If you're like me, your fingernails are constantly left unpainted. Try as I might, I usually end up with chipped nails, paint outside of the nail bed, or an imprint of my bed sheets on the nail polish the next morning (the worst) after attempting an at-home manicure. My manicure always looks great after a visit to the nail salon, so why I am such a nail noob? What's funny is my toenail polish lasts for months (I know, when I paint them, we're in it for the long haul), but paint my fingernails one day, and they're chipped the next. Hence the unpolished nails.
Well, dear readers, it's time to put an end to being a novice at doing your nails. With all of the foolproof products out there, you're just one DIY manicure away from never having to immediately remove your nail polish in shame. Keep scrolling to shop our favorite products!
Deborah Lippmann The Stripper To Go ($8)
First things first, if you do have any polish on your nails, it's time for the groan-worthy act of taking it all off. What a pain, right? Not so fast—these suggestively-named little mitts can be placed over each nail for fast removal while lavender and aloe go to work to soothe and hydrate.
Sally Hansen Nail Treatment Instant Cuticle Remover ($5)
Cleaning up the surface of the nail provides a clean base for your manicure. Painting over dry, overgrown cuticles only makes them more apparent, so nip the problem in the bud with cuticle remover. This liquid from Sally Hansen dissolves excess cuticles within 15 seconds, and afterward, you can wash them down the drain with warm, soapy water.
OPI Natural Nail Base Coat ($10)
It may seem like just an extra step, but using a base coat is a necessary component for a long-lasting manicure. It utilizes double adhesion to stick to both the natural nail and the actual nail color so that it stays put longer while also protecting the natural nail from polish stains.
Bliss Kiss Simply Peel Latex Skin Barrier ($15)
You may have heard about using glue to get a perfectly clean manicure, but if you have any reservations about putting it on your skin then this may be the product for you. With hundreds of reviews on Amazon and an overall 4.5/5 star rating, we're intrigued by this easy peal-off skin guard that—brace yourself—sparkles when it's dry.
Tweezerman Manicure/Pedicure Sticks ($5)
If you'd rather not go the paint-and-peel method, paint your nails as usual (we're not here to judge if you can't stay in the lines), and clean up any excess paint by wrapping a manicure stick in a bit of cotton, dipping it in nail polish remover, and carefully wiping the paint off.
Grip & Tip Nail Polish Holder ($7)
You know when you have a bottle of nail polish that's nearing the end and you're trying to dip into it while painting your nails and just making a total mess? This stand will "grip and tip" your bottle for you so you can get every last drop without having to do a balancing act.
Essie Gel Setter Top Coat ($10)
Of all the top coats I've used, this is by far the best. Your nail polish lasts so much longer and has that shiny shellacked look that a gel manicure gives off. The best part is that you can take it right off with regular nail polish remover without having to endure the painstaking gel polish removal process.
Juku Nails Peach Half Moon Transparent Nail Wraps ($11)
Here's the thing—if you don't have the patience for polish and want to pretty-up your nails without having to put on several coats and keep it neat, try an adhesive nail wrap. This way, you can choose different colors, patterns, etc.; place them on your nail; adhere (some brands suggest using a hairdryer); file off the excess; and go—without even opening a bottle of polish.
What's your go-to nail polish color? Please share with us below!
Opening Images: Essie