You may wonder what’s the need to clean these tools when it’s only you who’s using them? True, but it is always advisable to clean these tools. The dirt and dead skin on these tools obviously have some adverse effects. They may result in the growth of bacteria and germs thus causing infection. Therefore, cleaning them is very essential before and after each use.
Keep your tools soaked in warm soapy (anti-bacterial) water. This will kill all the germs and help keep your equipment bacteria-free.
It’s advisable to not share your tools with others just like you wouldn’t share your tooth brush.
So, now that we’ve covered all the essential manicure and pedicure tools, we hope that you will give it a shot on one of those lazy Sundays, perhaps? You don’t have to spend thousands of rupees to visit the salon for a manicure/pedicure when you can achieve just as amazing results right at home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is a high-quality nail clipper for both manicures and pedicures?
The Vega Large Nail Clipper is a great quality nail clipper that can be used for manicures and pedicures.
What are some must-have tools for creating nail art designs?
Some of the must-have tools to create fun nail art designs are nail polishes (top and base coat), strip tape, rhinestones, sequins, glitter, brushes, dotters, and stamping kits.
Are there any specialized tools for ingrown toenail treatment or prevention?
Yes, use a cuticle nipper such as the Vega Cuticle Nipper to care for cuticles and manage ingrown nails, hangnails, and dry skin around the nails.
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