What's in My Nail Bag?

Friday, August 07, 2015
Have you ever wondered what nail tools you should keep from all of those nail care/nail art gift sets? Do you feel overwhelmed by the vast variety of nail art and nail care tools on the market? Today I'm going to share with you what I keep in my nail bag and what I think are important tools to keep at hand for happy and healthy (and pretty!) nails.

First of all, you need a super cute bag to hold your goodies! My bag is actually a special edition makeup bag from SoHo Beauty, which was sold exclusively in Walgreen's stores last summer for the Ariel collection. This is my favorite Ariel design ever. I love the hand doodled and lightly colored look. It is so pretty and inspiring. Honestly, I just love mermaids. The backside of the bag is an iridescent teal, and the zipper and pull is gold.

Now, onto the tools! First, I have a four-way buffing block. This is a perfect tool to use to get that nail salon look. It allows you to file, buff, smooth, and shine your nails. I have been seeing these things in almost every store I go into, and they are always affordable. This is a must-have.

Next, I have a nail brush. You use this after soaking your nails to remove dirt. The curved handle makes it easy to slip around your hand and get a good grip. If you like getting that professional manicure feeling at home, this is a product for you.

How can anyone live without nail art helpers! I have a variety of pens to get the job done. I'm not a big fan of the Salon Perfect pens, as the product does not come out easily. The Sally Hansen pen works just fine. The Kiss pens look like a felt tip marker. While I have not used them yet, by the look of them, they will be a life-saving product.

It seems like everything you buy comes with an emery board/nail file. But, they are essential. While I don't think you need as many as me, they are a must when it comes to filing and shaping your nails. As you can see, they come in many varieties. Metal ones tend to wear down quick. A standard emery board is all you need. I love the ones with a smooth section because they really take care of rough edges after filing.

Crystal nail files are really neat. They work just as good as a traditional nail file, but they are much more sturdy and pretty! You can live without one of these in your nail bag and just go for an emery board. But, if you are a nail junkie like me, you will probably buy one just because you feel entitled to try one out.

You can make your own dotting tools, but they are pretty easy and affordable to get your hands on. I have a variety of dotters and brushes that have come with various sets. I don't use the brushes much, but the dotters are amazing. There are so many looks you can create with dotters, and those looks are not just limited to simple dots. I highly recommend you get your hands on at least one, average sized dotter (one that is not huge or super tiny), that way you can create almost any look you can imagine.

This should be a no-brainier. You just need to own a nail and toenail clipper. I don't recommend using a nail clipper on your toes, as your toenails tend to be bigger, thicker, and stronger than your fingernails. These tools tend to come in every nail gift set, so they are easy to get your hands on.

I'm not really good at cutting my cuticles. I always used the scissors to get tough hangnails. Now I use the other style of cutter to actually remove my cuticles. It works well, but I always make myself bleed on at least one finger. I just can't get the hang of it. I always hear that pushing back and cutting your cuticles is crucial for the success of your manicure. I often wonder if that is true. You should probably own and operate at least one cuticle cutter, just to be on the safe side.

Honestly, I have no idea why so many nail sets come with tweezers. To me, your supposed to use them to pluck your eyebrows or apply false lashes. I know you can use them to pick up nail art gems and nail polish strips, but I don't ever use mine for nail purposes. If you think they will come in handy in your nail life, then by all means, be sure to keep one in your bag! I keep them as a just-in-case tool.

To make life easier, you really should own a nail art gem picker-upper. In the past I just used my fingers, which worked out fine, but the gem never landed perfectly where I wanted. I would think this tool would be even easier than tweezers. The rubber ends are almost tacky, making picking up gems a breeze. And, mine was only $1!

I like to believe that this stuff really plays a part in the health of my nails. I don't know if that is just in my head, but I like this $1 e.l.f. product. It is their Essential Nourishing Cuticle Pen. It is made of a variety of oils that your cuticles love. It features a felt tip that is kind of shaped like a highlighter, making application super easy. I apply the product to my cuticles and gently rub it in with my finger. It absorbs and dries very quick, no oily mess involved, and no smell. Also, I feel this product will last forever since it is made of oils. It seems like it will never dry out! If you are interested in cuticle care, try out this product.

Ok, let's face it. Cuticle pushers come with everything too. All you really need is one. I like wood the best, as they seem to be the most effective. Take it from me, it's easier to push your cuticles back after soaking them for around 10 minutes in warm water. Cuticle pushers are also great for painting fake nails in advance of applying them. I once took 5 of them, put a piece of tape on each end, attached a fake nail, and painted them. It worked out great, and the nails easily came off of the stick! This is a great trick if you want to do nail art and find it easier doing it when the nails are not glued onto your real ones.

These are just some random tools that have come in various nail sets. I know some are for cleaning out your ears (ouch?) and others are good for removing dirt from under your nails. I never use these, but they could come in handy. You will also notice a sewing pin, which I think is a must for opening your clogged nail glue. Definitely throw one of those in your bag.

I keep the heads of my electric nail tool in my bag. These heads are for filing, buffing, and cuticle pushing. I use the device every once in a while to change things up and save some time. You can get away with ordinary tools, but an electric manicure tool is something fun to try out.

Finally, I have various magnets that came with magnetic nail polish. What better place to keep them than in your nail bag.

Wow, that's a lot of stuff crammed into one small bag! It is definitely bursting at the seams. Keeping a variety of tools on hand allows you to create any look that comes to mind at a moments notice. Remember, a great manicure starts with healthy, clean nails, treated with some T.L.C.! I hope that this post will give you some ideas on what tools you need to suit your personal nail purposes. That's all I have for now. Keep letting your true beauty shine and I'll see you next time! 

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