With the first week of January underway and my blog theme of budget and drugstore products, this post was well overdue to go up on the blog. It really is about time! I have posted my Manicure Routine Series and Handbag Nailcare Saviours, so it made sense to compile a The Nail Buff Polish Stash Essentials post of all the must have items you need in your polish stash, your budget nail care essentials.
You may already have some of these items in your kit, or maybe you are a nail polish newbie who just has a handful of items in your collection. Either way, if you are looking to improve your nails this year, or even just want to give them extra TLC in your manicures, this post is for you! Even picking up a handful of these items may be the difference in your manicures in 2016.
The Budget Stash Essentials
Polish/ Cuticle Removal Items – Cotton Pads, Polish Removers, Nail Wipes and Cuticle Removers
For me, I find Cotton Pads to be best for polish removal. I find the larger oval pads best, with them being that bit larger you can remove more polish from more nails per pad, or even soak the cotton pads with polish remover and apply to the fingers for gel or glitter removal with more ease.
I also find using lint free remover wipes perfect for going over nails, ensuring every trace of polish is removed. They stop the build up of lint and fluff in and around the nail plate before your manicures, ensuring pristine nail plates before application. You could use kitchen roll with polish remover as a budget lint free wipe.
In terms of polish removers, a good non acetone polish remover is perfect for most manicures removing less severe polish formulas.
I like Superdrug’s Nourishing Nail Polish Remover. For anything with strong shimmer or slight glitter, try an acetone based nail polish remover. For this I would pick up Sally Hansen’s Strengthening Polish Remover.
I feel of all your essentials in your kit, removal products is an area where you can really save your pennies. I must note, in terms of products, I feel generally there is little difference in ingredients of higher end or lower removers. In my own experience they tend to have the same benefits and end result.
For cuticle removal, my favourite is Sally Hansen’s Gel Cuticle remover. This product left for 10 mins on the nails, softens the cuticle built up on the nail plate gently, making it much easier to push back your cuticles. This helps to avoid the use of cuticle nippers/scissors. I do also like Sally Hansen’s Instant Cuticle Remover for when I am in a rush! Add either into your stash!
Nail Tools – Clippers, Cuticle Nippers, Nail Scissors, Nail Files and Buffers.
For your nail tools, Tweezerman offer an excellent range of cuticle nippers, scissors, nail clippers and cuticle tools, perfect if you wanted to buy individual items for your kit. These would be better quality than buying a cheaper nail tool set. My advice in this overall area is to buy what fits your needs.
I found the cheaper sets are better for on the go nail emergencies, these kits are adequate for that use. However for your main manicures and pedicures, I found it’s much better to invest in something that lasts, which you can rely upon week in week out.
In terms of nail files for natural nails, a crystal nail file is an excellent investment – try OPI’s or Leighton Denny’s Crystal Nail Files. These files can be used in a sawing action unlike a standard file, good for removing length quickly and they seal the end of your nail in the process. They may be a more expensive item, but I feel pay for themselves as they last a lifetime if you look after them.
Also for general filing in between manicures and gentle buffing, a multiple sided block is excellent for smoothing and sealing your nail edge. I like to use Boots 7 Way Curved Block, as it works well for the price. Personally, I feel these blocks all pretty much work the same, using various sides of the block to smooth my nail edges and seal them in.
Nail Polish Products – Base Coat, Top Coat and Nail Strengtheners
This area of any is where you can really pick and choose between the brands and find the products for your nail needs. I will direct you to my The Base-ics A Guide to All thing Base post, which discusses base coats covering various budgets.
Also for budget topcoats please see my Topping My Hat to Top Coat post, which covers a range of top coats within various price brackets.
Nail Strengtheners would be another area which can be tricky to manoeuvre when shopping in the pharmacy or drugstore with so many products on offer. My two notable strengtheners on the cheap, would be Sally Hansen’s Nail Rehab or Essie’s Millionails. Both budget products I like tremendously!
If you are in doubt of what to purchase for your nail polish strengthener, both Sally Hansen and Essie have some excellent ranges for various nail issues, which won’t break the bank.
For colour staples on a budget, see my Drugstore Polish Ranges I Love post, for quality polish ranges on a shoe string. If you are new to colour, you cannot go wrong with a nude, red and pink shade to begin with.
Hand and Nail Nourishment – Hand Creams, Cuticle Balms and Nail Oils
To really keep your nails in good condition, hydration products are key to maintaining healthy nails and surounding skin.
A good nail oil, cuticle balm and hand cream are what you need in your stash to use before, after and continue to use between manicures.
For a budget nail oil try Sally Hansen’s Cuticle Rehab or The Body Shop’s Almond Cuticle Oil or even try one of my Natural Nail Oil Alternatives.
For cuticle balm, try Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter from Lush or Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure Cuticle Eraser and Balm to really nourish and hydrate those cuticles. One of these tubs will last quite a while and a little goes a long way.
For hand creams, I love La Roche Posay Lipikar Xerand hand cream, which is readily available from pharmacies at a reasonable price. Also Sanex Advanced AtopiCare Hand Cream is a new cream I tried which is excellent for the driest of hands and cuticles. Apply a thick layer under gloves when your hands get dry and rough!
I am going to follow this post with The Stash Essentials – The Extras, which as the name suggests is additional items to have in your stash which are useful products also worthwhile investing in!
What are your must have items in your nail stash/kit? Anything I must try? Any products I need to add into The Nail Buff Polish Stash Essentials?
Let me know what you think down in the Comments below!