What's in your arsenal?

11:32 AM

It's tool day!!  OK, that sounds a little silly, but today I'm going to give you a basic rundown of some tools I use and love.  Nail care is important, not just for those of us doing nail art or running blogs, but for everyone.  It will help you feel better, look better and be healthier.  Just like anything else though, having the right tools is essential to caring for your hands and nails.  What you see above is my 'tool' box.  I have a self lowering box which cleans my tools for me while they're not in use.  Do you need one? Probably not!  If you're just using your tools for yourself you can rinse them in water after use, dry them and store them.  If you're using them on other people you'll want to at the very least invest in some barbicide to properly clean them between clients.  My box has all my basic tools for nail care inside.  You can see from the top: nail clippers, a spoon pusher, two sizes of curette, flat and rounded edge toe nail clipper, and to the far right, my cuticle nippers.  These are your basic tools for care.   So how do you choose your tools and where do you get them?  Well here we go!! If you look back on my Did You Know... post about nail clippers there is PLENTY of info for choosing the right ones so we're going to focus today on cuticle pushers, curettes, and cuticle nippers.

We'll start with cuticle pushers:

Here we have a selection of pushers. These range from cheap (on the left) to expensive (on the right).  One, two, and three are you standard drugstore pusher/nipper combo.  Honestly, while you can snag these for $1 or less sometimes, they are useless.  The cuticle nipper end can work well for beginners who want to fully remove cuticle BUT it dulls quickly and will then simply tear the cuticle. Bad news.  Number four is a pusher I ended up snagging for free at Ulta. I think the regular cost is between $10 and $12.  It's not my favorite but it works well and is the one I generally use. It has a spoon on one end and a squared end which CAN be used for cuticles but shouldn't be. The one I've linked to has a UNC (under the nail cleaner) on the other end which is preferable.  Number five is a fancy OPI titanium pusher. I believe it's called a pusher plus and it costs around $26 at pro stores. I don't love it. The angle is great for some people but for me it's awkward to hold.  So why choose a spoon pusher over a flat, square or angled one?

The first picture here is a basic, flat spoon pusher. Notice the way it curves like your nail bed? The second picture is the OPI angled pusher.  It has more of a curve and therefore should work better (and does presumably!) however, you have to hold it differently.  It's a great investment if you want really great cuticle work but I feel that a standard spoon pusher when used properly will yield the same results so it's up to you if you want to learn to use the flat or the angled. To the far right we have a series of different cheap pushers. Notice that there is no curve to them? They just don't have the angle to give you great results. They are not going to last as long because they're plastic and they're not as easy to clean.  Remember when you're investing in these tools that stainless steel versions CAN last years so it's really a great time to splurge a little!

So what about a curette?

I have two curettes.  You only need one!!  The important thing here is the size of them.  You really want a smaller end on the curette because a larger end is not going to do any good.  I have one with larger ends which I bought before I knew about sizes.  Then I got a smaller one.  You can use the larger end to clean under the nail and also for toes.

See the difference? This is the smallest end on each of my curette's.  It really makes a big difference.  Again these can be costly.  I got both of mine at a professional shop for less than $10.  I recommend this one by Mehaz. Just be sure when searching online that you're looking at nail curette's and not dermatological ones or ear ones!!

So that just leaves us with nippers!! All my nippers pics came out blurry. :(  But I have three pair and the ones I love the most are my Mehaz 1/4 jaw.  They are not cheap. At pro stores they run about $35.  And on top of that nippers are really only good for about six months to a year. BUT it really makes a difference.  You may get longer use out of yours if you're using them less but since mine get used on clients regularly I'm not getting more than 6 months out of them!  You can grab cheaper ones almost anywhere.  Just be sure when you nip they cut cleanly and don't pull the skin. 

Here's a size comparison for you!

Thanks for following!!

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  1. This is a great post! I think sometimes its easy for people to forget about looking after their nails. How often do you tend to do your manicure routines? :)

  2. thanks for this info, how often do you go through your entire regiment?

  3. I give myself a full manicure about once every two weeks! You really shouldn't need to do it more than that although some people can get away with doing it just once a month. :)


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