It’s great that everything’s starting to open up again but there’s one downside to consider: Salons are getting more crowded, making it harder to get an appointment. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to give yourself an at-home manicure and pedicure with salon-grade products. I personally love inviting a friend over and dedicating an entire night to self-care, face masks, Netflix binge, and a glass of wine included—even more so than visiting the salon. Ahead, here’s everything you’ll need to do your nails at home the right way.
Step One: Start With Hand & Foot Care
Always start by taking off any existing polish using an acetone-free polish remover, like this one from TenOverTen. Then get ready to play the long game: The first step to a perfect manicure or pedicure is healthy, hydrated skin—and Kocostar’s Nail Therapy and Foot Therapy masks are the way to get them. These masks are a literal “wrap” for an intense and targeted treatment to repair stressed feet while softening and smoothing. The good news is that you only have to wear them for 1.5 hours to emerge with baby-soft skin. The not-so-good news is that any dead skin will start to naturally peel away—a result of the chemical exfoliation—within 3-5 days of using the mask. This is more common with feet, which harbor dead skin and calluses more so than hands.
Once you’re done exfoliating, use the Crystal Foot File to slough off any remaining dead skin or rough spots.
Step Two: Prep Your Nails
Now that your skin’s ready to go, it’s time to prep your nails. I like to start with the Nail Detox Kit, which is a potent, all-natural duo: One bottle purifies and strengthens nail beds and the other conditions cuticles. (I like to use the latter every day to keep nails looking bright and healthy.) Once you’re done applying both to hands and feet, push your cuticles back using the Crystal Cuticle Stick, then buff your nails gently using the Flash Shiner, which shapes and shines nails without the use of chemical varnish. Start with the gray side to shape nails and work out any ridges, then follow with the green and white sides to shine them.
Step Three: Go To Town
Pick a nail polish, and go for it! We’re partial to Deborah Lippmann polishes because they’re free of formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, and xylene. Naked Brown is a soft, sheer beige; My Old Flame is a true crimson red. If you don’t like color, try Genie in a Bottle. It’s not a color, but a nail enhancer. It’s super easy to apply, and makes your nail plates glow (like a highlighter for your nails)! In between manicures, keep your nails clean with this Nail Brush—I like to keep mine in the shower to give each hand a quick pass after I shampoo.
Just give yourself about fifteen minutes to dry before you get too cozy on the couch.